Network Rail ups investment by 33 per cent to £2.74bn

Network Rail revealed this morning that it invested £2.74bn in the first half of 2013 - a 33 per cent increase on the same period last year, and 53 per cent more than just four years ago. Finance director Patrick Butcher said the railway is undergoing its "biggest sustained investment programme since Victorian times." Capital expenditure for the period was £2.7bn, compared with £2.1bn last year. (Release)

Profit before tax was £751m, up from £620m for the same period last year. Revenue was broadly flat at £3.3bn, from £3.2bn like-for-like. Operating profit also remained static at £1.2bn.

Over the past six months, the operator delivered £550m of renovation and rebuilding at King's Cross, and opened a new concourse at Reading station, as part of the ongoing £850m project to unblock one of the country's worst bottlenecks.

Work has begun on the £300m Borders Railway project - which will connect towns on the Scottish border to Edinburgh - along with the £400m project to electrify railways in the North West.

The release also included a statement from PwC which reported that it had been called in to review Network Rail's condensed consolidated financial statements for the period, to consider "any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies", in accordance with the International Standard on Review Engagements. The accountant said that it has not found anything that flouts EU or Financial Conduct Authority regulations.