In the following years, most franchises were renewed in direct awards, in part to get brown`s recommended schedule smoothing. [7] Franchise agreement and additional legal documents for InterCity Railways Limited and East Coast Main Line Company Limited. In April 1996, Sea Containers, which was under the GNER brand, began a seven-year contract to operate the franchise. [1] 37 HC Deb, February 5, 2018, col 1238; HC Deb, 16 May 2018, Kol 285; Public Accounts Committee, UK Rail Franchising, Thirty-fifth Minutes of the 2017-2019 Session, HC 689, April 27, 2018; Ministry of Transport press release: „More seating, more services and new trains for East Coast passengers“, 27. November 2014; Department for Transport, East Coast 2014 rail franchise agreement, June 2015 An open access operator is, in addition to franchises and concessions, a train management company that is not subject to franchising but purchases individual slots on the main line from a railway infrastructure company. These include Pre Metro Operations, Eurostar, Grand Central, Heathrow Express and Hull Trains…