Sir Richard Branson's train company is set to lose its West Coast main line rail franchise in a Government decision which will spark a storm of protest.
In an imminent announcement, the Government is expected to say that transport giant FirstGroup has beaten Virgin Rail in the new-franchise battle to run the London to Scotland line.
It will mean an end to Virgin's 15 years of operating the line which has seen tilting, high-speed Pendolino trains serve such cities as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
The West Coast carried around 13 million passengers a year in 1997. The annual total is now around 31 million.
Remember the Virgin Trains mess? Later an official report into what went wrong will be made public.
The Government has been forced to admit the profitable West Coast Main Line contract has yet to be signed, thanks to a legal bid by Virgin.