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Government nationalises East Coast Main Line

Thu 05 Nov 2009

National Express is to transfer control of the East Coast Main Line to the government next week.

The rail service between London and Edinburgh has been running at a loss since National Express acquired the contract to run the line two years ago.

As a result, it is being renationalised, although National Express has insisted that the handover will not affect passengers, services or employees.

The organisation also stressed that the loss of the East Coast Main Line will not affect its other rail franchises in Britain - c2c and National Express East Anglia.

A new bidder will not be invited to take over the running of the London-Edinburgh line until 2011.

The East Coast Main Line franchise has been transferred to Directly Operated Railways, which will trade as East Coast.

Speculation regarding the future of the service, which carries about 17 million passengers a year, has been ongoing since the summer, when National Express insisted that rumours about the government taking over the franchise were untrue.

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