The investment by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region will help meet a forecast doubling in demand for rail travel across the region.
A new First Transpennine Express services between Liverpool and Glasgow is scheduled to begin operations in 2019, as are new Liverpool-Chester services.
Of the £340m, Network Rail is contributing £229m with the Liverpool City Region putting in £111m.
The work will include:
- building new and longer platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station to accommodate more services and longer trains
- renewing tracks on the underground loop on the Merseyrail network
- adding additional track between Huyton and Roby to allow faster trains to overtake local services
- building a new station at Maghull North and revamping Newton-le-Willows station
- installing a new section of railway to enable frequent new services between Liverpool and Chester, with ambitions of extending these into North Wales.
The new Liverpool-Chester service involves re-opening the Halton Curve. The full business case for the scheme is expected to be considered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in April. If approved, work is expected to begin in June 2017 and be completed by May 2018.