Perth-based transport firm Stagecoach will take the government to court after it was disqualified from bidding for the West Coast rail franchise.
Stagecoach was barred from bidding for three franchises by the Department for Transport (DfT) last month after a row over pensions liabilities.
The company lodged High Court action over the East Midlands rail franchise, which was awarded to Abellio, earlier this month.
Now Stagecoach and its partners has lodged a similar action regarding the procurement of the West Coast Partnership franchise.
The claim alleges that the DfT breached its statutory duties, which include a “fair” tendering process. It is also demanding a judicial review.
Stagecoach has a 50% share in West Coach Trains Partnership Limited, with SNCF holding 30% and Virgin 20%.
Stagecoach group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “We believe the rail system should be about appointing the best operator for customers, not about passing unquantifiable, unmanageable and inappropriate risk to train companies.
“It is disappointing that we have had to resort to court action to find out the truth around the DfT’s decision-making process in each of these competitions.
“However, we hope court scrutiny will shine a light on the franchising process and help restore both public and investor confidence in the country’s rail system.”
Stagecoach was also barred from bidding on the South Eastern franchise competition.
Earlier this month, Stagecoach said the DfT was forcing bidders to take on pension liabilities that could exceed £1 billion, a risk it refused to accept.
The DfT said: “Stagecoach is an experienced bidder who knowingly submitted non-compliant bids on all competitions.
“In doing so, they disqualified themselves.
“We do not comment on legal proceedings. However, we have total confidence in our franchise competition process and will robustly defend decisions that were taken fairly following a thorough and impartial evaluation process.”