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Page last updated at 06:35 GMT, Wednesday, 15 August 2012 07:35 UK

West Coast mainline franchise 'big test' for FirstGroup


Virgin Trains has been running the West Coast mainline rail services since 1997, but it has just lost the franchise.

Stephen Glaister, Professor of Transport and Infrastructure at Imperial College, said the "big test" would be whether there was an adequate assurance the winning bid was with a company that would "actually be able to deliver what they're promising".

The UK's largest rail operator, FirstGroup, is set to take over the route between London Euston, the west Midlands, north west England and Glasgow on a 14-year franchise.

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