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Rail News: Issue 362 20 May 2009

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Frachising, Investment, Rail, Virgin, All of UK

Bransons bids £1bn WCML upgrade for franchise rehaul

Meera Rambissoon

Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, has urged a rehaul of the rail franchising system. Calling for 20 year franchises, ownership of stations, Branson proposed in return a £1bn further upgrade of the London-Glasgow West Coast Main Line, if the government gave the private sector more freedom.

This would, he says, enable in the next decade:

journey times of under 60 minutes between London and Birmingham;

construction of an underground extension to Birmingham...

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