'The East Coast Mainline rail service will be brought back under public control after the troubled franchise agreement with Virgin Trains and Stagecoach Group was terminated, it has been announced.
In a stock market statement ahead of an announcement by transport secretary Chris Grayling, Stagecoach said it was “surprised and disappointed” that the government chose not to award it a new deal to continue operating services on the London to Edinburgh route.
Trains will be run by the Department for Transport (DfT) through an operator of last resort (OLR) from 24 June this year.
“So on the same day we will start with the launch of a new long-term brand for the East Coast mainline through the recreation of one of Britain’s iconic rail brands, the London and North Eastern Railway,” said Mr Grayling told Parliament.
Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths, whose company owns 90 per cent of the franchise, said: “We are surprised and disappointed that the Department for Transport has chosen not to proceed with our proposals.
“We believe our plans offered a positive, value-for-money way forward for passengers, taxpayers and local communities, ensuring the continuation of the exciting transformation already under way on East Coast and a smooth transition to the Government’s new East Coast Partnership.”
He added: “However, we respect the government’s decision. We will work constructively with the DfT and the OLR in the weeks ahead to ensure a professional transfer to the new arrangements, supporting our employees and maintaining the same clear focus on our customers as we have over the past three years.'
Read more: East Coast Mainline renationalised by government after Virgin Trains deal terminated
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