Virgin to run West Coast line in short term

City A.M. Reporter
Virgin will continue running the West Coast mainline for at least the next year after the government was forced to pull the franchise award to FirstGroup.

“The current franchise is due to expire on 9 December after which it is the government's intention that Virgin remain as operator for a short period – expected to be between 9 and 13 months – while a competition is run for an interim franchise agreement," the Department of Transport said this morning.

Earlier this month, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin cancelled the competition, which awarded the 13-year franchise to FirstGroup, and said the process will have to be re-run.