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.
This programme is a major step in delivering tangible improvements to services, providing long-term certainty to the market and supporting our huge programme of rail investment.
Above all, in future franchise competitions we are placing passengers in the driving seat by ensuring that their views and satisfaction levels are taken into account when deciding which companies run our railway services.
Franchising has been a force for good in the story of Britain's railways, transforming an industry that was in decline into one that today carries record numbers of passengers.
Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle has told Daybreak that the Government's plan to prioritise a new ownership deal for the East Coast mainline is "a bit of an odd choice".
"Competition has failed twice in spectacular fashion" on the East Coast franchise, she said, "now that [they] are putting that right, returning money to the treasury, returning money to the taxpayer, improving services... why is it a priority?"