Three engineering projects designed to improve the performance of freight across the UK's rail network will receive European funding.
Network Rail, which is responsible for maintaining the UK's railway network said that the projects will receive €14 million (£11 million) from the European Commission.
The first, which was awarded £4 million, will cover works to electrify the line between Liverpool and Manchester. The second, which received the same amount in funding, will be used to establish new cranes at the port of Southampton and increase train lengths on the main route line from the town to the west coast.
Finally, £3 million has been set aside to build freight loops near Ely for improved efficiency of freight through Felixtowe and Nuneaton.
Tim Robinson, director of freight at Network Rail, said: "Freight haulage is the lifeblood of our economy and this investment will give a boost to our efforts to encourage more of it onto the railway.
"As well as being the most environmentally-friendly way of transporting cargo, by moving more freight onto our rail network we can free capacity on other transport modes and keep the UK flowing."
Author: Editor Gavin Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 202 0255)