ITV News has taken an exclusive first look at the new trains which promise to transform travel for millions along the East Coast.
Based on the bullet train, the Intercity Express train is the biggest ever train order for the UK at £6 billion - with around a thousand carriages. They will replace the oldest and most crowded trains on the network with more space and features.
A big difference has emerged in the costs rail firms are paying for the upkeep of their trains.
According to rail regulators, Virgin Trains paid rolling stock charges of £320m in the last year compared to East Coast's £53m on a much older fleet.
It has had a turbulent few years, changing hands three times, but the East Coast Mainline rail franchise is now officially up for grabs again. The route is currently operated by the Government after two previous franchises failed.
Meanwhile, the Transport Secretary has also announced that Ilkeston in Derbyshire is in line to get a station again after more than four decades without. John Willats has this report.
Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle MP, has criticised the Conservative's plan to privatise the East Coast Main Line franchise when it's already 'on track'.
The line is currently operated by the Government, after two previous private franchise deals with GNER and National Express.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin today unveiled long-term plans designed to drive improvements to rail services and deliver on major infrastructure projects.
As part of his plan, The Transport Secretary has confirmed that three new stations are likely to be built across the UK. One of those is expected to be at Ilkeston in Derbyshire.
A final announcement is expected to be made by the Secretary of State for Transport in May.
Today's announcement for the East Coast franchise comes as the Transport Secretary unveils plans to overhaul the entire rail franchising system.
- It includes a detailed timetable for all rail franchises over the next 8 years
- Provide long-term certainty to the market
- Deliver on the independent Brown Review of rail reform
- Put passengers at the heart of the revitalised system
The changes comes after the Government took a U-turn on the decision to award FirstGroup the West Coast Mainline, after finding "significant technical flaws" in the way the bid was handled.
Private companies have been invited to bid for the East Coast rail franchise by the Department for Transport. The line has been run in the public sector since 2009.