ITV News can exclusively reveal the final designs of a new generation of InterCity trains soon to take to the tracks in the region.
It was 'Thunderbirds to the rescue' overnight as hundreds of passengers were stranded on an Edinburgh-bound train battered by winds.
East Coast Trains have resumed a limited service between York and Darlington, and an amended timetable between Newcastle and Edinburgh.
East Coast trains have confirmed that cows on the line south of York, which were causing trains to go slow on the East Coast Mainline, have now been cleared and all services are back to normal.
East Coast issued this statement early on Tuesday evening:
"Owing to animals on the line between York and Doncaster trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 10 mins at short notice.
An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
East Coast apologise for any delay to your journey."
Rail bosses hope hundreds of new bullet-style carriages being worked on in Japan, will help ease congestion on the rail network.
ITV News had exclusive access to a full-size mock train, the likes of which will serve around 15 of our region's stations.
Jon Colley, from East Coast Trains, says there will be numerous benefits for passengers:
Three rail unions are calling for a judicial review into the Government's decision to privatise the East Coast mainline.
ASLEF, RMT and TSSA believe that their members’ jobs and conditions, as well as the interests of passengers and taxpayers, are threatened by the Government’s failure to adequately consult over the future of East Coast.
The unions have significant concerns that despite the Brown review of rail franchising recommending that the procurement for rail franchise should take place over a minimum of 24 months, the Government is rushing through the privatisation of East Coast
They argue that, in its haste to push services back into the private sector, the Government has cut corners, including breaching its own commitment to proper consultation of stakeholders, including passenger groups and the rail unions.
ASLEF, RMT and TSSA are conscious of the disastrous end to the InterCity East Coast franchises run by GNER and National Express as well as the Department for Transport mistakes in the InterCity West Coast franchising competition.
The Unions are concerned that there is again the risk that overbidding by private operators and inadequate and rushed evaluation of the bids will, as on previous occasions, lead to cuts to staff and services and even the franchise collapsing again.
Companies bidding to run trains on the East Coast Mainline will have the chance to serve five new routes, to Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Harrogate, Scarborough and Huddersfield.
The government has invited three companies to submit details bids for the rail franchise East Coast, which has been in public hands since 2009.
The invitation to tender also includes a preference for faster and more frequent services to and from King's Cross and faster average journey times to Leeds and Edinburgh, from May 2020.
Three companies have invited to submit detailed bids to run the East Coast franchise, which operates trains on the East Coast Mainline between London and Edinburgh.
- Inter City Railways Limited (Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited and Virgin Holdings Limited)
- Keolis/Eurostar East Coast Limited (Keolis (UK) Limited and Eurostar International Limited)
- East Coast Trains Ltd (First Group plc).
The franchise has been in government hands since November 2009, when National Express gave it up, saying it could not afford to run it any more. Government plans to re-privatise the service have been subject to protests from those who feel it would be better left in public ownership.
The successful bidder is expected to be announced in November. The new franchise will start in March 2015 and run for eight years with the possibility of a one-year extension.
Campaigners against the re-privatisation of the rail company East Coast will be demonstrating along the route this morning.
Action for Rail is joining trade unions in saying the company is better off in public ownership, but the government says directly running East Coast was only a short-term plan.
The protest will be held at stations between Edinburgh and Kings Cross, including Newcastle Central and Durham. It has been timed to coincide with the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, in York.
East Coast trains has lifted all ticket restrictions for this evening as another storm closes in.
The train operator is advising passengers to travel as early as possible as forecasters predict wind speeds of up to 70 miles per hour across the North East.
– East Coast spokesman
We have been closely monitoring weather conditions and taking advice from the Met Office throughout the day.
Our advice to all customers is to complete journeys as early as possible this evening, to check before setting out, and to allow extra time to make your journey.
Train services across the UK are being disrupted due to the on-going storms and flooding, with train companies issuing advice via Twitter:
Buses replace trains between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth because of overhead wire problems between Aberystwyth and Dovey Junction #UKStorm
Good Morning, the line between Liverpool-Crewe is blocked until 10am, passengers travelling to London need to travel via Warrington...