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Alstom Managing Director appears before Select Committee to comment on rail franchising
Terence Watson, Managing Director of Alstom’s UK Transport business, has today appeared before the Transport Select Committee to give the company’s views on Rail franchising.While Alstom is a supporter of the franchise system, it is also clear that issues over the West Coast Main Line...
TSSA calls for franchise inquiry after West Coast fiasco
The TSSA rail union today called for an independent inquiry into private rail franchises after the DfT scrapped its decision to award the West Coast line to First Group.Manuel Cortes, union general secretary, said: "This fiasco shows that the whole bidding process for private franchises is not...
West Coast Main Line deal will go ahead, Greening says
The BBC Reports...........Transport Secretary Justine Greening says there will be no delay in signing a new West Coast Main Line contract, despite pressure to review it.Mrs Greening said the government would "push on" with the 13-year contract with FirstGroup, which was a "good deal for...
FirstGroup warns against rail franchise delay in Branson row
Sir Richard Branson's hopes of clinging on to the west coast rail franchise are fading as the government prepares to formally strip Virgin Trains of the London-Glasgow route.The Department for Transport has rejected Branson's offer to run the franchise for free if it delays its decision...
FirstGroup's £13bn West Coast rail bid faces probe by MPs
From the Telegraph ............................Both the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Transport Committee are likely to scrutinise the bid in the face of figures showing it is not until March 2022 that FirstGroup’s winning offer returns substantially higher payments to the...
Virgin Atlantic takes on BA on UK routes after losing rail franchise
From the Telegraph ......................................By Nathalie ThomasSir Richard Branson’s long-running rivalry with Willie Walsh, head of British Airways’ parent company, is entering a new phase as Virgin Atlantic goes head to head with its nemesis on UK domestic airline...
Passengers Pay For Winning Bid With Higher Rail Fares
Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, warned that rail passengers would have to pay the price of First Group's winning £5.5 billion bid for the West Coast line franchise."This crazy franchise lottery, where the highest bidder scoops the pot, means that passengers will have to pay...
West Coast Mainline franchise gamble
From the Herald.................SHORTER journey times, station upgrades, refurbished train interiors, better catering and an improved ticketing system are all promised when FirstGroup takes over the running of trains on the West Coast Mainline (WCML) later this year.Can passengers between Glasgow...
Virgin Trains on West Coast franchise announcement
The Department for Transport (DfT) has today announced that following a bidding competition, Virgin Rail Group will not be operating the new Intercity West Coast franchise which starts on December 9th 2012 and runs through to March 31st 2026.Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Virgin Rail Group,...
RMT prepares ballot for action and political fight as First Group wins West Coast franchise
RMT said today that it will mount a massive campaign to defend jobs and services on the prestige West Coast route – including a ballot for industrial action - as it was confirmed this morning that First Group have won the InterCity franchise from Virgin on the basis of 20% cuts across the board...

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