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Top 10 most overcrowded train services to be revealed

The Government is expected to publish its report on rail overcrowding in England and Wales later this morning.

Increasing capacity is an argument used to defend projects like HS2 and Crossrail. Credit: PA

The annual list from the Department of Transport will include a list of the top 10 most overcrowded train services in the country.

Last year, the 8:27am service from London Heathrow to Paddington emerged as the most overcrowded with 786 passengers cramming into space for 476.

The 6:13pm service London Euston to Birmingham New St station was the second worst, with a train loaded with 1149 passengers when it only had capacity for 698.

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HS2 'will start in 2017', Transport Secretary confirms

Tonight's vote in Parliament on the HS2 bill means the high-speed rail line will begin construction in 2017, the Transport Secretary has confirmed.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at the proposed site of the HS2 East Midlands Hub in Long Eaton Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Patrick McLoughlin also tried to calm the fears of anti-HS2 campaigners over the impact of the proposed route on their areas, saying:

"I am aware of the concerns some who live very close to the HS2 route have. I am confident however that by working together we can ensure this vital new north-south railway is designed in the right way, and we will have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned."

Some rail not 'commercially viable' without funding

Some rail services would not be "commercially viable" without extra funding from the taxpayer, a Government spokesman has said.

A Department for Transport spokesman defended the Government's record on rail spending, arguing the transport service delivered wider "social, environmental and economic benefits":

Subsidy and premium differ across the UK, even at a regional level, because of variations in demand and costs, with some busier services requiring less Government support.

Many services would not be commercially viable without taxpayer funding, and we subsidise them because they deliver wide social, environmental and economic benefits to their communities.

– A Department for Transport spokesman

Rail fares brought in '£7.7bn total' last year

Some £7.7bn in revenue was generated just through rail fares last year, with higher passenger numbers credited with the 3.6% rise on the amount brought in during 2011/12, according to a report from the regulator.

According to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) report covering April 2012- March 2013:

  • The cost of running Britain's railways was £12.3 billion in 2012-13. This overall cost has remained consistent over the past three years.
  • The industry earned nearly £3 billion from discounted tickets (such as advance, off-peak, super-off peak and special offers) - amounting to more than 40% of the total passenger income.
  • Rolling stock charges paid by Virgin Trains, for example, were £302 million but those paid by East Coast were £53 million.

Report exposes 'huge disparity' in railway spending

The amount of money spent on the railways varies widely from England to Scotland and Wales, according to a report from industry regulators.

Government policy is that rail passengers should cover more of the industry's income. Credit: PA

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) found a "huge disparity" between Government spending in different parts of the UK, with rail journeys in England receiving as little as £2.19 per passenger journey.

In Scotland, £7.60 was spent per passenger journey and £9.33 in Wales during the year 2012/13, the report found.

Total government funding for 2012/13 for the railways amounted to £4 billion which represented 30.9% of the industry's total income and included £700,000 from Transport Scotland and £100,000 from the Welsh Government.

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Network Rail director: We have a better job to do

Network Rail Director Mick Carne said the planned £38 billion upgrade to Britain's railways will improve the resilience of the system and the service for passengers.

Speaking to Consumer Editor Chris Choi he said the investment announced today was vital, and that he was "very conscious of the fact" that Network Rail "had a better job to do".

£38bn rail spend 'only keeps us standing still'

The head of one of the train drivers' trade union has hit out at the Government's strategy for improving the railways and called for the network to be returned to public ownership.

Mick Whelan, the general secretary of Aslef, said the £38bn announced for 2014-19 "only keeps us standing still".

The truth is that, after 20 years of privatisation, things aren't getting better. That's why opinion poll after opinion poll shows that most people - including most Conservative voters - in this country want our fragmented railways brought back into public ownership so we can run a properly integrated public service. It's time to build a better railway for everyone in Britain.

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."

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