Scotrail Loses Franchise Three Years Early

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Scotrail operation, which holds the rusty old chipped-paint chalice that allows it to run local rail services within Scotland, is to be ended early. The owner is losing its franchise three years sooner than planned; officially thanks to asking for larger subsidies, but being generally rubbish and hated by everyone may also have informed the choice.

Abellio ScotRail was supposed to keep running Scotland's internal trains until 2025, but a decision by Scotland's Secretary for Transport to smash the glass and manually pull the "break clause" lever will see it booted out in 2022 instead. The line could well end up being nationalised and operated by the government after that, as handing over one disastrous operation to another group of shareholders to have a shot at it is not seen as the best option by Scottish decision makers.

Abellio is not best pleased with the shaming and pointed to recent service improvements and the arrival of new trains as evidence that it's turned a corner, with its MD Dominic Booth saying: "Abellio has invested more than £475m in new and upgraded trains, added 23 per cent more seats for customers and created more than 500 extra jobs in Scotland since the start of the franchise in 2015 -- the biggest investment in trains and stations in over 150 years." [BBC]