1. ITV Report

£40m for West Coast mainline

Projects worth nearly £40 million to improve a key London to Scotland train route have been announced by Network Rail (NR).

The schemes on the West Coast main line (WCML) include overhead line improvements as well as new fencing to stop trespassers.

The projects, some of which are already under way, have been announced at a time when NR has been warned by rail regulators about poor performance on some lines.

Also, Virgin Trains, which operates the WCML, announced earlier this month it was taking action against NR over what it claims is breach of contract concerning train punctuality.

The case will be heard by a rail industry body - the Access Disputes Resolution Committee.

Dyan Crowther, NR's route managing director, said today: "We are not satisfied with the current performance of our infrastructure on the southern end of the West Coast main line, which is one of Britain's most vital rail arteries.

"This line has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years and, just like a busy motorway during rush hour, more trains mean that if something goes wrong, the knock on effects can be significant.

"We have identified almost #40m worth of investment aimed at improving performance by targeting some of the most common causes of delay. Some of the measures will be delivered in a few short months while others are more long term."

Chris Gibb, chief operating officer at Virgin Trains, added: "I am pleased that NR has decided to progress all the recommendations and make this investment.

"Already we are starting to see that investment actually taking place but both NR and the train operators need to keep the pressure on to ensure that lasting improvements in performance are achieved."