Horne appointed as head of new East Coast operator

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East Midlands Trains’ managing director, David Horne, has been chosen to head the new Stagecoach/Virgin joint venture set to operate trains on Britain’s East Coast main line.

From January, Horne will become managing director of the new eight-year InterCity East Coast franchise – named Virgin Trains East Coast – which will take over operation of services from March 2015.

David began his career as a ticket office clerk in Cornwall in 1988. He has been managing director of East Midlands Trains since 2007 and prior to that held senior roles at South West Trains and Virgin Trains.

East Midlands Trains managing director David Horne. Photo: Matt Stokes/ Rail Media.
David Horne. Photo: Matt Stokes/ Rail Media

Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said: “David has a wealth of experience of the railways which will be invaluable as we prepare to launch the new franchise.”

He added: “I am confident David will be a great addition to the East Coast team and will use his experience to make Virgin Trains East Coast a huge success.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Karen Boswell, who has been Managing Director at East Coast over the past five years. In challenging circumstances Karen has ably led a team of 3,000 committed employees and ensured we have a good platform for our future plans.”

David Horne said: “I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this major new franchise.  I’ve travelled on East Coast on many occasions over the years and have seen first-hand the level of pride the team have and the focus on delivering a great service for customers.

“I’m really excited about the future for Virgin Trains East Coast and I’m looking forward to meeting the team and getting started on the next phase of the journey.”

Jake Kelly has been appointed managing director of East Midlands Trains.


  1. Well it’s either a decision on whoever would bid on to have a new operator for the East Coast Main Line.

    I say the bidders are:
    Abellio with/without Serco
    First Group
    Govia/Go Ahead (Keolis)
    DB Arriva

    National Express won’t bid to have East Coast back.

    With Hitachi to build the AT-200/300 trains to replace the current rolling stocks.

      • Well If hitachi do build the IEP trains for the East Coast franchise with Virgin/Stagecoach, Abellio or DB Arriva being the preferred bidder to operate on the ECML then it would mean better improved services with a new train operator with new rolling stocks and even new East Coast services to Scarborough, Harrogate, Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Hartlepool from London King’s Cross and also if Grand Central loses out their service to Bradford and Sunderland then East Coast franchise would take over for new services to Sunderland & Bradford aswell Hull Trains to lose their franchise from King’s Cross to Hull and Selby then the East Coast franchise would also take over.


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