Rail regulators have set Network Rail tough new train punctuality targets for the next five years.
Nine out of 10 trains must run on time for all regional, London and south east England and Scottish services for the five-year period starting in April 2014.
But on the East Coast main Line a target of 88% has been set, the same as the West Coast main line.
Announcing rail funding for the 2014-19 period, the Office of Rail Regulation said that by 2019 fewer than three in 100 trains on the West Coast line and around four in 100 on the East Coast line should be hit by cancellation or delays of more than 30 minutes.
The regulator also increased by £32m the funding to close around 500 level crossings and improve safety at hundreds more of the highest-risk crossings.
There is also confirmation of an extra £12bn in rail upgrades which will also help the East Coast service, though most take places outside the North East.
Within this, projects totalling more than £7bn do not yet have clear delivery plans or costs. The regulator is giving Network Rail until March 2015 to work up efficient plans for these enhancements before approving the funds.
The regulators are also proposing that rail users and train operators are given a bigger role to shape the specification and delivery of approved enhancements. This will put passengers at the heart of decisions on how the railway is improved.
Chief executive Richard Price said: “Network Rail has made great strides in improving safety, performance and efficiency on Britain’s railways.
“Supported by significant levels of funding from governments, working more closely with the rest of the industry, and learning important lessons from the past, the company is capable of delivering more for customers and taxpayers.”