Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
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East Coast mainline: Transport Secretary praises new deal

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said a consortium that has won the franchise to run the East Coast mainline rail route will do an "even better job" than the public sector.

The firms, made up of Stagecoach and Virgin, promised to invest £140m in the route over eight years, and will pay the government £3.3bn for the contract.

The franchise, which covers the route between London and Edinburgh, has been publicly run since 2009.

The RMT union called the return of the franchise to the private sector "a national disgrace".

Other companies bidding to win the franchise included FirstGroup and a joint venture between Eurostar and French firm Keolis.

  • 27 Nov 2014
  • From the section UK
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