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Bidding starts to run East Coast main line

The East Coast main line, which runs through Stevenage and Peterborough, is to be re-privatised under plans announced by the Government.

The franchise has in the past been given up twice by the private sector, with the line being run by the Department for Transport since the end of 2009.

A bidding competition has now started with a new operator expected to be in place by February 2015.

Did Beeching save the railways or damage them? We want your views.

Dr Richard Beeching holding aloft a copy of the pamphlet 'The Reshaping of British Railways', in Marylebone, London. Credit: PA

Fifty years ago Dr Richard Beeching's report 'The Reshaping of British Railways' changed the country's rail network forever.

Dr Beeching had made it his job to "make the railways pay", and around 2,000 stations were axed.

Did Beeching save a bankrupt railway or did he damage them for the future? What do you think? Do you have memories of the Beeching cuts? Send all your comments to


Transport union critical of East Coast main line announcement

A transport union boss has described the Government's announcement to privatise the East Coast main line as "profiteering".

General secretary of the RMT Bob Crow said: "Despite wasting hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on the franchising circus, and instead of learning the lessons of the privatisation disasters on the East and West Coast main lines and across the rest of the network,

the Government has this morning given the green light to a whole new wave of profiteering that will have the train companies laughing all the way to the bank."

Privatisation puts passengers 'in the driving seat'

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said privatising the East Coast main line would put passengers "in the driving seat".

Mr McLoughlin said: "This programme is a major step in delivering tangible improvements to services, providing long-term certainty to the market and supporting our huge programme of rail investment.

"Above all, in future franchise competitions we are placing passengers in the driving seat by ensuring that their views and satisfaction levels are taken into account when deciding which companies run our railway services."


  1. Claire McGlasson

Beeching's legacy: Fifty years after the cuts

A steam train Credit: ITV News Anglia

In one of our reports coming up on ITV News Anglia (6pm tonight) Claire McGlasson is at the Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough.

The Peterborough to Rugby line was one of the railways shut down after the Beeching report in 1963.

Brian White, curator of the museum, said: "This line was principal in making Peterborough the large city that it is today.

"On the day it opened they suggest that the interest in the railway doubled the population of Peterborough. It brought a lot of people into the city and industrially it was important."

Claire McGlasson onboard a steam train in Peterborough Credit: ITV News Anglia
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