Abellio awarded contract to operate ScotRail

Abellio awarded contract to operate ScotRail

Abellio is delighted to announce that it has been selected by Transport Scotland to operate the next ScotRail franchise, starting April 2015. ScotRail provides passenger train services throughout Scotland with inter-city, regional and suburban rail services across the Scottish national rail network.

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Jeff Hoogesteger, CEO of Abellio Group, said of the decision “This is a huge day for Abellio and indeed the Netherlands which has such a rich history of commercial and cultural trade with Scotland. Abellio is delighted and incredibly excited to have been given this opportunity to manage Scotland’s national rail network.”

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Abellio acquires and operates public transport franchises with the aim of consolidating the position of NS in the European market as it becomes more deregulated. Abellio currently has rail and bus transport operations in Great Britain and Germany and through Qbuzz in the Netherlands.

The new ScotRail franchise will strengthen Abellio’s position in the UK Rail industry. Running Scotland’s national railway is a good fit with the NS Groep core network operation in the Netherlands; the characteristics of the two networks are similar in that there is a heavily populated ‘central belt’ around Edinburgh and Glasgow with less populated regional areas. With 346 stations, more than 2,000 train services a day, 800 train vehicles and 86.3m passenger journeys per annum the operation is extensive, and again similar in many ways to NS.

The franchise length is a minimum of 7 years from 1 April 2015. By mutual consent it can be extended to 10 years following a review during Year 5. Signing of the franchise agreement took place on 7th October 2014, allowing 6 months for mobilisation.