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News story

Growth-boosting rail upgrades across England and Wales

Monday, July 16 2012

businessman on train

Transport Secretary Justine Greening has announced more than £9 billion of growth-boosting railway upgrades across England and Wales.

This upgrade represents faster journey times, more reliable services and capacity for 140,000 extra daily commutes by train.

The full £9.4bn programme of improvements to the rail network, published today, will meet the needs of intercity passengers, commuters and freight up to the end of this decade, while the Government continues to work on High Speed 2 to deliver rail capacity for the British economy in the decades to come.

New schemes totalling £4.2bn include:

  • Upgrades to stations and tracks creating enough capacity around cities for an additional 140,000 daily rail commutes at peak times
  • Faster journeys and more train capacity stemming from £240m of improvements along the East Coast Main Line from the North East down through Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire to London.
  • The creation of a high-capacity “electric spine” running from Yorkshire and the West Midlands to South Coast ports, allowing more reliable electric trains to cut journey times and boost capacity for passengers and freight.
  • The decision to take electric rail beyond Cardiff to Swansea, completing the full electrification of the Great Western Main Line out of London Paddington and electrifying the Welsh Valley lines, including Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and the Vale of Glamorgan.
  • Completion of the “Northern Hub” cluster of rail enhancements with the approval of £322m of outstanding track and capacity upgrades across Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport and across to Liverpool.
  • A new £500m rail link between the Great Western Main Line and Heathrow allowing direct services to the airport for passengers from the West Country, the Thames Valley and Wales.
  • The package will be funded in part from fare rises already announced in 2010 and also from the substantial efficiency savings which projects like electrification will have on the long term operating costs of the railways.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “Investment on this scale, in every region of the country, shows how this coalition government is focused on delivering an affordable, reliable and faster railway network that drives jobs and growth.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said “In what is the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era this investment will mean faster journeys, more seats, better access to stations, greater freight links and a truly world class rail network.”


Find out more about our policies on transport.

Justine Greening
Delivering an affordable, reliable and faster railway network that drives jobs and growth
Justine Greening