North West train services to get £84m boost – BBC


An £84m package which ministers say will make trains in north-west England more reliable has been unveiled.
The money will be used to pay for infrastructure upgrades, such as track improvements, platform extensions for longer trains and larger depots.
Passenger services are also planned to be enhanced at Manchester's Piccadilly, Victoria and Airport stations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it "kicks off a decade's worth of improvements".
The funding will also allow re-signalling along Manchester's congested Castlefield Corridor, and the remodelling of Manchester Oxford Road station.
However, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham described the "lack of investment in rail over the past decade" in the region as "a drag on realising our ambition".
A "reliable and dependable railway which provides a high-quality travelling experience" connecting major northern cities is "an important ingredient for the long-term success of our city-region and the wider area", he said.
"Today's announcement is a welcome step forward and I look forward to continuing to work with government and the industry.
"This is just the start of the infrastructure investment needed."
A controversial new rail timetable is planned for Manchester from December.
Mr Burnham has previously warned it will lead to many passengers "standing up all the way" between Manchester and Leeds due to a lack of seats.
The Department for Transport insists the new timetable will provide "more punctual, reliable journeys for passengers".
Mr Shapps said: "The Transpennine Route Upgrade, the Integrated Rail Plan and Northern Powerhouse Rail will transform the lives of passengers across the region for generations to come.
"As we level up the country, we're determined to use rail to boost local economies, create greener journeys and change lives for the better."
In November, plans to build a high-speed HS2 rail line between the East Midlands and Leeds were controversially scrapped, with the government saying it would transform services as part of a £96bn plan, but only half of that is thought to be new money.
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