ON THE GROUND
Government takes back East Coast line
RAIL SERVICES on the East Coast Main Line are to be brought back under government control due to the failure of Stagecoach and Virgin, the current operators.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling informed Parliament that the contract is to be terminated on June 24. The Department for Transport will run the line under the name of London North Eastern Railway (LNER) for at least two years until a new contract is granted. “The route has its challenges but it is not a failing railway,” said Grayling. “Stagecoach and Virgin Trains got their bid wrong and they are now paying the price. They will have lost near £200million meeting their contracted commitments.” The companies were contracted to pay £3.3billion to run the franchise until 2023.