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Transport Sec to address rail line future

The immediate future of a main London to Scotland rail route - thrown into doubt following a botched franchise process - is likely to become clearer later today.

The Government is expected to announce that Sir Richard Branson's train company, Virgin Rail, can for a time carry on running trains on the West Coast Main Line.

It is believed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin could also publish the independent report he commissioned when he was forced to scrap the West Coast franchise bidding process.

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Passengers 'will see no impact' of Main Line mistakes

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP told the House of Commons that Virgin will continue to run the West Coast Main Line for the next nine to thirteen months. He said passengers would "see no impact" of the mistakes made by the Government.

"I am committed to ensuring passengers see no impact as the result of these mistakes. [...] Clearly we need to learn the lessons from the two reviews and will need to run a new competition for the West Coast franchise"

Centrica boss to chair West Coast inquiry

by - Former Business Editor

Sam Laidlaw, Centrica's boss, will complete the initial review into what went wrong in the bid by the end of October, with the full report released by the end of November.

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said other franchises that have been "paused" should be restarted ASAP, but that can't be until after December.

'Untenable' for West Coast Main Line bid to go ahead

by - Former Business Editor

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the House of Commons it would be "untenable" for the West Coast Line contract to have gone ahead, but there has been no suggestion any bidders did anything wrong.

Interesting, he's full of praise for First Group, and says this mess should have no influence on future bids or how they run their contracts.

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