Rail unions have launched a legal battle against the Government over the awarding of franchises to train companies.
Union members' jobs and conditions, as well as the interests of passengers and taxpayers, were threatened by a lack of consultation, The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Aslef and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said.
They are seeking a judicial review after accusing the coalition of "rushing through" the privatisation of the East Coast so it is completed before next year's General Election.
Officials said ministers had "cut corners" and had not carried out a proper consultation of passenger groups and unions.
They are also challenging extensions to the Thameslink and Great Northern franchises.