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Andy Street to advise government on East Coast rail services; Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is stripping the line's current operators, Virgin East Coast, of their franchise.

Byline: coventrytelegraph

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has unexpectedly been handed a new job - advising the Government on running railways in the east of England and Scotland.

He is to advise the Department of Transport on how to involve employees in the operation of the East Coast Main Line, which runs trains from London to Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, up to Darlington, Durham and Newcastle and then on to Edinburgh.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is stripping the line's current operators, Virgin East Coast, of their franchise.

This is a separate business to Virgin Trains, which runs West Coast services.

Instead, the Government is to create a new rail firm called London and North Eastern Railway to operate inter-city services on the East Coast Main Line.

And Mr Grayling said Andy Street had agreed to help make the new arrangements a success.

He said: "I want the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) to have employees at its heart.

"So I am instructing the new board, working with my officials, to bring forward proposals which enable employees to share directly in the success of LNER both as a pure train operator and subsequently as the new partnership.

"I am pleased to announce that Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and the former Chief Executive of John Lewis, has agreed to provide informal advice to the team about how best to achieve this."

The new business will also take responsibility for rail infrastructure such as the track itself.

Currently, these are managed separately, with private firms running trains and Government-owned business Network Rail looking after infrastructure.

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Publication:Coventry Telegraph (Coventry, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 16, 2018
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