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Network Rail outlines £2.4bn expansion plan

Network Rail today announced it will increase spending to £2.4bn over 900 individual projects for the next two years.
Major schemes include a new line from Airdrie to Bathgate costing £214M over the next two years, £300M in total; Olympic schemes - £109M over the next two years, £400M in total; and the Trent Valley track doubling scheme, costing £165M over the next two years, £300M in total. The Great Eastern overhead line rebuild scheme will cost £50M.Much of the remainder will be spent on adding new platforms at Bristol Parkway, King's Cross, St Pancras, Manchester Airport, Newport and Wakefield Westgate or increasing platform length across the network.Freight enhancements will include £9M in improvements at Hull docks, while the Brigg line in Yorkshire will have freight capacity enhancements.Network Rail chief executive John Armitt said: '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. We will never lose sight of the imperative to run a safe and reliable railway each and every day, but responding to the challenge of growth becomes a more important priority for the company.'The work will be paid for by Network Rail (£1.73bn) with 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, investing the remaining £713m.

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