UK Government To Nationalise East Coast Rail Service


Whilst I am confident that my constituents will notice very little difference in the day-to-day operation of services following the change from Virgin Trains East Coast to the recreated LNER, it is important that we address the reasons why East Coast have failed in the first place.

But the contract will be terminated on June 24, Mr Grayling said, and the line will be re-named the London and North Eastern Railway, the LNER.

Stagecoach said it has "already impaired intangible assets" and "provided for losses" in relation to the East Coast line in its 2017 financial year results.

It is the third time since 2007 that the 393-mile (632 km) route has been returned to government hands, highlighting the difficulties for private companies of accurately bidding to run services on the privatised train network. Virgin and Stagecoach then announced they were negotiating revised terms.

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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is due to confirm later this afternoon that he will bring the line back into public ownership following a string of failures.

The London to Edinburgh line has been run by a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, for the last three years.

In a statement, a Network Rail spokesperson said: "We will continue to work closely with the DfT and rail operators to make sure we continue to offer the best possible service to passengers and freight companies during the transition period and as we move into the new public-private partnership".

Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths said he was "surprised and disappointed".

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"After three shambolic private sector failures on the East Coast the message should now sink in that these cowboys can not be trusted and should be locked out of the system on a permanent basis".

He said: " I am creating a new board with an independent chair to oversee the operation of the LNER route and work with my Department on building the new partnership.

The government has said that it does not intend to strip Virgin and Stagecoach of the franchising passports which they hold, and thus they would be able to bid for future franchises.

The Member of Parliament for York Outer noted the unique set of infrastructure challenges on the East Coast Main Line, following the Minister's statement in the House of Commons, before asking what steps will be taken to address these.

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After 2020 the expectation is for the East Coast mainline to be operated on a new "public-private partnership model".