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The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.

From cuts to crash? The story of the West Coast rail fiasco

Rail operator Virgin has been asked to continue running the troubled West Coast Main Line for another few months. Here's how the story unfolded.

Lucy Tobin: FirstGroup shares could hit the buffers over threat to dividend

Investment View: The transport giant remains the only bidder shortlisted for all the rail franchises on offer

Market Report: Snake anti-venom puts bite into BTG

Brisk summer business usually comes in the shape of holidays, barbeques, and ice cream sales. But for BTG the summer sun boosts the flogging of snake anti-venom. BTG, the pharmaceutical group which was first created by the Government to protect British inventions back in the 1940s, shot up the FTSE 250 index after reporting that it had outperformed in the first half and was increasing its revenue expectations for the full year.

The competition to run trains on the West Coast Main Line has been cancelled following the discovery of significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted

'A terrible mistake': Taxpayer to foot £40 million bill over Government's controversial decision to strip Virgin Trains of West Coast rail franchise

The Government today admitted making "a terrible mistake" in awarding the West Coast rail franchise to FirstGroup, stripping Virgin Trains of the contract.

FirstGroup sure on West Coast

FirstGroup is preparing to take over the West Coast rail franchise on 9 December, dismissing Virgin Trains' hopes of retaining its grip on the lucrative line, the transport group insisted yesterday.

Virgin Trains to mount last-ditch legal challenge over West Coast main line

Virgin Trains is to mount a last-ditch legal challenge to try to hold on to its lucrative West Coast main line franchise.

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has offered to run the line for free to allow Parliament time to debate the issue

Virgin plans legal fight for West Coast train line

Richard Branson’s lawyers want a judicial review after contract awarded to FirstGroup

Leading article: Even a mega-star like Sir Richard Branson must respect the rules

Sir Richard Branson could never be likened to a shrinking violet, but his petulant response to Virgin Rail's loss of the West Coast Mainline franchise does him no favours. His latest gambit – an offer to run the trains on a not-for-profit basis while a review is conducted – smacks of desperation. It also represents a pernicious attempt to set personality and populism against the law.

Sir Richard Branson offers to run trains for free

Sir Richard Branson has offered to run the West Coast Main Line for free to allow Parliament time to scrutinise an "outrageous" decision to award the franchise to rival FirstGroup.

Sir Richard Branson offers to temporarily run the West Coast Main Line for free

Sir Richard Branson today offered to run the West Coast Main Line for free to allow Parliament time to scrutinise an "outrageous" decision to award the franchise to rival FirstGroup.

Virgin Trains won the West Coast franchise in 1997 but FirstGroup’s £5.5bn bid is more than double Virgin’s existing payment

Celebrities including Lord Sugar and Jamie Oliver back u-turn on Virgin Trains decision

Celebrities are backing a campaign to force a U-turn on the Government's decision to strip Virgin Trains of its West Coast main line franchise.

Leading article: Rail contracts are on the wrong track

It is easy to dismiss the lamentations of Sir Richard Branson as sour grapes. After all, his rail company spent almost £14m trying to hold on to its West Coast Main Line franchise, only to see it handed to rival FirstGroup. With the future of Virgin Trains now in question, it is perhaps not surprising to hear Sir Richard pouring scorn on the winning bid.

Northern Rock was sold to Virgin Money, owned by Richard Branson, last year. The sale was controversial: by injecting a subsidiary into the bank, Virgin was able to realise millions of pounds. Effectively, it part paid for Northern Rock with cash it was able to take out of the bank

Sir Richard Branson condemns rail bid process as Virgin Rail loses West Coast Main Line franchise to FirstGroup

Virgin Rail lost its West Coast main line franchise to rival transport company FirstGroup today following a Government bidding process dubbed "insane" by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin Rail set to lose franchise

Sir Richard Branson's train company is set to lose its West Coast main line rail franchise in a Government decision which will spark a storm of protest.

What the Sunday papers said...

The Independent on Sunday: Government explores reforms of visa regime

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