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Virgin Trains East Coast

Private sector franchise succeeding East Coast, a franchise which was run by the DfT subsidiary Directly Operated Railways between 2009 and 2015.

Principal features of this contract were new rolling stock (Intercity Express trains, which should have been introduced from 2017 ) and additional routes (London and Bradford, Huddersfield, Harrogate, Lincoln, Sunderland). Projected total premiums 2.3 billion at net present value (3.3 billion actual). The end date of 31 March 2023 could have been extended by up to 13 reporting periods (52 weeks).

It became known on 29 November 2017 that the contract would now end in 2020, to be replaced by a form of partnership involving the DfT and Network Rail.

However, further financial losses led to an announcement on 16 May 2018 that the franchise was to be taken over by the Department for Transports Operator of Last Resort from 24 June 2018.

start date
1 March 2015
end date
24 June 2018

owned by
Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Rail Group (10%)

legal title
Intercity Railways Ltd

service area
Long distance and regional services. London Kings Cross-Hull/Middlesbrough/Leeds/Skipton, also Bradford/Huddersfield/Harrogate, Lincoln/York-Edinburgh-Glasgow/Inverness/Aberdeen. London-Sunderland added December 2015.

East Coast

was replaced by


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