Latest Rail News

19.09.12

Mobilisation team in place for West Coast takeover

A public sector team is on standby to takeover the operation of the West Coast route from December 9, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The West Coast Main Line Mobilisation team has been drawn from the already nationalised East Coast route and is ready to takeover staffing, finance and operations.

Virgin’s control of the route expires from December 9, but the operator is currently challenging the award of the contract to rival FirstGroup in the courts. A judgement could lead to the whole franchise being retendered, which would leave the route in Government hands until a settlement was agreed.

Rail union RMT has criticised the move, following Government assurances that Directly Operated Railways would not have to take over on the line.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “Despite the denials only last week it is now clear that the West Coast Main Line Mobilisation Team is in place as the public sector is forced to rescue this privatisation shambles just as it has done on the East Coast.

“This whole wasteful, costly and shambolic farce has to stop now. If the public sector is the only show in town when things collapse into chaos then they should now be allowed to get on with the job on a permanent basis on both the East and West Coast and end this madness.

“It is little wonder that 70% of the public now support RMT's call for renationalisation of the railways in the wake of the West Coast debacle.”

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