Watford may well have been celebrating the opening of a new transport link this week had a vision become a reality.

The Elizabeth Line in London finally opened on Tuesday, overbudget and four years later than expected.

The line will boost capacity and cut journey times for east-west travel across London with the Government forecasting it will boost the economy by £42 billion.

It stretches from Reading and Heathrow Airport to Abbey Wood in south-east London and Shenfield in Essex. But once upon a time, it might have branched out to our area as well.

Watford Observer: Inside a train on the Elizabeth line which opened on Tuesday May 24. Credit: PAInside a train on the Elizabeth line which opened on Tuesday May 24. Credit: PA

In 2014, the Government announced Crossrail could be extended into Hertfordshire – specifically Watford Junction and Tring – via a new rail link between Old Oak Common and the West Coast mainline. It would have given direct access from Watford into the City and for example, reduced travel time from the town to Canary Wharf by up to 15 minutes.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin indicated the new link would reduce pressure on London Euston, especially with the HS2 development.

Addressing Crossrail workers at Farringdon station in London in 2014, he said: "It would be a huge boost to Crossrail and London commuters. We're going to examine, right away, how we can run extra services direct into the City and through to Canary Wharf from key stations like Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Harrow and Watford – without the frustrating need to change at Euston."

Watford Observer: The Elizabeth Line at Paddington station. Credit: PAThe Elizabeth Line at Paddington station. Credit: PA

And Boris Johnson, who was London mayor at the time, said: "Providing a new rail route into the capital for passengers from Hertfordshire will be vital for Euston to be properly redeveloped to accommodate HS2 and to maximise the delivery of new homes and jobs in London and beyond."

Watford Observer: How the Crossrail project could have been extended into HertfordshireHow the Crossrail project could have been extended into Hertfordshire

However, the proposal, just like the Met Line extension, never came to fruition and it is unlikely it ever will, although Crossrail 2 is also exploring the idea of a branch in eastern Hertfordshire.

In Watford, connecting Watford Junction and the town centre with the Met Line is a priority, especially with thousands of homes being built in the town, and local councils are looking into finding a solution.

Watford Observer: Watford Junction. Credit: Stephen DanzigWatford Junction. Credit: Stephen Danzig

Read more: Plans for 'Watford 2 Croxley' transport link take another step