Due to the extreme weather conditions there is severe disruption on the West Coast Main Line. Trains are currently running from Euston station to Birmingham and Wolverhampton but with delays, cancellations and alterations.
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.
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.
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.
The independent inquiry into the Department for Transport’s handling of the franchise competition to run the West Coast Main Line has submitted an initial findings report to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
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.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has today announced that the competition to run trains on the West Coast Main Line has been cancelled following the discovery of significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted.
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.
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.
Despite a massive £9 billion upgrade to the busy West Coast Main Line, operated by Virgin Trains, the London to Scotland route was still way behind the average of the rest of the UK in their punctuality stakes.
TRAIN operators on the southern section of the West Coast Main Line — which has been plagued with problems and delays both during and since a £9 billion route modernisation programme — have reported big increases in passenger complaints.
EIGHTY ONE per cent of passengers across the country are satisfied with their rail experience, but punctuality and reliability continue to cause concern on some routes, reveals the latest Passenger Focus National Passenger Survey.