Passengers using Central Station in Newcastle will benefit from extra train services that have been confirmed today.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has announced it has approved applications from Virgin Trains East Coast and FirstGroup for new services travelling on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) between London and Edinburgh.
They will be introduced in stages over the coming years, in some cases once Network Rail completes a programme of work to increase track capacity.
The approved applications will also benefit passengers going from and travelling to Morpeth, Middlesbrough, York, Lincoln, Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Stevenage.
ORR did not approve applications from the Great North Eastern Railway Company Limited.
The decisions were made following extensive consultation and analysis of the competing applications, looking at the benefits they would bring to passengers, the effect on public funds, the benefits of competition and whether they would make best use of the capacity on the route.
John Larkinson, ORR’s director of railway markets and economics said: “These new train services will give passengers more choice on services to Edinburgh and London and provide more frequent trains to towns and cities which are not so well served by rail today.
“We thank all the applicants, Network Rail and other participants for their thorough input and engagement throughout this process.
“Our decisions have been informed by extensive analysis, formal industry hearings and detailed engagement with all parties.
“We have carefully weighed up the potential passenger benefits and the financial impacts on existing operators and the Government, as we are required to do by law.”