Govt. to install DOR on West Coast Rail....
West Coast rail franchise to be nationalised?
Sun, Sep 09 12:49 PM BST
LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is preparing to nationalise Virgin Trains' West Coast railway train operating franchise following its attempts to delay the handover of the network to rival operator First Group which won the franchise renewal bid, the Sunday Times newspaper said.
Virgin's campaign for a judicial review of the government's decision to award the franchise to First Group has delayed the signing of the contract and could put back indefinitely the handover, which is due to take place on December 9.
Ministers are now preparing to transfer the service to state-owned Directly Operated Railways, the paper said, quoting the Department for Transport as saying it was "looking at our responsibilities under section 30 of the Railways Act and it is only prudent to increase our focus on contingency planning".
The Department for Transport declined to comment further.
Virgin Trains, a joint venture of entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group and trains and buses operator Stagecoach, could not be reached for comment.
Julian Bray writes: Considering the dire state of the nation, flatlining as its known, and the prospect of a TUC encouraged national strike in November, what a brilliant outcome for Richard Branson and Virgin Trains! When Mr Branson first asked for suggestions, I helpfully wrote, and suggested that rather than deliver the enhanced passenger loadings his company has worked so hard to achieve, on a plate as it were, directly to First Group, he might like to consider blanking out the Virgin logo on the high speed tilting trains, and immediately run the West Coast Railway strictly to contract. No enhancements no marketing deals or discounts.
This would have the effect of quickly running down passenger numbers, and making a nonsense of the First Group bid which is based on high passenger uptake, and a balloon payment after a few years trading or the option to hand the contract back without making the payment, as happened on the East Coast - the service being 'nationalised' with Directly Operated Railways (DOR) manning the rolling stock as no one wants it... .
The Government by effectively nationalising the West Coast Route, whilst the legal challenge is on, has effectivly played into Virgins hands. It'll be a year or so before First actually get hold of the trainset by which time Canny Branson will have his short haul Virgin Atlantic air service fully running by then between Manchester and London up and at maximum payload stuffed full of BBC Salford staff, talent and z listers possibly undercutting anything that First could offer on the rattlers. First will then simply withdraw leaving the government with two major railways to run.
WacoJaco locks up Twitter...
Meanwhile Stewart Jackson MP, who allegedly made a mess of the East Coast negotiations but made such a splash with his MP's expenses from public funds, to generate steam all year round from the surface of a huge private heated outdoor swimming pool at his Peterborough mansion, the pool nickenamed "Lido Prive" (local residents tried to gain access and were rebuffed by the former Lloyds High Street Bank Manager and back bench jockey MP for part of Peterborough) has taken to twatting on Twitter but hides behind a locked twitter account, so no one can read or respond to a series of daft tweets he's had time to compose now that his 'fagging ' job has been taken away by Cammy, and younger fresh faced talent substituted (see Guido Fawkes on www.order-order.com) Waco Jacko will not be amused to hear that ultra hard liner Lisa Forbes is now formally selected, and in the Labour starting blocks to run against him in the next parliamentary election for his now not so safe Peterborough seat...
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