Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

East Coast main line trains back in public hands next month

East Coast main line trains back in public hands next month

The loss-making service is being renamed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) which is the name used by the company that operated the line before nationalisation in the late 1940s.

The East Coast main line franchise is a joint venture of Stagecoach, which owns 90% of the franchise, and Virgin, which holds 10%.

He added there will be no sanctions against Virgin or Stagecoach for their failures.

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.

"In February, I said that I was considering two options to continue delivering passenger services in the run-up to the creation of the new East Coast Partnership", Grayling told Parliament on May 16.

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Stagecoach Group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: "We are surprised and disappointed that the Department for Transport has chosen not to proceed with our proposals".

Mr Grayling's decision marks the third time in under a decade that ministers have had to intervene on the line which was privatised in 1996 when Great North Eastern Railway took the ill-fated franchise.

"However, we respect the government's decision".

Former John Lewis boss and current mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, is being brought on board to advise with the East Coast Main Line services being taken back under government control. Supporters claim it saves the taxpayer money in the long run, and improves customer service and reliability.

"Having more stability in the underlying contract between Government and the train company will help achieve these things that matter most to passengers".

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

He said: "Every announcement is a smokescreen to divert attention from the failings of the Transport Secretary's policy".

The Government will renationalise one of Britain's busiest railway lines after its private operators admitted they could not afford to keep running it.

"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".

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