The new spending will extend electrification and add capacity to enable the network to cope with continued growth. The government says the plan will be funded from fare increases and reduced operating costs as a result of conversion from diesel to electric traction.\r\n"Today the government has issued a strong vote of confidence in the railway," says Mr David Higgins, Network Rail's CEO. "It is also a vote of confidence in the success of rail over the last decade, with over one million more trains per year with half a billion more passengers."\r\nOne of the largest projects is an \u00a3800m scheme to create a so-called electric spine running from the port of Southampton to the north. This involves:\r\n\r\nelectrification at 25kV ac from Southampton to Reading, and from Oxford north to Coventry and Nuneaton on the West Coast Main Line (WCML)\r\ncreating a new electrified link from Oxford via Bletchley on the WCML to Bedford, which includes reopening a disused section of line to the west of Bletchley, and\r\nelectrification of the Midland Main Line from Bedford north to Corby, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield.\r\n\r\nElectrification between Southampton and Reading involves conversion of the section south of Basingstoke from 750V dc third rail to 25kV ac overhead. This will be used as pilot scheme for the eventual conversion of the entire rail network south of London from third rail to overhead electrification. The existing system is inadequate for the density of traffic, resulting in trains running at lower speeds than would be possible with 25kV.\r\nWork is already underway to electrify the Great Western Main Line from London to Reading, Oxford, Newbury, Bristol and Cardiff. This is now to be expanded to include branch lines to Windsor, Marlow and Henley-on-Thames, the Cardiff \u2013 Swansea main line, and the so-called Valleys commuter lines in the Cardiff area. A \u00a3500m connection from the west to London's Heathrow airport is also proposed.\r\nThe line from Walsall north of Birmingham to Rugeley on the WCML will be electrified at a cost \u00a330m for commuter services and as a diversionary route for mainline trains.\r\nThe London \u2013 Leeds \u2013 Edinburgh East Coast Main Line has been allocated \u00a3240m to increase capacity at bottlenecks and install ERTMS on the southern end of the route.\r\nAn additional \u00a3322m has been allocated to the \u00a3477m so-called Northern Hub project to increase capacity and improve services radiating from Manchester and its airport. The lines from Blackpool and Liverpool to Manchester, Leeds and York are already being electrified, and this will now be extended east to Selby.\r\nImprovements in the London area include \u00a3350m to lengthen platforms at Waterloo to provide capacity for 120,000 additional daily commuters.\r\nThe plan also includes \u00a3200m to improve the freight network, \u00a3300m to cut journey times, \u00a3200m for stations, \u00a3140m for development and innovation, and \u00a365m to improve level crossings.