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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.

Read: Rail fare rises come into force

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

Read: Report: 'Huge disparities' in rail services across the UK

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.

Read: Network rail 'falling short'

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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Services running with delays through Manchester Piccadilly

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Services have resumed, but please expect residual delays, thank you.

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We have the line back, but please expect delays and cancellations, sorry for this morning's disruption.

List of alternative services for rail users

If you're affected by the signalling problem at Manchester Piccadilly there is a list of alternative services that can be used.

Virgin Train customers can use:

  • Virgin Trains services between Birmingham New Street and Preston
  • First TransPennine Express services between Preston and Manchester
  • London Midland services between Crewe and Birmingham New Street
  • Virgin Trains services between Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester

Cross Country customers can use:

  • CrossCountry services between Preston and and Birmingham New Street and between Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester
  • East Midlands Trains services between London St Pancras International and Sheffield

Signalling problem means severe rail delays and disruption through Manchester

A signalling problem is resulting in serious delays through Manchester Piccadilly.

All services are affected and currently:

  • Trains are currently unable to run between Manchester Piccadilly and Stockport / Manchester Airport
  • A limited amount of buses are running between Manchester Piccadilly and Stoke-on-Trent / Manchester Airport
  • Buses have also been requested at Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Stockport and Crewe
  • Journey times may be extended by up to 90 minutes
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