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Passengers vent frustration at seven hour delays

Bleary-eyed passengers arrived in Newcastle early this morning after a ten hour journey from London.

The seven-hour delay was caused by overhead wire problems between Doncaster and Peterborough.

The 6pm service was the first affected, arriving into Newcastle's central station at 12:30am.

The following services faced even worse delays, leading many to vent their frustration on social networks.

They joined together using the hashtag #ECDelay to thank fellow passengers, ask for information, and try to make light of a long night on the train.

While others felt that at the end of a long day, a little tipple wouldn't go amiss.

Were you affected by the delays? Get in touch @itvtynetees or email pamandian@itv.com

Compensation offer after severe train delays

Overhead wire problems are causing major disruption. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

East Coast is offering compensation to passengers after severe delays on Northbound services from London last night.

The worst affected train left London at 8pm and took almost ten hours to reach Newcastle - finally arriving at 4:45am.

The operator has blamed 'overhead wire problems' between Peterborough and Doncaster for the lengthy delays, which will continue this morning.

The 8:30 train from London to Newcastle has been cancelled.

Train companies Grand Central, First Hull Trains, Cross Country, Great Northern and East Coast have agreed mutual acceptance on all tickets in a bid to limit disruption, meaning passengers may travel on any service today.

Click here to find out how to claim compensation on your ticket

Were you delayed last night? Get in touch @itvtynetees or email pamandian@itv.com

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East Coast trains go slow because of animals on the line

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."

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New trains to have "numerous passenger benefits"

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:

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Rail unions seek review over East Coast privatisation

Three rail unions are calling for a judicial review into the Government's decision to privatise the East Coast mainline.

Review requested into East Coast privatisation Credit: Press Association

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.

East Coast bids may include new routes to Middlesbrough and Sunderland

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 successful bidder will be expected to continue current services to all destinations Credit: Martin Keene/PA

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.

East Coast bidders invited to tender for franchise

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.

Protests over re-privatisation of East Coast

Campaigners against the re-privatisation of the rail company East Coast will be demonstrating along the route this morning.

The campaign to keep East Coast in public hands has been supported by 60 MPs Credit: Martin Keene/PA

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.

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