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PUBLISHED: 10:22 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:08 25 August 2010

A MAJOR rail project has received a £1 billion loan package.

A MAJOR rail project has received a £1 billion loan package.

Transport for London has agreed the loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help finance Crossrail.

Crossrail will connect the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of the capital.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "Crossrail is vital to the capital's future prosperity and so we are pleased that another important milestone in the delivery of the project has been reached.

"The EIB's backing burnishes Crossrail's international credentials and shows our European counterparts fully expect to benefit from the project as well."

The loan represents 40 percent of TfL's contribution to the project. The new railway is projected to add 10 percent to London's overall transport capacity and provide 40 percent of the extra rail capacity the capital needs.

Main construction of the railway will begin in 2010, with services commencing in 2017.

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