- FirstGroup, who were due to take over the running of the West Coast Main Line in December, will no longer be awarded the franchise.
- The Department for Transport will no longer contest the judicial review sought by Sir Richard Branson's company Virgin Rail - who currently run the service.
- Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has ordered two independent reviews into the competition process.
- An announcement is expected later today about the suspension of government staff while investigations are conducted.
- The Government has paused all other outstanding franchise competitions.
- Officials have now been asked to examine the options for the operation of the service after December 9.
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.