| Code: 31538 |

TIN news:   UK's Department for Transport has decided to award the Intercity East Coast franchise to Inter City Railways, a joint venture between Stagecoach Transport and Virgin.
 
Under a £3.3bn contract, the new franchise will run for a period of eight years starting from 1 March 2015.
 
During its term, the franchise will deliver more than £140m in investment on the line, including new trains, more services and additional seats.
 
Stagecoach Group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: "We have some fantastic ideas to deliver a more personal travel experience for customers.
"Investing in the committed people who will make that happen is a big part of our plans, giving opportunities for them to develop and grow into more senior roles."
 
"Investing in the committed people who will make that happen is a big part of our plans, giving opportunities for them to develop and grow into more senior roles.
 
"At the same time, we have developed major programmes to help young people, communities and small businesses along what is one of the UK's major rail routes."
 
Inter City Railways will start 23 new services from London to major destinations and also new direct connections to Huddersfield, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Dewsbury and Thornaby. It is expected to bring 65 modern, high-speed electric trains on the line by 2020.
 
In addition, the franchise will offer 3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time by 2020 and a total of 12,200 additional seats, which will be a 50% increase from existing seat availability.
 
With these improvements, the travel time between London and Leeds will be reduced by 14min and from London to Edinburgh by 13min.
 
Additional benefits to be delivered include the renovation of the existing train fleet, Wi-Fi connections, onboard catering, enhanced ticket offices and 170 new ticket vending machines and 411 additional cycle spaces and new secure cycle facilities.

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