GRAND plans to boost regional rail services have been unveiled.
Rail chiefs have announced proposals to improve services, passenger information and electrify lines across the North East as part of a programme that aims to cut rail costs by £1.3billion a year by the end of the decade.
The plans include more than 700 extra services a day between cities in the north at a cost of £560million.
Richard Allan, assistant area director of Northern Rail, said: “Rail services play a vital role in the economic development of the north of England.
“We also know that they contribute social and environmental benefits.
“We are committed to working with our industry partners.”
Rail bosses are also considering the electrification of hundreds of miles of tracks across the North Pennines to take in Durham, Newcastle, Darlington and Middlesbrough.
Edith Rodgers, customer services director, said: “This should mean that in the future customers will benefit from improved journey times, increased capacity and better travel opportunities.
“The plans need to be studied in detail to help deliver these enhancements.”
Passenger numbers jumped by another seven per cent this year.