Regional Railways North East
British Rail's Regional Railways sector was split into separate businesses known as 'shadow franchises' beginning on 1 April 1994. The North East sector of Regional Railways became Regional Railways North East and passed into private ownership during March 1997.
The Regional Railways brand identity was retained throughout this period and during the first year of private ownership.
1998 - 2001
Owners MTL launched the Northern Spirit brand during May 1998, a little more than a year after takeover.
Arriva Trains Northern
2001 - 2004
The takeover of MTL by Arriva resulted in the franchise adopting the group-wide Arriva brand and the name Arriva Trains Northern.
In 2004, the Regional Railways North East franchise was dissolved, with its services being transferred to two new franchises: Northern and Transpennine Express.
| Current franchises|
Chiltern | East Anglia (Stansted Express) | East Midlands | Essex Thameside | Greater Western | Integrated Kent Franchise | InterCity East Coast | InterCity West Coast | Merseyrail | New Cross Country | Northern | ScotRail | South Western (Island Line) | Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern | TransPennine | Wales and Borders | West Midlands