Skip Navigation


LONDON, 27 NOVEMBER, 2014: This morning the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that Inter City Railways Limited, owned by Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Group (10%), has been awarded the new East Coast franchise, which will start on 1 March 2015.

East Coast is the subject of a share sale from Directly Operated Railways (DOR) to Inter City Railways on 1 March 2015. The new Company will trade as Virgin Trains East Coast.

Directly Operated Railways and East Coast very much welcome today's announcement and the exciting opportunities it sets out for the future.

Michael Holden, Chief Executive of DOR and Chairman of East Coast commented: “We’ve worked closely and in detail with the DfT since the launch of the competition process, which we believe has strongly supported the outcome – and we’ll continue to work closely with the parties in the coming weeks to ensure a seamless handover to Virgin Trains East Coast on 1 March 2015”.

Headlines of the announcement:

  • Existing operations maintained
  • More frequent services
  • New destinations
  • New investment in the business
  • Exciting benefits for customers
  • More benefits for staff
  • If you’d like to read the Department for Transport statement in full, you can do so here. The announcement has also been published on the Stagecoach website, which can be read here.

    Directly Operated Railways is proud of its achievements over the last five years, having turned the East Coast business around, investing over £48 million on-board its trains, in training and investment in people, on improving and marketing its products and services, and in our depots and stations. Karen Boswell, managing Director of East Coast added: “The East Coast business is in excellent shape to benefit from further new investment and development for customers by Inter City Railways and we’ve established a strong foundation to take the service to the next level. “I look forward to working with the successful bidder and their team during the mobilisation phase and to establishing that seamless transition, ensuring that this is as easy as possible for everyone – for all our people, and of course for our customers.”