Services on the line have been operated by a Department for Transport (DfT) controlled company EAST COAST since November 2009.
From Sunday they are being run jointly by Virgin and Stagecoach, under the name Virgin Trains East Coast.
The DfT said the new franchise would mean "the best deal for passengers", but Labour criticised the move.
When franchise holder National Express pulled out in November 2009, the then Labour government took over the running of the line.
But the current coalition government had always intended to return it to the private sector.
The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015. G&W will pay £490m in cash and assume £8·5m in net debt and capitalised leases. Members of the existing Freightliner management team will retain a stake of approximately 5%, with G&W planning to own 100% by mid-2020.
…in celebration of the Forth Bridge 125th Anniversary.
2015 is the 125th Anniversary of the Forth Bridge – now regarded as Scotland’s most famous landmark and nominated for World Heritage status.
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