Nuclear body's bid to run trains

Passenger trains could be run by the organisation responsible for cleaning up after Britain's nuclear-power industry.

Freight operator Direct Rail Services, a subsidiary of the state-owned Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has held talks with Cumbria County Council over the plan for the coastal line between Barrow and Carlisle.

It is one of a number of possible partners that could replace Northern Rail, the existing franchise holder, in a bid to help the Government to cut the annual £4bn subsidy it gives the railways.