Transport Trains

Sir Branson throws slight temper tantrum after losing lucrative and central UK rail franchise

Excerpt from Financial Times

Aug 16, 2012 7:11 am

Skift Take

Branson threatens to sue the DOT over the decision to award Virgin’s only stake in the UK rail market to a higher bidder, especially after passenger numbers have doubled in the 15 years under Virgin.

— Samantha Shankman

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Sir Richard Branson has threatened to pull his Virgin Group out of bidding for any future UK rail contracts after losing the lucrative West Coast franchise to FirstGroup, the UK’s biggest bus and train operator by revenues.

The government awarded FirstGroup the franchise for just under 15 years after it bid £13bn for the contract, putting it well ahead of Virgin Rail’s bid of £11bn.

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