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 son of the Yorkshire Ripper's first victim has responded to a letter sent to ITV Calendar by the serial killer.
The former England cricketer reportedly suggested he would have a better chance of being knighted if he "blacked up".
The two-page letter addresses allegations that Sutcliffe attacked men before murdering 13 women