£9 billion rail spruce-up planned in 2014

overcrowded train Hip hip hooray – the nation’s railways are going to get better! There’s a £9 billion investment coming and we might all be paying for it! The plans are set to be announced in 2007 later today and are believed to include this bunch of stunning upgrades:

•  Electrification - completion of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Sheffield, local lines in the Welsh Valleys, and an extension of the already-announced electrification between Manchester and Leeds.

•  The Northern Hub - a series of projects around Manchester that improve northern rail capacity to get more and faster trains across the north of England.

•  Upgrades to the East Coast Main Line from London to Leeds and Newcastle.

•  The reopening of the east-west link from Oxford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes

•  Electrification of the lines from London to Bristol and Cardiff, and from Manchester to Liverpool, Blackpool and Leeds.

Nick Clegg says that it’ll all help “close the north south divide”, weirdly assuming that both parties want it to be closed. He also said "It's good for the environment because it produces a cleaner way of getting about and it'll help millions of rail passengers in the future who'll be able to rely on clean, timely and reliable trains."

The work will be carried out between 2014 and 2019 and Labour say that most of the money will come from raising the amount that Network Rail is allowed to borrow. Chances are that fares will rise to repay those extra loans.

oh, and £5 billion of the money will be spent on the completion of ongoing schemes like Crossrail and Thameslink. Yes, that’ll help bridge the north south divide fo sho.


  • Haggis
    I, for one, am proud to have the most expensive and worst performing rail network in the developed world and welcome the opportunity to pay higher fares.
  • dvdj10
    I'm pleasantly suprised that some of this money is being spent outside of London for a change. Train fares need a drastic overhall. It costs me £9.80 return to make a 20min journey in to Manchester or I can pay £24 for a return ticket from Manchester to London (if booked in advance mind). If short journeys we more competitively priced then more people would use trains to commute (outside of London). At the minute it costs me around £200 a month in petrol to get in to Manchester for me a my wife. We would quite happyily get the train as it's only a 20min journey and very regular but it would cost us £180 a month in train fares and we'd still have to drive to the station every day and park and then walk to our offices so what's the point when I can just drive?
  • Sicknote
    Where the hell are we going to find £9 billion, ideas on a postcard to the chancellor please.
  • Rich
    You have...like the previous government...forgot that Swansea will now also get an electrified rail
  • Marky M.
    @ Sicknote We're not going to find £9 billion, the rail operators are largely just being given permission to borrow more. I really have no idea where they're going to recoup the cost of that borrowing (rolls eyes).
  • Idi A.
    Half a billion quid spent so people in Leicester can get to London 10 minutes sooner. Presumably people in London still won't be queuing up to go the other way.
  • zeddy
    Are you sure about this BW? It hasn't been procured from a news website reporting on something happening in say...2007? No? Good, good...
  • Joulupukki
    A huge jobs boost for Poland who will provide the track labourers, and Hitachi where the trains will be made.
  • Chewbacca
    What all you morons who complain about "commuting" fares don't realise is this: Peak time fares are DESIGNED to be expensive. There's pretty much zero capacity on the majority of lines into major cities, so tickets are priced to dissuade everyone who have no need to be on the trains at peak times. Why do you think you can't get cheaper "advance" fares at eight in the morning? Those trains are already beyond full. They give you cheaper fares to encourage you onto the quieter trains, those ones which are less that 50% full after 09:00. The problem is capacity. We're running out of lines, more need to be built, platforms need extended and trains need lengthened. Electrification will do jack shit to improve capacity.
  • Mr L.
    I'm with Chewy
  • Manchester O.
    [...] projects across UKITV NewsRailways to receive a major boost with £9 billion investmentNews TankBitterwallet -Out-Law.com -Business Greenall 644 news [...]

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