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UK railways promised £8bn from government

An £8 billion investment in UK railways has been unveiled by the government the day after massive fare rises were announced.

About 2,000 new carriages will be introduced in an effort to counter overcrowding and some lines will be electrified.

Around 600 of the new carriages are for the new cross-London Crossrail connection currently under construction, 800 for the Thameslink north-south London connection and 650 will go to unspecified rail franchises around the country to accommodate commuters travelling into big cities.

They will be introduced over a period up to 2019 to increase network capacity by 17%, enabling an extra 185,000 passengers to be carried.

Lines from Manchester to Liverpool and Manchester to Blackpool are going to be electrified.

Average fare rises of 6.2% will be imposed in the new year with some rail users seeing tickets going up by as much as 12.8%.

The increases are necessary to safeguard the new investment, the coalition argues.

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