TRAIN operator GNER has outlined plans to spend more than £125m on improving services along the East Coast main line.

The company has unveiled its plans after winning a 10-year franchise to run services on the route, which links West Yorkshire with Scotland and London.

GNER said it would operate an extra 12 services a day between Leeds and London by December, 2007, or earlier, after rail improvements near Grantham.

That will take daily services between West Yorkshire and the capital to a record 65.

GNER said it would also spend up to £75m expanding its fleet of diesel high-speed trains from 10 to 13 and refitting the interiors to bring them up to the same standard as its Mallard electric trains.

The company has set a 90% punctuality target by 2010.

It aims to achieve that through a series of measures, including setting up a new control centre in York by September next year, carrying out £4m of work on overhead power lines and leasing an extra rescue locomotive to deal with breakdowns.

A £25m station modernisation programme will include providing 900 extra parking spaces, 400 extra covered cycle spaces and improved access to all 12 GNER-managed stations.

There will also be measures to tackle fare-dodgers, improve station security, provide new information screens and install new self-service ticket machines.