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Eurostar bid to run East Coast Main Line

Eurostar are keen to take of the East Coast line Credit: PA

Channel Tunnel high-speed train operators Eurostar is bidding to operate the East Coast Main Line.

The rail route, which runs from London to Scotland, has been operated in the public sector since 2009.

Eurostar is launching a joint bid with French company Keolis to run the line.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said:

"By joining forces with Keolis, we bring a unique blend of expertise and innovation with a fresh perspective.

"The East Coast franchise is a vital economic artery and a key route for both business and leisure passengers which represents an exciting opportunity for future growth and investment."

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Virgin Trains: Delays in Cumbria

There are delays of up to one hour and thirty minutes on Virgin Trains between Glasgow Central and London Euston, and between Edinburgh Waverley and Birmingham New Street, due to a broken down freight train between Oxenholm Lake District and Lancaster.

This also affects First Transpennine Express trains.

West Coast mistakes lead to questions over East Coast franchise

Condemnation has rained down on the Department for Transport which has admitted it made "completely unacceptable" mistakes over the handling of bidding for the West Coast Mainline franchise.

The Department for Transport admits that its staff made serious mistakes when awarding FirstGroup the franchise ahead of Virgin Trains. Put simply they didn't look properly at the financial risks associated with the bid.

Officials' have been suspended and the Secretary of State for Transport has apologised - as he scrapped the decision to award the contract ot First Group.

It's going to cost taxpayers at least £40million. The debacle has raised serious questions not only about THIS franchise but also those awarded in the recent past to companies operating on the East Coast Main Line.

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Three officials suspended over West Coast fiasco

Three Department for Transport civil servants have been suspended following mistakes made in the now-scrapped West Coast Main Line franchise.

The announcement came after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin laid the blame for the fiasco "wholly and squarely" on the DfT.

The errors came to light after Sir Richard Branson launched a legal challenge when Virgin Trains lost out to FirstGroup in the recent competition to operate the route.

"Three officials involved in the West Coast franchise competition were today suspended by the Permanent Secretary while the full facts are established.

"No further details will be issued at this time about the suspensions."

– Spokesman for Department for Transport

West Coast blunder will cost £40m

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin blames Whitehall for West Coast fiasco Credit: PA

The Transport Secretary has said that cancelling the competition to run the West Coast Main Line will cost the taxpayer £40 million.

Patrick McLoughlin said the U-turn on the West Coast Mail Line rail franchise award was "wholly and squarely" down to a Whitehall fault.

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