News story

LNER to run East Coast Mainline services from London to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland

Train services will continue to run as normal. Your tickets are still valid, your journeys won’t be affected and you do not need to change your journey plans.

Leeds railway station.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is taking over the running of your East Coast Mainline services from 24 June 2018.

We want to reassure you that your journeys on the East Coast Mainline won’t be affected.

Tickets, timetables and train services will all stay the same even though a different operator will be in charge.

There will be a short transition period. So please carry on using Virgin Trains East Coast’s customer and ticket booking services in the usual way until the transition is complete.

Everyone involved in your East Coast Mainline services and the move to a new operator is committed to making this work with no impact on train operations, your travel and the service you receive.

The East Coast Main Line will be operated by London North Eastern Railway.

Tickets

Is my ticket still valid?

Yes it is. All tickets bought are still valid for the dates shown on the ticket. This includes all season tickets and all pre-purchased tickets.

Will my ticket for future travel still be valid on LNER services?

Yes it is. All tickets bought for future travel will still be valid for the dates shown on the ticket.

What happens if I want to buy a ticket in advance for a journey with LNER?

You can still buy and book tickets for future travel in the same way you do now, via the Virgin Trains East Coast website. Tickets you’ve bought for travel before the change in operator will be accepted on LNER services.

Will there be any changes to ticket prices?

There will be no immediate changes to ticket prices. Any future changes in price will be in line with normal market practice.

I have travel vouchers from a previous refund. Will these be honoured by LNER?

Yes, you can still use your travel vouchers, they will remain valid up to their expiry date.

My journey is partly on Virgin Trains East Coast and partly on another train operator, is my ticket valid?

Yes, nothing will change. All valid tickets will continue to be accepted as they would have been on Virgin Trains East Coast services.

All tickets are still valid with London North Eastern Railway.

Timetables and travel

Will timetables change as a result of the takeover?

No, trains will continue to run as normal and no disruption is expected as a result of the change in operator. The timetable and train times scheduled will remain the same under LNER.

Any planned engineering works will still go ahead so services will be impacted on those dates as planned. You should check the Virgin Trains East Coast timetable information before you travel for journey updates.

Will I still be able to claim compensation if my train is delayed?

Yes, you are still entitled to claim compensation for journeys that are delayed by 30 minutes or more on the route. Find out more about delay repay.

Information about claiming compensation for delayed LNER trains will be available on the LNER website once LNER have started operating the service.

Will food and drink still be available on the train?

Yes, the catering on trains will carry on as normal.

Can I still bring my bike?

Yes, the arrangements for carrying bikes, luggage, dogs etc. will stay the same.

What about seat reservations?

Just like your tickets, your reservation will stay the same and remain valid.

I have booked assisted travel. Do I need to re-book?

No, you do not need to rebook. All your travel arrangements will be carried forward and the change of operator will not affect your journey.

London North Eastern Railway tickets, timetables, trains and travel plans will all stay exactly the same.

About the transfer to LNER

Are there any immediate changes from today?

No, nothing will change immediately. Until the transfer to LNER, Virgin Trains East Coast will continue to operate the services you use as normal.

What will change on transfer to LNER?

There will be no change to the running of the trains. Services will continue to operate as usual and there will be no impact on customers.

Following the change of operator, trains on the East Coast Mainline will operate as LNER, rather than Virgin Trains East Coast.

What is happening to the staff who work for Virgin Trains East Coast?

People who are directly employed by Virgin Trains East Coast will transfer over to LNER. No disruption is expected to services as a result of this transfer and you will continue to receive a high quality service from experienced staff.

Will the train company name change?

Yes, Virgin Trains East Coast trains will become LNER.

Will the trains look any different?

The trains will gradually transform to display LNER branding. There is not expected to be any disruption to services as a result of this change of brand.

What is the Intercity East Coast Franchise?

The Intercity East Coast Franchise operates on the East Coast Mainline route between London Kings Cross to Hull, Leeds, Harrogate, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The Intercity East Coast Franchise has been operated by Virgin Trains East Coast since 2015. Virgin Trains East Coast is owned 90% by Stagecoach plc and 10% by Virgin Trains Group.

What is happening to the Intercity East Coast Franchise?

The Department for Transport has set up a new publicly owned operating company, LNER Ltd, to run the trains that are currently operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.

Find out more

If you have further questions please get in touch with the Virgin Trains East Coast Customer Service Team.

Please visit the LNER website for further updates.

East Coast rail update ministerial statement, 16 May 2018

East Coast train operator assessment report

Rail media enquiries

Published 16 May 2018