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Virgin Trains delays and cancellations following security alert

Some Virgin Trains are being cancelled or delayed Credit: PA

Passengers in Birmingham hoping to travel on the Manchester to London Euston route may experience delays and cancellations today following a security alert early this morning.

Virgin Trains running from Manchester to London Euston are being affected, with some services cancelled and others heavily delayed.

There are also issues on trains running from Liverpool Lime Street to Euston, with trains calling additionally at Crewe, Rugby and Milton Keynes Central.

You can find more information from Virgin Trains here.


Train Delays: New Street to London Euston line

Ongoing cancellations & delays in London Midland and Virgin train services between Kings Langley and Watford Junction, due to an earlier train hitting masonry in a tunnel.

Passengers who experience delays of more than half an hour or more are eligible for a refund.


  1. National

Rail franchising process plans to be announced

Today the government will announce plans to re-open the rail franchising process, six months after the collapse of the West Coast Mainline deal.

It is thought that the priority will be to agree a new ownership deal for the East Coast mainline.

A new ownership deal for the East Coast mainline could be a priority Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

The rail route will be put back into private ownership after a long period under state control.

The decision is expected to reignite the rivalry between Virgin Trains and FirstGroup, who competed for the west coast franchise last year.

  1. National

Department for Transport needs to be 'reorganised'

MP Louise Ellman told ITV Daybreak that the Department for Transport needs to be reorganised, with more commercial expertise involved, when dealing with specific franchise bids.

MP Louise Ellman is calling for more commercial expertise involved, when dealing with specific franchise bids Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive

In October the Government U-turned on the decision to award FirstGroup the West Coast Mainline, after finding "significant technical flaws" in the way the procurement was conducted.

Virgin are now running the service until November 2014, with the fiasco costing the taxpayer £43 million.

  1. National

Rail franchise deal revealed 'substantial problems'

This episode revealed substantial problems of governance, assurance, policy and resources inside the Department for Transport.

Embarking on an ambitious, perhaps unachievable, reform of franchising, in haste, on the UK's most complex piece of railway was an irresponsible decision for which ministers were ultimately responsible. This was compounded by major failures by civil servants, some of whom misled ministers.

Many of the problems with the franchise competition, detailed in the Laidlaw report, reflect very badly on civil servants at the DfT. However, ministers approved a complex, perhaps unworkable, franchising policy at the same time as overseeing major cuts to the Department's resources. This was a recipe for failure which the DfT must learn from urgently.

– Chair of the Transport Committee Louise Ellman
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