UPDATE 2-Sterling soars to highest since Brexit on BoE rate-hike bets

* BoE Doves vs. Hawks graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2uEU8my (Adds background and comments)

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Sterling hit its highest level since the results of the Brexit vote on Friday and was heading for its best week in almost 9 years on a trade-weighted basis, as traders bet the Bank of England would raise interest rates soon.

Comments from BoE policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe echoed the central bank's signal this week that the first rate increase in a decade could come in "coming months", pushing the pound past the $1.36 mark for the first time since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

That left it up over 1.5 percent and a full two cents above the $1.34 it touched after Thursday's BoE policy decision, and it put sterling on track for a 3.3 percent weekly gain on a trade-weighted basis - its best performance since February 2009.

Reports of an explosion that injured several commuters on a train in London saw the pound dip briefly before resuming its upward move.

Six-month Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) swap rates, which reflect market expectations for interest rates, hit their highest since June 24, 2016, the day of the Brexit vote result, at 38.80 basis points.

"Whilst the market was certainly pricing in the possibility of a rate hike in the next six months going into yesterdays meeting, there were very few people who genuinely believed that," said Simon Derrick, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.

"(Vlieghe) was known to be a dove Having a dove say something like that resonates far more than, say, Michael Saunders saying it."

Saunders, another policymaker on the Bank's rate-setting committee, voted to raise rates on Thursday and is considered a monetary policy hawk.

Analysts arguing against an imminent hike by the bank have said the central bank's job has been complicated by wages, which that have not kept pace with inflation, and an economy facing the uncertainty of Britain's vote to leave the European Union, making the BoE less likely to move soon.

ING's Viraj Patel argued the BoE's main objective in its communication change was to realign markets towards gradual interest rate rises instead of an imminent one, and that sterling's gains would be limited from now on.

"A November rate hike shouldn't be viewed as a sure-fire bet; we suspect that it is largely conditional on two factors: signs of a rebound in domestically generated inflation (namely wage growth) and a reduction in short-term political uncertainty," he wrote in a note to clients.

Brexit has also put sterling back on investors' radars after days of being dominated by moves in the euro and the dollar.

Traders will be watching for a speech on Brexit next week by Prime Minister Theresa May. The next round of Brexit talks with the European Union has been postponed by a week until Sept. 25.

Against the euro, sterling rose as much as 1.3 percent to 87.75 pence after Vlieghe's comments.

(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Jemima Kelly and Larry King)