Virgin Trains has paid the Government £110 million this year – in stark contrast to last year’s figure when the train operator received a subsidy of £40 million.
The change of fortune comes after years of disruption on the West Coast Main Line, as part of the route’s £9 billion upgrade.
Virgin Trains saw its passenger revenue rise 11% to £753 million in the year to March 31st. Passenger figures hit 28 million journeys.
Says Virgin Rail Chief Executive Officer Tony Collins, ‘Our partnership approach with the Department for Transport has seen passenger numbers grow faster than the market over the last six years. We expect to continue this as a result of joint investments such as the recent addition of a new Pendolino train which is now in service.’
The figures will ramp up interest in the battle for the WCML franchise. First Group, SNCF, Abellio and incumbent Virgin are all interested.
The franchise is expected to be let in January 2013.