Statement on the winning InterCity East Coast Franchise Bid

“I would like to send my wholehearted congratulations to Inter City Railways, the joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, on winning the East Coast Rail Franchise. Inter City Railways will now run the East Coast Main Line services between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross, and deliver their proposals for improved services for all passengers. I will continually seek reassurance in regard to those proposals and also seek cast iron commitments of their implementation, as far as I am able, with regard to Lincoln's rail services.


“During the months that have led to today’s announcement, I took every opportunity to impress on the various bidders the importance of direct train services to my City of Lincoln Constituents and the people of Lincolnshire. I know through my many meetings with the Secretary of State and his Ministers both in Parliament, the DfT and here in Lincoln, that he is fully supportive of our City's need to be well served by Inter City Railways operated trains in the 21st Century as our City and economy continues to grow.


“Whilst I understand reluctantly that we cannot have our wish list now, the advent of new rolling stock is good for Lincoln.  In addition, I still haven't given up on more direct services to and from London to Lincoln every day and especially at weekends in the very near future - and certainly throughout next year with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta encouraging visitors, which is so important to our City and County and local economy.


“As a result of today’s announcement I have today written to the senior Management Team at Virgin requesting that they meet with me immediately so that we can explore how I may assist them in the future and discuss their plans to use new, UK-built high-tech trains to improve line capacity and reduce journey times to the benefit of all passengers - not least my Lincoln constituents - on the East Coast Main Line. A pivotal part of that conversation for us is ensuring and eliciting formal guarantees of more direct and fast trains between Lincoln and London, not just with the advent of new rolling stock but also in the New Year as we celebrate the Magna Carta anniversary. This once in a lifetime event will require and need a regular daily and weekend service to and from the capital City with direct, clean, fully serviced and fast intercity services at least a number of times a day.


“I look forward to meeting and working with Inter City Railways so that, together, we can continue to improve Lincoln and Lincolnshire’s rail infrastructure, and ensure that promises are kept.

- ENDS –


For further information, please contact Karl McCartney MP at / 020 7219 7221.