Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Railway dining cars under review

National Express train
The company recently revamped its catering services

Train operator National Express says it is reviewing the provision of first class dining cars on its East Coast Mainline route.

The firm said on-board catering is discretionary and comes at "a significant cost".

Recently it cut the number of restaurant cars from 96 to 15, and introduced first class "at seat" dining on 60 trains.

A spokesperson said all costs were being looked at during the recession.

National Express currently holds the franchise for the East Coast Mainline, operating services between London and Scotland.

The spokesperson said: "On board catering is discretionary in the Department for Transport's (DfT's) franchise agreement and comes at a significant net cost to the company.

Catering review

"Every cost is being looked at to ensure National Express comes through the recession resiliently and as a responsible company, we have an obligation to review and consider our options."

The company introduced "at seat" dining on 5 January, following a four-month review of catering services.

The spokesperson added: "It is important that the new offer increases sales and reduces operational costs and we will continue to keep it under review."

A shop selling food and drink is available for passengers in standard class.

Last month, the company axed the restaurant cars on its Liverpool Street rail line services between Norwich and London.

The facilities, on the UK's shortest InterCity route, were no longer profitable, National Express East Anglia said.



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