When National Express lost the east coast rail franchise someone had to pay to rebrand the trains and website.
The total process cost £634,842 and taxpayers contributed £339,190 of this, £295,652 was picked up by National Express. The cost of repainting rolling stock was £250,000, while changing logos on the website and ticketing system cost £137,500, Rail News revealed last week.
Atos Origin charged £68,000 to rebrand the online ticketing system - changing National Express East Coast to simply East Coast. Total technology spending was £137,590 plus an extra £30,000 for the website.
Other spending revealed by the magazine's Freedom of Information requests includes £98,783 spent on offices, stations and depots and changing antimacassars in First Class at a cost of £2,576.
The Department of Transport said the exercise was as minimal as possible - for instance many signs simply had 'National Express' painted out, leaving 'East Coast'.
A spokeswoman for Atos Origin said:
Atos Origin delivered on time and to budget the programme to update the online ticketing system following the franchise change from National Express to East Coast in 2009. The programme incorporated amendments to the entire on-line retailing solution including updates to security certificates and the CRM system as well as modifying the branding and National Express specific content on all pages.
Auditing and testing of the site was also undertaken to ensure a smooth transition and no disruption or inconvenience for passengers.
The full Rail News story is here. ®