Stagecoach and Virgin join forces for rail line

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group have formed a joint venture bid to the East Coast rail line. Pic: Julie Bull
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group have formed a joint venture bid to the East Coast rail line. Pic: Julie Bull
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STAGECOACH and Virgin have formed a new joint venture to bid for the main East Coast rail line which is about to be re-privatised.

The deal gives Sir Brian Souter’s Perth-based transport company a 90 per cent stake in Inter City Railways Limited and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group the other ten per cent.

The two companies already operate the West Coast main line through Virgin Rail Group, in which Stagecoach has a 49 per cent share and Virgin 51 per cent.

Sir Brian said: “We have exciting ideas for the franchise and, if selected, it would be our intention to operate Virgin-branded trains and maximise the potential of the brand.”

The shortlist for the line will be announced in January. Other bidders include First Group.