The transport secretary has announced £6 billion for improvements to Thameslink stations, track and trains as part of a rail investment to be revealed in full later today.
Philip Hammond told Radio 4’s Today programme today the Thameslink project would “go ahead in full”.
He said £6 billion would be invested in station improvements, new track and 1,200 brand new rail carriages for the line from north of London to the south coast.
This would lead to “a very substantial increase in capacity - a doubling of capacity of through trains running north-south through London, complementing the cross rail investment that we have already announced which will deliver 600 new rail cars on to the network”.
He said the work would start in 2015 and be completed 2019.
Asked about high speed rail, Mr Hammond said the government would announce its preferred route for the London to Birmingham stretch before Christmas and put the plans out for consultation in the new year.
The BBC is also reporting that the railway lines from Manchester to Liverpool and Manchester to Blackpool are going to be electrified.
Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke said: “I think these announcements are excellent. The country needed them. It doesn’t return it to a boom market but it does keep it as a sensible market albeit with an erratic workflow.”