Historic Rail Investment Announced in UK

A $14.6 billion package of rail improvement projects, called the "biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era," has been announced by the UK's governing coalition.
July 16, 2012, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Seen as a means to boost the ailing economy and help "close the north south divide," the list of projects to be funded includes the electrification of several lines, and investments intended to boost the capacity and integration of routes across Northern England and Wales.  

The plan announced today includes funds to complete current projects oriented around the capital (Crossrail and Thameslink), and funding for new projects that will "mean faster journey times, more seats and spruced up stations, with many regions in England and Wales benefiting, especially across the north of England," writes BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott. 

Critics point with concern to the ambitious plan's reliance, at least in part, on fare increases. "Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph said the investment was good news, but the two years of fare increases would mean many passengers could not afford its benefits."  

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Published on Monday, July 16, 2012 in BBC News
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