Commuters travelling to Durham, York, Leeds, Edinburgh or London face a 3.1 per cent rise in travel costs after East Coast announced its prices for 2014.
The publicly owned operator will up its prices from January 2 – but claimed a freeze on some unregulated fares means it is doing its bit for hard pressed families.
East Coast managing director Karen Boswell said: “We’re freezing fares to help our customers and encourage more people to travel with us.
“This will help us to continue to grow our business, and to give back even more to the taxpayer.
“This is a straightforward commercial decision which is very good news for our customers and businesses across our route.
“It will also help East Coast to sustain our strong advantage in a highly-competitive travel market.”
She added: “When you take into account the rate of inflation, today’s announcement represents a genuine real terms cut in our overall fares.
“We believe this will attract more people to our trains, and help to maximise revenue.
“It will also help businesses and hard-working people by holding down the cost of travel for many.
“As one of the leading long-distance train operators, we’re doing our bit to help businesses grow, and that has to be welcome news for jobs and investment in the regions we serve throughout Britain.”