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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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker