£4.2bn of new rail schemes unveiled

The Government has announced £4.2 billion worth of new rail schemes, including electrification of the Midland Main Line.

Added to £5.2 billion of already-announced projects, the new money takes the amount to be invested in the railways between 2014 and 2019 to £9.4 billion.

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the plans as "the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era".

But the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) warned that it was now necessary to ensure the plan was affordable and deliverable.

Campaigners said they feared the promised investment would mean further high increases to season tickets that are, in any case, due to go up by 3% above the RPI inflation level in January 2013 and in January 2014.

Projects that have already been committed to the 2014-19 period included the completion of the ongoing Crossrail and Thameslink schemes, and electrification between London and Cardiff, Manchester to Liverpool and Preston and across the Pennines.

The £4.2 billion worth of new schemes include upgrades to stations and tracks creating enough capacity around cities for an additional 140,000 daily rail commutes at peak times.

This includes £350 million for lengthening of platforms at London's Waterloo station, and faster journeys and more train capacity from £240 million of improvements along the East Coast Main Line from north-east England down through Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire to London.

There will also be the creation of a high-capacity "electric spine" running from Yorkshire and the West Midlands to South Coast ports. This comprises an £800 million electrification and upgrade from Sheffield - through Nottingham, Derby and Leicester - to Bedford, completing the full electrification of the Midland Main Line out of London St Pancras and electrification of the lines from Nuneaton and Bedford to Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Southampton.

Mr Cameron said: "From Crossrail, high-speed rail and now the billions of pounds of investment we are announcing today, this Government is committed to taking the long-term decisions to deliver growth and jobs."