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  • Topic: UK RAIL FRANCHISE TAKEN OVER BY GOVERNMENT

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    • May 16, 2018 8:40 AM EDT
      • KENILWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE UK. (Just up the road from Stratford-Upon-Avon)
         
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      UK RAIL FRANCHISE TAKEN OVER BY GOVERNMENT

      Rail services on  the UK East Coast Main Line    (London -Edinburgh)   are being brought back under UK government control.

      Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told parliament that taking control would provide the smoothest transition to a operation.

      The loss-making service is being renamed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). (Original name many years ago when it was private)....

      It is the third time in a decade that the government has called a halt to the East Coast franchise.

      The last time it came under Govt control it made a profit!

       

       

      This post was edited by Ross Mansell at May 16, 2018 8:42 AM EDT
    • May 16, 2018 12:00 PM EDT
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      Which makes a change from other UK franchises that are owned by another country's state owned rail operators. Example the one that runs through here, Chiltern run by DB, better known Deutsche Bahn, who also run freight and heritage train services. Never mind those other European nationalised operators that have a finger in the pie here.  

    • May 16, 2018 2:18 PM EDT

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      Time to bring back the Gresleys into service.

    • May 16, 2018 2:58 PM EDT
      • KENILWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE UK. (Just up the road from Stratford-Upon-Avon)
         
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      Max Winter said:

      Which makes a change from other UK franchises that are owned by another country's state owned rail operators. Example the one that runs through here, Chiltern run by DB, better known Deutsche Bahn, who also run freight and heritage train services. Never mind those other European nationalised operators that have a finger in the pie here.  

       

       

      Most of these rail companies foreign owned ...subsidise their services in their own country from the high fares they charge UK passengers for the same distances.  But lets face it.  Its easier to and quicker fly to Edinburgh from London and cheaper than the rail fare!

       

       

       

    • May 16, 2018 4:57 PM EDT
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      david bunn said:

      Time to bring back the Gresleys into service.

       

      Can we have Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada back please. And will the A1 trust hurry up with that P2 too. Things are getting desparate.

    • May 16, 2018 7:00 PM EDT
      • Missouri
         
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      Found some details in the rail news journals.

      https://www.railjournal.com/index.php/main-line/british-government-takes-direct-control-of-east-coast-franchise.html?channel=000

      The Stagecoach (90%) - Virgin (10%) joint venture was awarded an eight-year contract in November 2014 to operate inter-city services between London King’s Cross, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. VTEC’s bid was based on a premium payment of £3.3bn over the duration of the franchise.

      However, Stagecoach told investors in February that VTEC’s four-weekly premium payments had been 30% higher than those made by its state-owned predecessor East Coast (which replaced National Express when its franchise failed), despite “a challenging economic environment, increasing political uncertainty, significantly lower rates of growth across the British rail network over the past two years and sustained poor performance by NR.”

      A key element of the VTEC franchise bid was the expansion of services from 2019 onwards based on the delivery of new trains (currently under construction) and a programme of infrastructure enhancements on the East Coast Main Line (ECML). However, much of the work required has been delayed. Stagecoach has been trying to negotiate an amendment to the franchise agreement, including premium payments to reflect these “materially changed circumstances.”

      and

      http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/government-terminates-virgin-trains-east-coast-franchise.html

      From June 24, VTEC is to be replaced by the London North Eastern Railway brand, evoking the name of the company which ran the East Coast Main Line prior to nationalisation in 1948. 

      He expected the majority of the enhanced services planned by Virgin and Stagecoach for delivery by 2023 to be implemented by LNER, although this would largely depend on the ability of infrastructure manager Network Rail to deliver them. He reiterated that, as the proposed East Coast Partnership contractual structure evolved, the ECML infrastructure would remain in the hands of the public sector via NR. 

      Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said that while the company was ‘surprised and disappointed’ at the government’s decision not to allow it to continue running the ICEC franchise under a revised contractual arrangement, it ‘respected’ the decision. ‘We will work constructively with DfT and DOHL in the weeks ahead to ensure a professional transfer to the new arrangements, supporting our employees and maintaining the same clear focus on our customers as we have over the past three years’, he said.

      ‘Despite today's news, we believe that we can continue to make a positive contribution to the UK rail market, delivering long-term customer benefits and sustainable returns for taxpayers and investors’, he added. 

      The government has said that it does not intend to strip Virgin and Stagecoach of the franchising passports which they hold, and thus they would be able to bid for future franchises.

      • Grayling also said that the government was assessing options for transferring some Govia Thameslink Railway commuter services operating on the ECML to LNER when the TSGN franchise ends in 2021 and enhanced cross-London services have been implemented under the Thameslink Programme. This transfer could also see Transport for London incorporate more shorter-distance routes into its London Overground operation.
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