May 23, 2018

Government terminates Virgin Trains East Coast franchise

16 May 2018, 05:31 | Taylor George

East Coast Mainline: Government Expected To Renationalise One Of Britain's Busiest Railway Lines

Exclusive: Government to 'renationalise' East Coast rail after string of failures

Grayling told MPs that the business would be "publicly run for a short period", mirroring the period between 2009 and 2014 when Directly Operated Railways managed ICEC services under the East Coast brand.

From June 24, VTEC is to be replaced by the London North Eastern Railway brand, evoking the name of the company which ran the East Coast Main Line prior to nationalisation in 1948.

"East Coast is now the top-rated franchised train service in Great Britain - with 92 per cent overall satisfaction with the last journey in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey".

It is the third time since 2007 that the 393-mile (632 km) route has been returned to government hands, highlighting the difficulties for private companies of accurately bidding to run services on the privatised train network.

He added: 'Stagecoach will be held to all of its contractual obligations in full'.

The London to Edinburgh line has been run by a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, for the last three years.

The British government is renationalising the rail route between London and Edinburgh, taking back the line from private operator Stagecoach after the company over-estimated the profits it could make on the route.

"In February, I said that I was considering two options to continue delivering passenger services in the run-up to the creation of the new East Coast Partnership", Grayling told Parliament on May 16.

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"Come on Chris, East Coast line today, the whole system tomorrow", he tweeted, jokingly.

Mr Grayling said in February that the financial outlook for Stagecoach had rapidly deteriorated in recent months, with the company incurring losses of nearly £200m.

Rail services through part of Nottinghamshire are being brought back under public control.


"While reliability must continue to improve, and promised and new investments made, passengers will continue to judge services by the performance on the day of the train company and Network Rail, value for money, cleanliness of the train and crowding levels".

"Anything else risks playing out the same expensive farce over and over again".

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the main train drivers' union, said it hoped Mr Grayling would now bring the rest of our railways into public ownership too.

The Government will renationalise one of Britain's busiest railway lines after its private operators admitted they could not afford to keep running it.

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