BROMSGROVE and Redditch railway users are set to benefit from an improved service under an ambitious five year plan announced by Network Rail.

The operator of Britain's train tracks and stations has announced £38 billion of investment is being made across the network over the next five years.

It has earmarked £100 million of this to be invested in delivering line speed, capacity and station improvements at Bromsgrove and Redditch.

The track is to be doubled at Alvechurch, while the railway between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove will be electrified.

The station improvements also include the construction of Bromsgrove's new railway station, on which work began last month.

The aim is for the improvements to increase capacity and improve journey times, access and reliability.

Network Rail chiefs say rail passengers can expect to see more trains and seats, reduced congestion and upgraded stations.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP said: “A key part of this Government's long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure.

"That is why we are putting record amounts of Government funding into our railways over the next five years."

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail’s route managing director, said: “It’s an important and exciting time for the railway, with significant levels of investment being made to meet the increasing demand of an ever-rising number of passengers.

“Improved stations, more tracks and longer platforms, electric trains, reopened railway lines and fewer level crossings – all will help deliver more frequent, more comfortable, more reliable journeys and a safer railway for everyone.”

The five year plan also includes plans to make level crossings safer, improve Network Rail's environmental sustainability and ensure more trains run on time by agreeing to deliver a 92 per cent punctuality level nationally by 2019.