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."
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.