East Coast was the second ‘nationalised’ franchise to be created since general rail privatisation in the mid-1990s (the first was South Eastern).
East Coast was returned to public ownership on 13 November 2009 (23.59hrs) because the last two private sector owners – GNER and National Express East Coast – had both withdrawn when they became unable to pay the premiums included in their contracts.
East Coast was treated as a standalone franchise as far as possible, although its ultimate owner was the Department for Transport via its subsidiary Directly Operated Railways.
13 November 2009
1 March 2015
Directly Operated Railways Ltd (DfT)
East Coast Main Line Company Ltd
Long distance and regional services. London King's Cross, Leeds/York, Newcastle, Edinburgh/Glasgow, Aberdeen/Inverness, Hull.
National Express East Coast
was replaced by
Virgin Trains East Coast