The government has announced that the North East's most important rail route will be run by a private company within two years time.
Bidding opened today for the East Coast mainline, and already Virgin Trains has expressed an interest.
Our correspondent Dan Ashby joined Pam in the studio to explain more about what the move to privatisation could mean for the North East.
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Icy first thing and windy, with wintry showers lingering further south, especially at the coast. Brighter elsehwere
Emma brings you Saturday's forecast
Longest spell of winter so far. Bitterly cold with further wintry showers