US News East Coast rail franchise to come under public control

15:20  16 may  2018
15:20  16 may  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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National Express’ loss-making East Coast main line is to come under public control after making a loss. The company also runs the East Anglian and c2c commuter franchises . These will not fall under public control despite initial threats to strip the company of its other rail deals under

One of the UK's biggest rail franchises will come under public control next week, the Department for Transport announced today. The London-to-Edinburgh East Coast Main Line will transfer to a Government- controlled company at one minute before midnight on 13 November.

Virgin Trains East Coast was a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. Pic: Creative Commons © Other Virgin Trains East Coast was a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. Pic: Creative Commons

Stagecoach has said the loss-making East Coast rail franchise will be brought back under government control.

"We have now been advised by the Department for Transport that the Secretary of State for Transport plans to announce today that he intends to appoint the "Operator of Last Resort" to operate the InterCity East Coast trains services," the company said.

Virgin Trains East Coast was a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. © Sky News Virgin Trains East Coast was a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin.

Virgin Trains East Coast, a joint venture between Stagecoach (90%) and Virgin (10%) won the right to operate the franchise between London and Edinburgh for eight years in 2014.

Its the third private operator to fail to complete its full term in running the services on the route.

In February, Stagecoach's chief executive Martin Griffiths estimated the company's total losses at £260m.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the East Coast franchise "is not a failing railway" and Stagecoach and Virgin got their sums wrong.

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