Investment call as rail to go private

An East Coast train awaiting departure.
An East Coast train awaiting departure.
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Doncaster’s main rail link is set to be privatised again, after the Government confirmed it was starting the ball rolling.

Passengers on the East Coast Main Line, which connects Doncaster with London and Scotland, have been promised ‘innovative timetables’ and a better travelling experience when the line goes back into the private sector.

The new operators of the key line - which is currently being run in the public sector - will also have to demonstrate how they will support economic growth on the route.

The Government officially launched the search for a new operator by publishing an East Coast prospectus yesterday.

The line has been run under the control of the Department for Transport since National Express pulled out of the franchise in November 2009.

Labour and rail unions have bitterly opposed the reprivatisation of the line, pointing to the fact that East Coast has returned large amounts of money to the Treasury since it has been in the public sector.

Deputy chief executive of Doncaster Chamber, Dan Fell, said companies did not care who ran the railways as long as they were on time, cost effective and reliable.

He said he would like to see the next operators invest in the approach to Doncaster Station to make it more welcoming to visitors.