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Update expected today on West Coast rail fiasco

Virgin trains are running the West Coast line on a provisional basis Credit: ITV Central

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will update MPs later today on the West Coast rail franchise fiasco.

The department was forced to scrap the deal with First Group when it was discovered that civil servants had made "unacceptable mistakes" during the tendering process. Virgin trains are running the line on a provisional basis.

Richard Branson attends hearing over West Coast Mainline Contract

Sir Richard Branson on a Virgin Train Credit: PA

Sir Richard Branson is to attend a Transport Committee hearing over the decision to award the West Coast Mainline rail franchise to First Group.

His company Virgin Trains had run the service through the Midlands for 15 years.

Last week he launched a legal challenge, claiming the contract was 'over-valued' and warning FirstGroup may default on its payments if passenger revenue is lower than expected.


Sir Richard Branson taking his battle for the West Coast Main Line to court

Sir Richard Branson Credit: PA

Sir Richard Branson has taken his battle to save his West Coast Main Line rail franchise to the courts.

The Government announced earlier this month that Virgin Trains had lost out to transport company FirstGroup to run the West Coast franchise from December.

Sir Richard Branson branded the bidding process "insane" and threatening to end all involvement with the railways.

FirstGroup said they had every confidence in the Department of Transports process.