The UK Government is to renationalise the East Coast Mainline, one of the busiest rail lines in Britain.

In an unprecedented move, the Department for Transport has relieved Stagecoach of its franchise to run trains on the East Coast, stepping in to take the reigns with a self-appointed ‘Operator of Last Resort’.

And it turns out, the new name for trains on the East Coast isn’t so new at all, actually.

Trains on the East Coast will run under the LNER brand from 24 June 2018.

We don’t know much about the new brand just yet, aside from the name and that it will feature a decidedly pointy logo, unveiled today (16 May). Oh, and it’ll largely use similar colours to its predecessor, in order to minimise costs of rebranding.

With LNER (or London and North Eastern Railway), the Government revives a name last seen on UK rails exactly 70 years ago. LNER was the second largest of the ‘Big Four’ rail companies in Britain, before they were succeeded by British Rail after being nationalised on 1 January 1948.

So, what will become of Virgin Trains brand?

Well, that lives on for now, over on the West Coast mainline – but it’ll disappear altogether from the East Coast, along with it (eventually) that sleek, Best Impressions-designed livery.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Azuma, the concept Virgin created for its Hitachi IntercityExpress (IEP) units, due to enter service on the ECML later this year. Will LNER stick with the name and livery created by VTEC, or will they snuff it out altogether?

Virgin Azuma

What do you think about the LNER brand? Let us know in the comments below, or follow us on Twitter – @transportdsn.

Image credits: LNER