Directly Operated Railways

Directly Operated Railways
Holding company
Industry Rail transport
Successor Arup Group, Ernst & Young, SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit partnership
Founded 2009
Defunct 2015
Headquarters London, England
Services Train operating company management
Owner Department for Transport
Subsidiaries East Coast
Footnotes / references
Government holding company formed to run temporary rail franchises when private contractors have failed

Directly Operated Railways[1] was a holding company set up by the Department for Transport in the United Kingdom in July 2009 to run rail franchises should it become necessary to bring them into public ownership.[2] Its function was taken over by a partnership of Arup Group, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit in November 2015.

East Coast Main Line Company

Subsidiary East Coast Main Line Company[3] trading as East Coast, took over the running of services on the InterCity East Coast franchise from 13 November 2009 following the government assuming control of the franchise from National Express East Coast after it defaulted on its contract.[4] East Coast ceased operating on 28 February 2015 with the franchise passing to Virgin Trains East Coast the following day.[5][6]

West Coast Main Line Company

Main article: InterCity West Coast

In September 2012 with the potential that the Department for Transport would not be able to enter into a contract with its preferred bidder for the InterCity West Coast franchise (FirstGroup) as a result of Virgin Rail Group seeking a judicial review, it was suggested that subsidiary West Coast Main Line Company[7] would take over running of the franchise from December 2012 pending a resolution.[8]

In October 2012 the competition for the franchise was cancelled following the discovery of technical flaws in the franchise process. The Secretary of State for Transport announced that an investigation would be conducted, with the running of the West Coast line likely to be passed into the hands of West Coast Main Line Company to ensure that train services continued uninterrupted.[9][10] Directly Operated Railways confirmed that it had been asked in mid-September 2012 to prepare to mobilise for temporary transfer of the InterCity West Coast franchise in December. With the announcement the Department for Transport was opening negotiations with Virgin Rail Group about operating the franchise on a short-term basis, Directly Operated Railways stepped back from mobilising, but remained on standby.[11]


In November 2015, the Department for Transport appointed a partnership of Arup Group, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit to takeover as the operator of last resort.[12][13][14]

See also


External links

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