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Business Lead Story: Issue Issue 31 6 Sep 2012

First beats rivals to West Coast franchise but forecasts questioned as Virgin refuses to go quietly

The shape of the British rail industry is set for significant change after a raft of announcements from the UK Department of Transport (DfT). As well as plans for widespread electrification of the rail network in its High Level Output Specification

Daniel Wright

Legal action, petitions, pleas to the UK Parliament, and plans for competing flights by dissapointed rival Virgin have followed the naming of First as the new operator for the West Coast train operating franchise between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.

The franchise is the first of a significant batch to be re-let, embodying new government thinking on the running and development of the UK rail system. But it has raised questions of forecasting demand and how to ensure that an over...

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