Nearly £2 million is to be spent on lengthening platforms on the Midlands rail network.

Councillors on the region's Passenger Transport Authority are set to allocate the money to kick start a major plan to increase capacity.

The £1.6 million will be used to lengthen platforms at key stations to enable operators to add extra carriages to trains.

PTA chairman Councillor Gary Clarke said: "More and more people are travelling by train in the West Midlands and this makes a big contribution to tackling congestion."

A Strategic Rail Authority study of capacity problems on the region's rail network recently concluded that adding more carriages, rather than adding to the timetable, would be the best way to handle growth in passenger numbers over the next ten years.

A report by the West Midlands public transport promoter Centro to the policysetting PTA recommends allocating a slice of its rail development fund to investigating which stations can take longer platforms and then to delivering the programme.

The investment is expected to be approved by the PTA urgency sub-committee this afternoon. Councillors have previously used money from the rail development fund to increase the frequency of trains on Birmingham's Cross City Line.