Commuters have been giving their views to ITV News Central after a consortium involving Sir Richard Branson's train company Virgin Trains was chosen to run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.
The Department for Transport have said there will be more trains from Lincoln as part of the the new East Coast franchise to Inter City Railways, a consortium of Stagecoach and Virgin.
The new deal will include a host of extra benefits for passengers:
- 23 new services from London to key destinations, with 75 more station calls a day;
- plans for new 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; and
- a £140 million investment package to improve trains and stations.
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.
The Department for Transport (DfT) 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.
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.
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.