Video: Virgin Trains eyes return to West Coast Main Line from Birmingham New Street to London Euston

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We take a look at Virgin Trains’ bid to operate the West Coast Main Line once more

Virgin Trains is seeking to re-enter the West Coast rail route between London and Glasgow, which go through Birmingham New Street, five years after losing its franchise. This time, it aims to operate under an Open Access licence, which means it won't receive state subsidies and will independently manage the risks of running the service.

The move positions Virgin as a competitor to Avanti West Coast, the current operator, which has been criticized for its performance, despite having its contract renewed by the Department for Transport. Virgin operated the West Coast route for 22 years before being disqualified from bidding due to pension rule failures by its partner, Stagecoach.

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Virgin Group's spokesperson expressed confidence in reviving the service and enhancing consumer choice and competition. However, the application remains in its early stages and will be subject to regulatory approval.

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