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Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Monday, 13 August 2012 07:49 UK

West Coast Mail Line: Tony Miles on Virgin v First Group

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Virgin could lose its franchise to run trains on the West Coast Main Line this week, with reports that First Group has bid £7 billion for the franchise and would cut staffing.

Tony Miles of Modern Railways Magazine, said newspaper reports and a letter from Virgin boss Richard Branson suggested a new operator could be running trains between London Euston, the West Midlands, north west England and Glasgow.

He said a new operator would not be allowed to cut services, meaning "staff is the only thing" it could change to cut its costs.

And he suggested the chancellor was pushing the transport secretary to accept the highest bid.

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