RAIL engineers say they have completed a major upgrade needed before of state-of-the-art new trains can be used on the line through York next year.

The electricity supply to the East Coast Mainline between London and Doncaster has been upgraded, and platform improvements at three stations are on course for completion tomorrow.

The upgrades will mean Virgin Trains' new Azuma trains can run on the line.

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director of Network Rail’s London North Eastern and East Midlands route, said he was delighted with the progress.

"The East Coast Main Line is a vital route, and the improved service that will follow the introduction of the new fleet will bring major benefits to the economics and communities our railway serves," he added.

The electricity work has seen new substations commissioned and the railway power supply upgraded, in readiness for the longer trains which are due to come into service in 2018.

At Northallerton station platform two is being lengthened by 17 metres, and Durham and Stevenage stations are also seeing platforms extended to accommodate the trains.