Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

East Coast railway line through Stevenage brought back under public control

East Coast railway line through Stevenage brought back under public control

Grayling said: "On that same day we will start with the launch of the new, long-term brand for the East Coast Mainline through the recreation of one of Britain's iconic rail brands, the London North Eastern Railway (LNER)".

The original London and North Eastern Railway was the second largest of the groups created by the Railways Act 1921.

The line that Great Northern operates may come under public control. The main workshops were in Darlington, Doncaster, Gateshead, Inverurie and Stratford, London.

The London to Edinburgh line has been run by a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, since 2015.

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He told the Commons that Stagecoach and Virgin have lost nearly £200m, but there had not been a loss to taxpayers "at this time".

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.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has made a decision to nationalise rail services on the East Coast mainline in response to the current Virgin Trains East Cast franchise not being able to meet its financial commitments.

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

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Former transport minister Lord Adonis, who has been vocal in his criticism of the troubled franchise, said on Twitter that while there were "a lot of questions raised by [Grayling's] vague "public private partnership" statement, the transport secretary is "right to set up a state company as a first step". "We can not expect companies to take on unlimited liabilities otherwise they would not bid for franchises".

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.

In August 2007, National Express agreed a £1.4bn deal, but then handed it back to the government in 2009 amid the financial crisis.

Mr Grayling announced yesterday that Virgin Trains east coast would be stripped of its franchise next month, the third time in little over a decade the operator on the line has collapsed. Adonis has said he was forced to resign as the government was "trying to silence" him over his criticism of its handling of a multimillion pound rail franchise. In Notts the franchise goes through Retford and Newark, and also runs the line from Nottingham to Lincoln.

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He said: "I have to say I don't have a preference for either in the sense that my main concern is the service, that there is no diminution in the service for Scottish passengers, and indeed that there is not an additional cost to the taxpayer for that". "There is ... no suggestion of either malpractice or malicious intent in what has happened", he said. He said season tickets, timetables and employment conditions would remain unchanged.

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