Overhaul of entire rail franchising system

Today's announcement for the East Coast franchise comes as the Transport Secretary unveils plans to overhaul the entire rail franchising system.

  • It includes a detailed timetable for all rail franchises over the next 8 years
  • Provide long-term certainty to the market
  • Deliver on the independent Brown Review of rail reform
  • Put passengers at the heart of the revitalised system

The changes comes after the Government took a U-turn on the decision to award FirstGroup the West Coast Mainline, after finding "significant technical flaws" in the way the bid was handled.

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Virgin to bid for East Coast line

Virgin Trains has confirmed it is planning to bid for the East Coast rail route. It is set to return to the private sector after the Government announced changes to the franchise bidding process following the West Coast mainline fiasco.