A consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.
Virgin will be running the UK's two main London to Scotland rail routes in 2015. The Government announced today that a consortium involving Virgin Group and Stagecoach had been chosen to operate a new eight-year East Coast franchise.
Virgin and Stagecoach already operate the West Coast main line.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the new franchise was "a fantastic deal for passengers and for staff on this vital route" and would give passengers "more seats, more services and new trains".
But shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher disagrees. He says the travelling public had been "sold down the river".
Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, has branded the East Coast decision a 'betrayal'.
A consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year. The decision marks the return to the private sector for East Coast, which has been run by the Department for Transport since 2009.
The general secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef, Mick Whelan, has described the East Coast announcement as 'hugely disappointing'.
It was announced that a consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line.
Police have charged a 34-year-old man with attempted murder after a stabbing in Washington.
A woman was taken to the RVI after she was found stabbed at an address in Avon Terrace, Columbia, on November 26.
The woman remains in hospital and is in a stable condition.
Police have released CCTV after a man was assaulted in Gateshead.
A 51-year-old man was punched by another man while trying to break up a fight in Durham Road, Low Fell, on September 28.
He was knocked unconscious and suffered a head injury.
Enquiries are ongoing and police are releasing images of a man they want to speak to about the incident. He was seen in the area around the time of the assault and may have information that could help them.
The Transport Secretary has said he believes the East Coast announcement is good for the taxpayer. A consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year. Patrick McLoughlin says £38billion will be spent on the network.
Plans for the first ever direct services from Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Thornaby to London have been revealed.
The government has announced that Stagecoach and Virgin will run the East Coast franchise from next year. The joint venture will be called Inter City Railways.
How this will benefit the North East:
Proposals for more trains to London from Newcastle;
Plans for the first ever direct InterCity East Coast service to Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Thornaby from London
Improved ticket offices at Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed stations
Better cycling facilities and free wi-fi at Darlington, Durham and Berwick-upon-Tweed stations
3,100 extra seats across for the morning peak times by 2020
65 trains brought into passenger service from 2018
£140 million investment package to improve trains and stations across the East Coast.
Stagecoach are pledging faster and more frequent trains, and new services following the announcement the firm, along with Virgin Trains, have won the franchise to run the East Coast mainline.
The franchise has been run by the Department for Transport since 2009.
The bravery and courage of 26 of our most deserving and inspirational children will be recognised later today (November 27) at a special ceremony at St James' Park in Newcastle.
Each child will receive a Brave Hearts crystal plinth in recognition of the inspirational courage and strength they have shown in battling illness or adversity.
Another cloudy day on Thursday with occasional rain or drizzle along with extensive low cloud and hill fog, but most parts becoming dry by evening.
Maximum Temperature 8C.