And so we approach the end of the East Coast main line farce. And overall, I think this should be a reasonably good result. For a start, it doesn’t involve Virgin or Stagecoach. And GNER’s management will not be anywhere near the operation. I hope that the existing train crews have a smooth transfer to the new operator, especially the nice people who serve breakfast at hideously early hours of the day.
I am a little concerned that National Express have committed to pay the government £1.4bn over eight years, as it was a similar arrangement that brought GNER down. This will no doubt be funded by yet more fare rises, mutter.
 Who have also lost the cross-country route, which should lead to improved services when I go to Leeds
 I’m not keen on them, either
 And I hope the inevitable new uniforms aren’t too naff