A Virgin Trains passenger who bravely tweeted he'd run out of loo roll has been invited to the train firm's headquarters in Birmingham.Read the full story ›
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.
There are delays of up to 40 minutes on London Midland, East Midlands Trains, Virgin Rail and Northern Rail between Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street due to a signalling problem at Mossley Hill.
Virgin Trains has had plans to run extra services to Shrewsbury on the London to Scotland West Coast Main Line rejected by rail regulators.
The Office of Rail Regulation says there is not enough space on the line to run all the extra services.
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.
The rail route will be put back into private ownership after a long period under state control.
Virgin Trains has been voted the best rail service provider according to a latest survey.Read the full story ›
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.
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.
In its report on the west coast mainline fiasco, the Transport Committee has said embarking on the reform of franchising on the UK's most complex piece of railway was "irresponsible" and needed greater senior executive involvement and more technical expertise.
"A more direct description of what happened is that ministers and senior officials were lied to about how the outcome of the franchise competition had been reached." said the MPs' report.
"We cannot categorically rule out the possibility that officials manipulated the outcome of the competition not only to keep First Group in the running for as long as possible, as Mr Laidlaw suggested, but to ensure that First got the contract."
A Government department was today slammed for being "irresponsible" over its role in the collapse of the £5 billion West Coast Mainline rail contract.
A committee of MPs said the Transport Department had embarked on an "ambitious, perhaps unachievable" reform in haste, and claimed that ministers and senior officials were lied to.
FirstGroup was told it had won its bid to take over the franchise from Virgin Trains, but the decision was scrapped after the discovery of "significant technical flaws" in the way the procurement was conducted.
Virgin has now been told it can run the service until November 2014, with the fiasco costing taxpayers over £40 million.
The mistakes came to light after bidder Virgin Trains, which had run the West Coast Mainline since 1997, launched a legal challenge against the decision.
A Government-commissioned report led by businessman Sam Laidlaw last month gave a damning indictment of how the competition was handled.
Three members of staff at the DfT were suspended over the episode.