Latest Rail News

04.11.13

FirstGroup to bid to keep ScotRail franchise as bidders revealed

The shortlist for the ScotRail franchise has been announced, with the contract up for renewal in March 2015.

FirstGroup, which currently holds the franchise, has been shortlisted alongside Abellio, Arriva, MTR and National Express.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “I am convinced that this strong competition will deliver a great public rail service for the people of Scotland.”

Vernon Barker, FirstGroup’s managing director, UK Rail said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the ScotRail franchise competition.

“As a Scottish company, we are proud to run Scotland's railway and proud of our success in growing the business. First ScotRail now carries 83 million passengers a year, 30% more than in 2004, and has introduced 300 more services per day, whilst seeing record high customer satisfaction scores. We also hold the title of Scottish Public Transport Operator of the Year.

“The railway is integral to Scotland’s growing and ambitious economy and we look forward to submitting a compelling, competitive and value for money bid which meets the needs of customers, businesses and taxpayers. We have demonstrated that we have the capability and commitment to meet that challenge and deliver for the people of Scotland.”

National Express chief executive officer Dean Finch said: “We are delighted to have pre-qualified for the ScotRail franchise. We are focused on delivering a strong bid that meets Scotland’s rightly ambitious aspirations for excellent customer service and enhances the railway’s contribution to economic, environmental and social objectives.”

A draft invitation to tender will be published on November 19.

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