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National Express drops London-Edinburgh rail line

National Express drops London-Edinburgh rail line

National Express Group PLC said Wednesday that it will give up its money-losing franchise to operate passenger service on the London-Edinburgh rail line, blaming the recession.
The company also braced for a fight with the government to hold on to another rail franchise in eastern England and announced that its chief executive, Richard Bowker, would step down at the end of August to become CEO of Union Railway in the United Arab Emirates.
The Department for Transport said it intended to cancel National Express' franchise to operate trains in eastern England, including the express train service from London to Stansted airport.
"I note that the parent groups of previous franchise failures are no longer in the U.K. rail business," said Andrew Adonis, the secretary of state for transport.
"It is simply unacceptable to reap the benefits of contracts when times are good, only to walk away from them when times become more challenging," Adonis said.
National Express said it would resist any attempt to cancel the franchise for East Anglia, the eastern English region that includes the Stansted rail line.
It became the second group to fail on the London-Edinburgh franchise, the fabled route of the Flying Scotsman.
In December 2006, the government revoked the franchise of GNER, a subsidiary of Sea Containers Ltd., which had filed for reorganization under U.S. bankruptcy law.
National Express operates rail and bus services in the United Kingdom, bus services in Spain and carries a million students daily on school bus services in the United States and Canada.
National Express shares fell 8.8 percent to 282.25 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.
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On the Net:
http://www.nationalexpressgroup.com/
http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/contactpressoffice/


Updated : 2021-05-09 14:16 GMT+08:00