June 25, 2018 5.00 pm This story is over 65 months old

East Coast Main Line back under public control

A bit of a rocky start

Passengers on the East Coast Main Line have spent their first day using trains operating under public control since the collapse of the franchise.

Stagecoach and Virgin Trains, which had a 90% and 10% stake in franchise, surrendered control of the franchise to the government on Sunday.

The Department for Transport will now continue to run the service until another owner can be found in 2020.

For the time being the franchise will operate under the LNER brand and their first of their services pulled into Kings Cross at 10.52 this morning.

However, two services (King’s Cross to Edinburgh and the return) were cancelled, and several were delayed by up to 20 minutes as the line was blocked between London and Peterborough.


Virgin Trains East Coast train

The companies behind ECML promised to pay £3.3bn to run the franchise until 2023 but ran into trouble earlier this year.

In February it was announced that the franchise would end early and the government would be forced to bail them out.

The mainline serves Lincoln, Newark and Grantham stations and originally promised to provide hourly London trains for those areas.

The Department For Transport invitation to tender also pledged for hourly London services, meaning any companies interested in a deal with also have to provide frequent London trains for Lincolnshire.