- In August, the Government announced Virgin had lost out to transport company FirstGroup in the bidding war to run a new 13-year West Coast franchise.
- Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson reacted angrily to the decision, branding the bidding process "insane" and launching a legal challenge.
- While preparing for the legal challenge, the Department of Transport discovered "significant technical flaws" in the franchise bidding.
- Three civil servants are suspended as a result and the bidding competition is halted on October 3, crowning an embarrassing U-turn for the Government.
- Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin tells a Commons Select Committee he was happy with the way the bidding had been conducted.
- Virgin has today been offered an extension to run West Coast services for a "short period" of nine to 13 months while the bidding process is re-run.
Rail operator Virgin has been asked to continue running the West Coast mainline for another few months after a Government U-turn.
One railway line, one fudged bid, three more sets of negotations and three years to put it right.
Sir Richard Branson's rail operator has been asked to continue running the troubled West Coast Main Line, while a bidding process is re-run.