Virgin in court bid to keep rail franchise

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Virgin Trains says it will go to court in its campaign to hold onto the west coast rail franchise between London and Scotland.

Virgin, which announced the action on Tuesday, lost out to rival FirstGroup in bidding for a new 13-year franchise to run the line. Virgin boss Richard Branson had called the decision "insane" and questioned whether FirstGroup could meet its financial commitments.The Department for Transport had expected to sign a contract with FirstGroup this week.

FirstGroup responded that the bidding process had been fair. It said, "There has been no complaint about the process, which was carefully described in advance, until Virgin Rail Group had lost commercially."