Virgin Trains has lost its bid to continue running the West Coast mainline with FirstGroup taking over the franchise.
Virgin Rail Group chief executive Tony Collins said it was probably the saddest day of his professional life
Speaking to the Today programme, he said the group delivered "everything we promised to deliver... we know that franchise very well".
He accused First of putting in "a very very aggressive bid" and admitted that it "probably could be" the end of Virgin Trains.
Tim O'Toole, chief executive of FirstGroup, said his firm "has a track record of winning deliverable bids".
He told Evan Davis that its bid represented the "fairest deal" for taxpayers, passengers and staff, as he dismissed reports of job cuts, claiming there would be extra carting staff.
"This is about a better offer to the public," he said.
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