- What has gone wrong? It seems it was not just a matter of the difference between Virgin's bid and that of FirstGroup but that all the bids from all four competing companies were not properly evaluated by officials.
- What happens now? There are two reviews to look into what happened and, until they report, the bidding process for three other rail franchises has been put on hold.
- What about FirstGroup, Virgin and the two other unlucky bidders? They are getting their bid costs back from the DfT. As usual the real losers here will be taxpayers.
The mess that is emerging over the bidding process for the West Coast Main Line will be costly and raise the question of re-nationalisation.
The decision to award FirstGroup the West Coast Main Line rail franchise has been cancelled, the Department for Transport said.