Laing arm Chiltern Railways has signed a franchise extension with the Strategic Rail Authority, which will mean £62m spent on construction-related projects over the next three years.
The new 20-year deal, signed on Monday, will result in the cash being spent on station refurbishments, new car parks and depots by 2005.

Chiltern is the first train operator to be granted a new franchise – the deals have been delayed due to uncertainty following the collapse of Railtrack last October.

Chiltern has run trains on the London-to-Birmingham line for five years. Managing director Adrian Shooter said: “We will be building on the achievements of the last five years with very substantial infrastructure investments to further enhance performance and increase capacity to the benefit of all our current and future passengers.”

The advantage of the deal is that it reduces the risk for financial backers by guaranteeing payments for work carried out, even if any of the parties to the contract collapse.