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New trains to have "numerous passenger benefits"

Rail bosses hope hundreds of new bullet-style carriages being worked on in Japan, will help ease congestion on the rail network.

ITV News had exclusive access to a full-size mock train, the likes of which will serve around 15 of our region's stations.

Jon Colley, from East Coast Trains, says there will be numerous benefits for passengers:

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Protest to keep East Coast rail services public

East Coast train Credit: PA

There will be a demonstration at Doncaster railway station today in support of the Keep East Coast Public campaign.

Today has been designated as a National Day of Action across the stations on East Coast Trains's route from London to Edinburgh, a number of which are in Yorkshire.

It is currently run by the government on a not-for-profit basis after private owners pulled out in 2009. But the bidding process for a new contract is now underway.

The government says its running of the franchise was always a temporary measure. Campaigners claim it has been successful, both financially and in terms of customer satisfaction, so should remain in public ownership.

East Coast bidders revealed

The Government has published a shortlist of three bidders under plans to re-privatise the East Coast mainline - which runs from London through East Anglia, Yorkshire and the North East to Edinburgh - sparking a row over whether the rail franchise should remain publicly-run.

Press Association

Some of the biggest transport firms, already running rail routes across the UK, including the First Group, Stagecoach, Virgin, Keolis and Eurostar, are on the list of preferred bidders for the 393-mile route.

Unions and other groups have been campaigning for months to halt re-privatisation of the franchise, which has been publicly-run since 2009. One union official accused the Government of "economic vandalism".

The three shortlisted biddes are East Coast Trains Ltd (First Group plc); Keolis/Eurostar East Coast Limited (Keolis (UK) Limited and Eurostar International Limited); and Inter City Railways Limited (Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited and Virgin Holdings Limited).

The new franchise will start early next year.

Taxpayer-owned railway earns £208m

Train on the East Coast Main Line
Train on the East Coast Main Line Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The nationalised railway company operating the East Coast main line , which runs through the Calendar region, has returned £208.7 million to taxpayers as revenues soared, fuelling the debate over plans to return it to private hands.

Directly Operated Railways (DOR), which took over the running of the key London-Scotland route four years ago, saw the figure increase by 6.6% in the year to the end of March.

Turnover increased 4.2% to £693.8 million while total sales were up by 4.2%, including ticket revenues, as well as catering and car parks.

The figures reignited the debate about the Government's intention to re-privatise the line - with a new franchise expected to start in February 2015.

Labour and rail unions have questioned the need for re-privatisation, arguing that DOR is returning a high level of money to the Department of Transport and receives a lower taxpayer subsidy than others.

Last week it was announced that Channel Tunnel high-speed company Eurostar was bidding to operate the route jointly with French firm Keolis. The successful bidder is expected to be announced in February 2015.

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Union to step up fight over rail privatisation

The RMT union says it's 'stepping up' its fight to prevent the East Coast Main Line being returned to the private sector.

Trains on the Yorkshire to London line have been run by a publicly-owned company since National Express handed back the franchise in two thousand and nine. The Government is inviting private firms to make bids for to run the route, but the RMT says the current service is improved an profitable.

Members are planning to hold protests at stations along the line on Thursday.

Keep East Coast main line in public hands, says York MP

Rail services on the East Coast main line should not be returned to the private sector, a York MP has said.

Services on the Yorkshire to London line have been run by a publicly owned company since National Express handed back the franchise to the Government in 2009.

Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Today in the Commons, York Central MP Hugh Bayley urged ministers to_ _"look at the feasibility of running a public sector franchise on the East Coast for a period to compare like-for-like with a private franchise on the West Coast line".

Rail minister Simon Burns said that details of future franchises would be announced "in the spring of this year".

Rush hour rail delays continue

Thousands of rail travellers have faced lengthy delays today after a major fault on the East Coast main line. A kilometre of overhead wiring was brought down by an engine last night.

It left two hundred Yorkshire bound passengers stranded overnight at Kings Cross station and delays for passengers which will reach into tomorrow.

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