The UK Department of Transport has announced a $324m (£200m) plan to electrify three rail lines in the North West.

The electrification programme includes the 15-mile Huyton-Wigan line, the 25-mile Manchester-Euxton Junction route and the 17-mile Blackpool North-Preston route.

Combined with the $1.78bn (£1.1bn) investment announced in July to electrify the 200-mile London-Swansea line and the 32-mile Liverpool-Manchester line, the new plan will result in two thirds of the UKs national passenger rail travel being electrified by 2017.

The electrification, along with track and signalling upgrades, is expected to make rail journeys quicker, quieter, more reliable and greener as well as increase the proportion of all electric train journeys from 60% to 67%.