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.

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Rail franchise timetable faces delays

Nearly every planned new franchise date has been put back under changes to the system:

  • On the West Coast, Virgin originally agreed to carry on running the line until November 2014. However, the Government says the new franchise won't start until April 2017
  • The Great Western franchise due to end in October this year, won't start until July 2016
  • Northern franchise, due to end in April 2014, won't begin until February 2016
  • South Eastern franchise, due to end in April 2014 won't start until June 2018
  • Essex Thameside, where the franchise ends in May this year won't begin until September 2014

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