Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 18:21 UK

London rail links get new money

Thameslink train
Commuters relying on Thameslink currently face crowded trains

Some of London's key rail links will be the beneficiaries of a planned £35bn investment by Network Rail.

Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail, said Thameslink capacity through London will be boosted by 400% at a cost of £5.5bn.

Crossrail, the cross-London project that is already under way, will also get £2bn more in funding.

King's Cross station is to be redeveloped as part of the five-year plan to ease congestion and cut delays.

Network Rail is responsible for the infrastructure on which Britain's railways are run.

Efficiency

The money announced will be spent over the next five years in a bid to reduce delays and increase overall efficiency.

For Thameslink, the new money will be spent increasing the number of train carriages per hour from 64 to 288.

The move will increase the number of seats available to passengers from 3,500 to 17,000.

At King's Cross, the money will see the existing building redeveloped to widen the concourse and add an extra platform.

Designers also hope to improve access from the main station to Thameslink and St Pancras International.

Another £26m is earmarked to redevelop Paddington station, in west London, including restoring the Edwardian roof.



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