BILLIONS of pounds are set to be invested into railways in the north of England.
The Government is today expected to announce that the Northern Hub Rail Programme will be given the go-ahead.
And it is the biggest investment into rail transport since the Victorian times.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney is the Vice Chairman of the All Party parliamentary Group for Rail in the North and is delighted at the expected decision.
He said: “I’ve joined MPs of all parties to campaign for this and I led a debate in Parliament earlier this year.
“The Northern Hub is Network Rail’s plan to upgrade the economy of the north of England by improving the rail network.
“The hub will provide capacity to run up to 700 more trains per day across the north, providing the space for 44 million more people to travel by train.
“It will create extra capacity for freight services and enable more lorries to be taken off the roads.
“In economic terms the hub will provide £4 of benefits for every £1 spent and create between 20,000 and 30,000 new jobs.
“On top of the earlier announcement of the electrification of the Trans Pennine route, this is the biggest rail investment in the north in decades.
“I’ll now be campaigning to make sure these new services are affordable with simplified fare structures and that faster services don’t mean the loss of local stopping services as connectivity is key.
“It’s great news for our area as it will mean extra trains.
“It will open up links from Brockholes to Sheffield where people will then be able to travel on to London.
“I am so pleased and I do think this is a way of kick-starting the economy.”
The investment scheme is set to include a £500m plan to electrify the Midland Main Line route between St Pancras, the east Midlands and Sheffield.
Electric trains are thought to be more energy and cost efficient.
In total, it has been suggested that around £10bn will be invested in to the Northern Hub rail scheme between 2014 and 2019.