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Inter City Railways: What you need to know

The new operator of the London to Scotland East Coast route will be called Inter City Railways.

It will be run by a consortium involving Virgin, owned by Richard Branson, and transport company Stagecoach.

The new operator of the London to Scotland East Coast route will be called Inter City Railways. Credit: Press Association

Key aspects of the eight-year franchise agreement are listed below:

  • 23 new services from London to key destinations, with 75 more station calls a day
  • Plans for direct links to Huddersfield, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Dewsbury and Thornaby
  • Proposals for more trains to London from Bradford, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Leeds, Lincoln, Newcastle, Shipley, Stirling and York
  • 3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time by 2020
  • Across the entire train fleet there will be 12,200 additional seats - a 50% increase
  • 65 state-of-the-art Intercity Express trains brought into passenger service from 2018, totalling 500 new carriages
  • Journey times from London to Leeds reduced by 14 minutes, and from London to Edinburgh by 13 minutes
  • A £140 million investment package to improve trains and stations
  • Over the next eight years Inter City Railways will pay the Government around £3.3 billion to operate the franchise

Click here to view an interactive map of how the new routes will affect you.

This is a fantastic deal for passengers and for staff on this vital route. It gives passengers more seats, more services and new trains. We are putting passengers at the heart of the service. I believe Stagecoach and Virgin will not only deliver for customers but also for the British taxpayer. This Government knows the importance of our railways. That is why they are a vital part of our long-term economic plan, with over £38 billion being spent on the network over the next five years.

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary

A passion for customers, employees and the community is at the heart of our plans for the franchise. We want to build on the quality and pride of the people who will be joining our team.

– Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach group chief executive

National Fairground Archive celebrates 20th anniversary

The archive houses 20,000 items of ephemera Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield is celebrating its 20th anniversary by revealing its rarest treasures in a new exhibition.The National Fairground Archive started life when a University of Sheffield PhD student studying the social history of travelling show people received a donation of one box of paraphernalia by the infamous fairground family, The Shufflebottoms. Two decades later, the Archive is open to the public, sprawls over three floors of the University of Sheffield's Western Bank Library and employs five full-time members of staff. The Archive holds 150,000 images, 4,000 books and journals and 20,000 items of ephemera, including rare posters, handbills, tickets and programmes from all over the world.

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East Coast consortium announced

A consortium involving Sir Richard Branson's train company Virgin Trains has been chosen to run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

A consortium involving Sir Richard Branson's train company Virgin Trains has been chosen to run the East Coast main line franchise from next year. Credit: Press Association

The Department for Transport said the consortium involving Virgin and transport company Stagecoach, who already run the West Coast line, will start the East Coast franchise in March 2015 .

The award of the new franchise marks a return to the private sector for East Coast which has been run by the DfT since 2009 following the withdrawal of National Express.

Labour and transport unions had fought to keep East Coast in the public sector, pointing to the good returns it has made to the Treasury.

There has been speculation that a consortium of Eurotunnel and French company Keolis which is 70% owned by French state railway SNCF, had been chosen as the new East Coast operator.

But Eurotunnel/Keolis have now missed out, as have the other shortlisted bidder, FirstGroup (correct) which has recently also lost its First Capital Connect and ScotRail franchises.

Job cuts at Yorkshire newspapers

Johnston Press has announced up to 19 job cuts at titles in Yorkshire. Staff at the Yorkshire Publishing Unit, which has 19 titles, including the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, Scarborough News, Halifax Courier series and Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group, were told the editorial budget would be reduced by 8%. Between 15 and 19 jobs could go, equivalent to one per title, by the end of March. The company said this would be in addition to the seven photographers at risk of compulsory redundancy on weekly titles in Yorkshire. The cuts are part of a plan for more sharing of content between titles. Staff were told investment in improved websites was part of this plan.

Funeral for Arpad Kore to be held today

The funeral of one of five teenagers killed in a crash in South Yorkshire will be held in Doncaster later today.

Arpad Kore was one of five teenagers to die in the crash Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The service for 18-year-old Arpad Kore will be held at the Mount Carmel Catholic Church. He died along with four other present and former pupils of Danum School. The church is expected to be packed with his school friends.

Kell Brook on the road to full fitness

Back in August, Kell Brook had the world at his feet. The 28-year-old from Sheffield had managed what only a select few had ever done before. He'd gone to the USA, and won a world title by beating an American in his own backyard. Then three weeks later, he almost lost it all. In fact he almost lost his life. On holiday in Tenerife, he was stabbed in the leg, and lost so much blood it needed a transfusion to save him. But now, at a special training camp in Fuertaventura, he's set out on the long, hard road back to full fitness. Our cameras have been with him.

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Kell Brook back in training after holiday stabbing

Back in August, Kell Brook had the world at his feet. The 28-year-old from Sheffield had managed what only a select few had ever done before.

He had gone to the USA, and won a world title by beating an American in his own backyard.

Then three weeks later, he almost lost it all. In fact he almost lost his life. On holiday in Tenerife, he was stabbed in the leg, and lost so much blood it needed a transfusion to save him.

But now, at a special training camp in Fuertaventura, he has set out on the long, hard road back to full fitness.

Our cameras have been with him:

Mid Yorkshire NHS trust among the country's most complained about

The trust which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals is one of the most complained-about in the country.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust received more than 1,400 complaints in a year which is the third highest number nationally.

A report out today by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman says most complaints are about poor communication, errors in diagnosis and poor treatment. The Mid Yorkshire Trust say they take every opportunity to improve the quality of the services they provide.

Chris Kiddey reports:

Police 'concerned for the safety' of missing 24-year-old

Police are concerned for the safety of a 24-year-old woman who has been missing for a week.

Have you seen missing Alesha? Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Alesha Star, who was previously known as Natasha Higgins, was last seen in Newark on Tuesday 18 November. She left to visit South Yorkshire but was due to return the following day. She has not been seen or heard from since. She has links to both Sheffield and Doncaster.

Alesha is a described as white, around 5ft 2ins tall and of slim build. She was last seen wearing black trousers, a grey hooded jacket, a white sweatshirt and a multi-coloured striped top.

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