Nationalise the railways: East Coast train line entering public control

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Chris Grayling says talk of nationalising the whole rail network was

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Chris Grayling says talk of nationalising the whole rail network was"missing the point

"I will terminate Virgin Trains East Coast contract on 24 June 2018", Grayling told lawmakers, adding that the franchise would relaunch as London and North Eastern Railway.

(90%) and Virgin (10%) - was awarded the franchise to run trains between London King's Cross and Edinburgh for eight years in 2014.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling is expected to announce the fate of the East Coast rail franchise "within days".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the East Coast franchise "is not a failing railway" and Stagecoach and Virgin got their sums wrong.

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

Stagecoach said it and Virgin had been negotiating for a new contract with the Department for Transport but that it understood Mr Grayling was "no longer considering" them for the deal.

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


Former transport minister Lord Adonis labelled the government's decision a "bailout" for the companies that would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds.

Those companies have run the lines on a for-profit basis, but the government has been forced to step in when those contracts have failed, and the government-owned Directly Operated Railways ran the East Coast service from 2009-2015.

VTEC is the third private operator to fail to complete the full length of a contract to run services on the East Coast route.

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

The failure of the current East Coast contract under the pro-privatization Conservative government plays into the hands of the opposition Labour party who have pledged to nationalize industries like rail and water.

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

"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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