A one year extension has been granted to Virgin Trains to run the main rail line between the North West and London and Scotland.

The west coast mainline connects London, Birmingham, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh

It will remain under Virgin Trains' operation until March 2020.

This is not a new contract - it is a short extension period as allowed for in the current agreement.

Department for Transport spokesman

In June, services on the east coast mainline were brought back under public control following the failure of the Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) franchise.

Trains on the route - which also runs between London and Scotland - were subsequently run by the Department for Transport's (DfT) operator of last Resort, branded as London North Eastern Railway (LNER).