UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has signed the £3.3bn East Coast rail franchise contract with Inter City Railways, a joint venture between Stagecoach Transport and Virgin.
The DfT selected Inter City Railways for this franchise in November this year.
This eight-year contract starting from 1 March 2015 will offer more seats, services and new trains to passengers between London and Edinburgh.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This is a fantastic deal, which will give passengers on this vital route more seats, more services and new trains, and give UK taxpayers outstanding value for money.
"The new services have only been made possible by the government’s investment in the railways, a vital part of our long-term economic plan."
With more than £140m investment on the line, the new franchise will provide new direct links to Huddersfield, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Dewsbury and Thornaby.
It is expected to bring 65 modern, high-speed electric trains on the line by 2020 with new services from London to key destinations.
The franchise will take delivery of the new Intercity Express trains from Hitachi in 2018.
With additional trains from London to various stations, the franchise will deliver 2,200 additional seats across the entire train fleet during its term.
In addition, the travel time between London and Leeds will be reduced by 14min and from London to Edinburgh by 13min.
Image: The 65 modern high-speed electric trains will replace 39 existing trains by 2020. Photo: courtesy of UK Department for Transport.