The BID for Virgin Trains, working in partnership with Stagecoach and French Rail Group SNCF, to renew the contract to run the West Coast franchise has been rejected by the Department for Transport.
The decision was announced after news that Stagecoach had also lodged bids for the East Midlands and South Eastern franchises, which have also been rejected.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said the bids did not meet industry pension rules.
Stagecoach owns 49% of the Virgin trains business.
Virgin trains has issued the following statement in response to the news its bid for the West Coast Partnership has been disqualified.
A Virgin Trains spokesperson said:
“We’re very disappointed by the DfT’s unexpected decision. We’ve led the industry for more than twenty years with our ground-breaking innovations, such as automatic delay repay, and award-winning customer service.
“We’re studying the DfT’s decision carefully to understand why they’ve taken this action and would like to reassure all our customers that they can still book and travel as normal.”
Image courtesy of Virgin Trains – Photo credit: David Parry/PA Wire via Creative Comms