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Transport select committee to hold inquiry into West Coast Mainline contract on October 31

The Department for Transport has many serious questions to answer about what went wrong with the West Coast Main Line franchise competition and the wider ramifications for the other complex contractual negotiations it is involved in, such as the Thameslink rolling stock procurement.

I have written to the Secretary of State to find out more about the reviews he has ordered, the staff who have been suspended and the reporting lines to ministers ahead of the hearing we will hold on October 31.

– Louise Ellman MP, House of Commons Transport Committee chairman


What the changes to the West Coast mainline mean

Virgin Trains have been stripped of the right to run services that link the North West to London and Scotland.

First Group's been awarded the franchise on the West Coast Main Line - and it's promising "substanial improvements" for passengers.

But the main rail union and some campaigners fear job losses and an increase in fares. We want your views after this report from our correspondent Ashley Derricott:

Can FirstGroup deliver on West Coast promises?

A First service passes a Virgin Pendolino train in Glasgow Central Station. Credit: Martin Keene/PA Archive

Can it really be done? FirstGroup, already a big train operator, have swiped the UK's most profitable train line from Virgin. They will pay an eye watering £5.5 billion for the privilege.

Even that is a very big promise to keep but as well as forking out the cash they have come up with a whole shopping list of other commitments.

More from ITV Laura Kuenssberg: Business Editor here.

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