The government's finally ready to start the UK's rail franchise system up again after making an almighty mess of the process last year, with the first decision being to grant Virgin Trains an extension on its West Coast main line route that'll see it continue to run the line until 2017.
The decision from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin means that Virgin will still be running the line five years after it was supposed to have handed it over to rival operator FirstGroup, after losing the bidding process in 2012.
Meanwhile, the equally troubled East Coast main line will be put back into private ownership, with the government planning to re-privatise the nationalised route within two years. A new company ought to be running that one by February of 2015. [Virgin Trains]