East Coast railway line through Stevenage brought back under public control

East Coast railway line through Stevenage brought back under public control

Stagecoach reported losses on the line, and in November a year ago Grayling announced that the franchise would be terminated in 2020 to enable it to become a public-private railway.

TRANSPORT secretary Chris Grayling is to take over the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise, after talks over a possible direct award for Stagecoach and Virgin to replace the present loss-making contract failed to reach agreement.

But Stagecoach reported losses on the line and in November previous year Mr Grayling announced that the franchise would be terminated in 2020 to enable it to become a public-private railway.

He will then appoint an "operator of last resort" to run the train services on the line.

But he opted for an Operator of Last Resort (OLR) controlled by the DfT, to "begin the transition" to the public-private body named East Coast Partnership.

Services were run by the DfT for six years up to VTEC taking over in 2015.

Grayling said: "The route continues to generate substantial returns for the government".

Rail services on the East Coast Main Line will be brought back under public control after ministers axed the deal with operator Virgin.

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LNER will have a new board and an independent chairman, and in a departure from past practice will feature representatives of both the train operating team and state-backed track owner Network Rail Ltd., Grayling said.

The U.K. Government will take control of a key rail artery linking London with Edinburgh in a move that escalates a debate over whether Britain's wider rail network should be re-nationalized.

United Kingdom government will take back control of the running of the rail route between London and Edinburgh from private operator Stagecoach (temporarily) after the company failed to make the contract work financially. "If Virgin-Stagecoach got their figures wrong, so did the government", said Greenwood.

They will operate under the name of "one of Britain's iconic rail brands", the London North Eastern Railway (LNER), Mr Grayling said.

Employees working for Virgin Trains East Coast will transfer over to LNER.

Lord Adonis, who resigned as the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission in protest at what he called the bailout of the train firms at taxpayers' expense, said Wednesday's decision was "vindication" of his criticisms, and that Grayling had now done the right thing.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said that while the company was "surprised and disappointed" at the government's decision not to allow it to continue running the ICED franchise under a revised contractual arrangement, it "respected" the decision. Quite the contrary. The disciplines of private sector operation returned more investment and better returns to taxpayers than public sector operation did.

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