Network Rail unveils £2.4bn improvement programme

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Network Rail unveiled a £2.4bn programme of rail expansion yesterday as it outlined its spending plans over the next two years.

Network Rail says it plans to lengthen and add platforms, lay new tracks, raise line speeds and add capacity through major resignalling schemes.

Unveiling the plans, Network Rail's Chief Executive, John Armitt, said: ‘Three million people use the railways each day, more than at any time in the past 60 years, and we're not standing still waiting for the big infrastructure projects to be delivered. We are doing something about it now by moving forward with hundreds of small schemes dotted around the country that will add capacity and ease crowding.

‘For the first time on record, over £1bn per year will be spent on expanding and growing the railway network. This, more than anything, shows how the needs of today's railway are shifting.’

Between April 2007 and March 2009, Network Rail will carry out £2.44bn worth of enhancement work with £1.73bn funded by Network Rail. The remaining £713m will be financed by other stakeholders, such as the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, Welsh Assembly Government, Passenger Transport Executives, local authorities, port authorities train operators and freight groups.