The Government is to announce a £9 billion injection of cash into the railway network as ministers seek to breathe life into the flagging economy.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening will set out details of what is being billed as the biggest programme of investment in the railways since the Victorian era.
The plan, covering the period 2014 to 2019, is expected to include electrification projects such as the completion of the Midland Main Line and the funding to complete ongoing schemes such as Thameslink and the cross-London Crossrail.
Rail campaigners welcomed the prospect of increased investment in the network but warned against massive fare hikes to pay for it.
Among the projects which could benefit are the Northern Hub, a series of projects around Manchester to get more and faster trains across the north of England.
Upgrades could be made to the East Coast Line from London to Leeds and Newcastle and a possible reopening of the east-west link from Oxford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire also features.
This January the annual increase in regulated fares, which include season tickets, was limited to RPI inflation plus 1 per cent, based on the RPI figure for July 2011.
With inflation running high last year, passengers ended up paying an average of 6 per cent more for their season tickets at the beginning of this year.
Inflation is now lower, but the Government is committed to rises of RPI plus 3 per cent in January 2013 and January 2014, so commuters will face further price hikes next year.