West Coast Main Line News

West Coast main line reopens after nine-day project

West Coast main line reopens after nine-day project

26 July 2013 Press Release Rail & Coach News

Major improvements to the West Coast main line between Warrington and Preston were successfully completed on Monday morning after nine consecutive days of engineering. Four junctions - Golborne, Bamfurlong, Wigan Springs Branch and Balshaw Lane - were replaced and three miles of track re-laid to help increase line speeds and make journeys more reliable.

West Coast franchise debacle to cost £50m

West Coast franchise debacle to cost £50m

26 February 2013 Rail & Coach News

The UK Public Accounts Committee has warned the disaster in awarding the InterCity West Coast franchise could cost taxpayers at least £50 million. On the basis of evidence from the department for transport the committee said a “complete lack of common sense” has precipitated the failed process.

Virgin Trains handed 23 month West Coast extension

Virgin Trains handed 23 month West Coast extension

6 December 2012 Rail & Coach News

Ministers at the department of transport attempted to quell unrest among rail passengers earlier by offering a series of sops to commuters. Announcing Virgin Trains would run the West Coast Mainline for another 23 months, following the botched tender process, department officials confirmed the service would now feature 28,000 more seats a day.

Virgin to run West Coast Mainline into 2013

Virgin to run West Coast Mainline into 2013

15 October 2012 Rail & Coach News

The department for transport has confirmed it will negotiate with Virgin Rail Group for them to continue providing rail services on the West Coast Main Line for a temporary period. The current franchise is due to expire on December 9th after which it is the government’s intention that Virgin remain as operator for a short period.

Officials suspended after West Coast deal sinks

Officials suspended after West Coast deal sinks

3 October 2012 Rail & Coach News

Three officials involved in the West Coast franchise competition have been suspended by the permanent secretary following an admission from the government the West Coast rail franchise tender process would have to be rerun. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin earlier confirmed what had long been expected, with the competition to run trains on the West Coast Main Line cancelled following the discovery of “significant technical flaws” in the way the process was conducted.

West Coast franchise race remains ‘live’ following Virgin challenge

West Coast franchise race remains ‘live’ following Virgin challenge

4 September 2012 Rail & Coach News

UK transport minister Theresa Villiers has been forced to postpone the signing of a new franchise agreement on the West Coast Mainline following a legal challenge from Virgin Trains. The department for transport had announced it intended to award the InterCity West Coast franchise to First West Coast, a subsidiary of First Group, on August 15th.