18 million passengers a year travel on the East Coast mainline. In the future, their journeys should be quicker and easier.
£240 million pounds is being invested in the line which links the North East with London. The money will be spent on extra carriages, to increase the number of seats on each train. Other investment should lead to faster journey times.
Across the country, more than £9 billion is being spent on rail improvements, so the North East is receiving a relatively small share. Even so, the region's Chamber of Commerce says firms will see the benefits.
The Shadow Transport Minister pointed out that nationally, investment won't begin for another two years.
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hoped the plan would help to bridge the north south divide which he said had 'disfigured' the economy for far too long.