East Coast line bailout puts rail privatisation back in spotlight
Once again, a franchise operator has bid too much for a contract and run out of steam
For the third time in a decade, an East Coast rail franchise operator has shown little of the financial prudence once associated with the great cities linked by its trains from London to Yorkshire and Scotland. Following the failures of GNER in 2007 and National Express in 2009, Virgin Trains East Coast has run out of steam, with the government declaring a financial covenant breached and the contract set to fail in months.
The latest incumbent has, like its predecessors, bid too much to run a lucrative line whose potential revenues have fallen short, at a time when economic uncertainty has gnawed away at ticket sales.
Source: Guardian Transport