West Coast Main Line: McLoughlin on rail operator

Parliament will be told on Monday (15 October) about the arrangements for an operator to run the West Coast Main Line temporarily from December.

Patrick McLoughlin told Jo Coburn he will make an announcement about the London to Glasgow rail line to the House of Commons when it returns after the recess for party conferences.

Virgin Trains' franchise runs out on 9 December and the decision to sign a new deal with FirstGroup to take over was cancelled after "techincal flaws" were found in the way the bids had been handled. A permanent deal may not be sealed until well into 2013.

Options include Virgin being given a temporary extension or a government-led rail firm taking over, as currently operates on the East Coast Main Line from London to Yorkshire and Edinburgh.

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