« The current Virgin Trains East Coast franchise has failed in three years, but Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling is allowing its operators, Stagecoach and Virgin, to leave to offer rail franchises again. » In March 2000, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) shortlisted Sea Containers and Virgin Rail Group to offer the next franchise.  The franchise was to last 20 years and included proposals for new trains and section replacements.   In January 2002, the SRA abolished the refranchising process and granted Sea Containers a two-year extension until April 2005.   Stagecoach and Virgin stated that they could leave the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise three years earlier after reporting losses. Minister Grayling claimed that the losses were due to the fact that VTEC had simply overestimated future growth in passenger revenues in its supply calculations, meaning that the deductible payments made by the government exceeded the profits generated by the operation of the services, while others believe that the delays in infrastructure upgrades expected by the public rail network, the company has not been able to exploit the increased number of services required to generate these increased revenues.  Andy MacDonald, the Minister of Underground Transport, told the House of Commons that the announcement of the strategy was « a wall of total fog. » He said, « The real problem is that the East Coast franchise has failed again and the taxpayer is going to save it. » 2. Virgin West Coast`s franchise agreement, which began in January 1997, provided for higher levels of service, shorter travel times and the delivery of new vehicles in two stages, the first in May 2002 and the second in 2005. The infrastructure improvements required for this purpose were included in a contract between Virgin Trains and RailtrackPassenger UpGrade Two (PUG2), which will be implemented in two phases, in 2002 and 2005. In January 2014, FirstGroup, Keolis/Eurostar and Stagecoach/Virgin were shortlisted by the Department for Transport (DfT) for the new InterCity East Coast franchise.   In November 2014, the eight-year franchise was awarded to the Stagecoach/Virgin joint venture and began operating as Virgin Trains East Coast on 1 March 2015.
    1. The Southeast franchise was awarded to Connex in 1996 for a period of 15 years until 2011. First operated the trains during network Rail`s extension of the line, which exceeded costs to nearly triple the initial budget, and sections of the electrification project were abandoned to save money. As part of a rail strategy announced by Transport Minister Chris Grayling, a new partnership model will replace the Virgin Trains East Coast (Vtec) franchise agreement. It was originally planned to run until 2023 and return £3.3 billion to the government in the form of deductible premiums, but due to VTEC`s lower-than-expected line, it was announced in May 2018 that the contract would be terminated prematurely by the government; VTEC ceased operations on 23 June 2018, when operation was switched to the public operator London North Eastern Railway.