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Nat Ex loses its East line early

THE East Coast Main Line rail franchise, which runs services from London to Edinburgh, will be transferred to a government-controlled company on 13 November, a month earlier than anticipated, the Department of Transport (DfT) said yesterday.

The franchise, which will be handed back by ailing bus and rail operator National Express after it ran up large losses on the route, will be operated by a new public company, East Coast, run by former FirstGroup executive Elaine Holt, until a permanent operator is found.