RICHARD BRANSON Virgin Trains ‘could disappear’ after franchise bar

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Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson says his train business could disappear from the UK after its partner Stagecoach was barred from three rail franchise bids.

Sir Richard, whose Virgin Trains is 49% owned by Stagecoach, said he was “devastated” by the disqualification.

The Department for Transport (DfT) disallowed the bids because they did not meet pensions rules.

Virgin was bidding to renew the West Coast franchise in partnership with Stagecoach and France’s SNCF.

Stagecoach had also put in for the East Midlands and South Eastern franchises, both of which have been rejected.

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