The East Coast main line is expected to be back in private hands in less than two years under rail franchise plans announced by the Government.
The line has been run under the control of the Department for Transport since November 2009 after transport company National Express pulled out.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced the start of a bidding competition for the East Coast franchise with an expected start of service by the new operator in February 2015.
He also published a detailed timetable for all rail franchise arrangements over the next eight years, following a major review after the West Coast bidding process had to be abandoned last year.
More top news
The official Twitter account backing the search for Madeleine McCann has blocked the account which supports the campaign to find Ben Needham
Weather starts to change overnight Sunday into Monday. Mild few days to come, but heavy showers at times. Improving later in the new week
Fine weekend once early mist clears, foggy night. Unsettled new week, windier also