East Coast train line to be put into public control

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Rail services on East Coast Main Line are being brought back under UK government control, operator Stagecoach Group says.

Stagecoach says it has been advised that an “operator of last resort” would be appointed to run the London to Edinburgh service.

Stagecoach has operated the franchise with Virgin Trains since 2015.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to make a statement to parliament shortly.

It is the third time in a decade that the government has called a halt to the East Coast franchise.

Stagecoach said in a statement that, along with Virgin, it had been negotiating a new contract with the Department for Transport.

But the company said it now understood that Mr Grayling was “no longer considering” Virgin and Stagecoach for the deal.

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