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West coast mainline decision

First Group winning the franchise over Virgin was scrapped Credit: PA

An announcement is due later on which company will run the West Coast mainline. The decision to award the franchise to FirstGroup was scrapped over "technical flaws" in the bidding process. The transport secretary will appear before MP's to explain the costly u-turn.

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North West Main Line franchise U-turn

There has been an extraordinary twist in the battle for control of the most important rail link in the North West.

The franchise for the West Coast Main Line was awarded to First Group in August - but the government has now cancelled it.

It says there were "significant flaws" in the bidding process because of mistakes by Department of Transport staff.

Three have now been suspended and taxpayers are now facing a bill of at least £40 million.

Three suspended after North West rail franchise U-turn

Three people at the Department of Transport have been suspended after the Government scrapped its decision to award the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to FirstGroup.

The Transport Secretary said there were "significant technical flaws" in the bidding process because of mistakes by Department for Transport staff.

The estimated cost of reimbursing four companies for the cost of their bids will be £40m. FirstGroup, which beat Virgin Trains to win the franchise, says it's ''disappointed.''

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