National Express East Coast rail franchise terminated

The Government terminated the National Express plc East Coast rail franchise (London-Aberdeen) in 2009 less than two years into a 7.5 year contract. The contract required the company to pay the government £1.4bn, but had paid just £120m at termination and had failed to make service improvements. The line was renationalised in November 2009 when government owned East Coast Trains took over the route. National Express walked away at no cost and informed the company that the termination would affect future bids for rail franchises!