One of the projects will involve an £85m new stretch of track that will improve journey times in the Liverpool and Manchester area.
Another involves a doubling of the 12.5-mile single track between Swindon in Wiltshire and Kemble in Gloucestershire. Supporters of the £50m project were concerned it would fall victim to spending cuts.
Network Rail has welcomed the decision to bring funding forward for work to develop the Orsdall Chord, a crucial part of the Northern Hub programme.
One assessment of the Northern Hub plans suggested that as many as 23,000 jobs could be created across the North
This could allow for faster more, more frequent trains between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds by the end of 2016.