Virgin to get an extra year running west coast mainline

Virgin to get an extra year running west coast mainline

Delay in franchise schedule lets Sir Richard Branson’s firm run the line for another year as government says the bid winner will also run HS2

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Rail looks set to be granted a further, uncontested 12-month contract to run west coast intercity trains, after the government confirmed that the next winner of the franchise would also operate the first high-speed HS2 trains.

A new delay in the Department for Transport’s franchising schedule has left the door open for Branson to keep the service for another year. Branson has taken an average £17m in annual dividends from Intercity West Coast, the London to Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow service, over the last three years.

Related: HS2’s promise of a jobs bonanza is an absurd way to look at things | Nils Pratley

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Source: Guardian Transport

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