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Virgin to run West Coast line

Rail operator Virgin has been asked to continue running the West Coast Main Line for another 9-13 months. The Government's temporary fix comes after its u-turn over the award of a new franchise to First Great Western earlier this month.

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Bidding process to run alongside Virgin extension

The current franchise agreement with Virgin Rail Group expires on December 9. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The Department of Transport has confirmed it will "negotiate with Virgin Rail Group" for them to continue to operate rail services on the West Coast Main Line for a "short period" of nine to 13 months.

During the period, an open competition will be run for an "interim franchise agreement".

The interim agreement will then run until the new long term West Coast franchise is ready to start. The Department added: "The government believes that this is the best way to ensure services are maintained and that there is no impact on passengers."

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