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More trains for North West

Outdated trains will be replaced under Government plans Credit: ITV Granada

The number of seats on trains in the North West is to increase by a third, under Government plans to reduce overcrowding on the region’s rail network. There will also be an extra 200 services every day across the Northern and Trans Pennine rail franchises.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, will unveil the plans today on a visit to Victoria station in Manchester, which is currently undergoing a £44 million redevelopment programme. Mr McLauglin is calling for further investment in stations from companies interested in bidding for the new franchises.

Redevelopment plans for Manchester Victoria Station Credit: Network Rail

Successful bidders will also be required to replace outdatedPacer trains on North West rail routes and accommodate more than 19,000 extra commuters in Manchester during the morning peak.


Fine for wifi on Manchester rail routes

Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: PA

Rail routes through Manchester could benefit from "super-fast" wifi to enable passengers to work during their journey.

The government plans to invest in new on-board internet technology funded by a £70 million fine to be levelled on Network Rail for delays to services, it was widely reported today.

The Manchester to London services are among those expected to benefit.

A spokesman for Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the Sunday Telegraph: "We all know how frustrating it is to have our internet constantly disrupted on trains.

"At the moment it happens too often. Passengers expect and deserve better and with these plans, that is what they’ll get."

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Network Rail chief: £38bn upgrade 'a bold plan'

The £38 billion revamp to Britain's railways is "a bold plan" but one "customers expect and want to see", the head of Network Rail has told Daybreak.

Mick Carne explained: "We are going to spend about £13bn in the operating and maintenance of the railway, but about £25bn on really making substantial improvements to the railway."


  1. National

Network Rail to announce five year revamp plan

Britain's railways will get a £38bn investment as part of a massive revamp plan designed to tackle growing demand, Network Rail is expected to announce later today.

The investment boost was part of Government plans to create "world class infrastructure". Credit: PA

Plans are expected to include electrification of 850 miles of track from Maidenhead to Swansea and Sheffield to Bedford, as well introducing a 24 hour service to the Thameslink programme.

On top of that, £13bn will be poured into replacing and renewing older parts of the network, such as refurbishing nearly 6,000 sets of points.

Hundreds of stations across the country will be transformed including major schemes at London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government’s long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure."

However, Network Rail is also braced for a hefty £70m fine from regulators after failing to hit its target for train punctuality.

High speed rail costs could spiral without agreement

Politicians have been told to get behind the high speed rail link or risk costs spiralling out of control.

The chairman of HS2, Sir David Higgins, has published his first report on the project since he took up the role at the beginning of the year.

He's warned the £50 billion cost of the project will escalate if it gets bogged down in parliamentary infighting.Sir David has recommended bringing forward construction of the West Midlands to Manchester stretch of the line from a start date of 2026.

Union apologises for strike disruption

A rail union has apologised for possible disruption to services, but says it has no choice. Train managers on London Midland, which runs services to Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street, have launched a strike in a row over hours, lasting until 10 pm tomorrow. More action may be in the offing.

"We would like to apologise to passengers who may well find their services delayed and even cancelled but we have been forced to take this action to get management to listen to us seriously."

– Steve Coe, The Transport Salaried Staffs Association
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