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Public sector permitted to bid for ScotRail franchise

Scottish ministers say a public sector body will be able to bid for the next ScotRail franchise should they wish to do so.

David MacBrayne Limited has confirmed its interest in exploring the possibility of a bid for a Scottish rail franchise contract. Any public sector body that wishes to consider bidding for a rail franchise contract that is let by the Scottish Ministers is able to do so.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said: “Our consistent view over many years is that there ought to be a level playing field between the private and public sector in bidding for rail franchises. We secured the right for a public sector operator to bid for a rail franchise in Scotland, after being denied by previous UK governments.

“Identifying a public sector body to make a bid has not been easy. It was vital to consider a range of scenarios as we want to strengthen competition and achieve best value for the public purse, while delivering continuous service improvements.

“It is important for any public sector bidder to have the appetite to bid; the capability and capacity to see the bid through; and the ability and resources to make the franchise a success.

"It is also our view that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish government should have full powers to consider all options for structuring our railways to meet Scotland's needs."

In a statement, Transport Scotland said this approach will help ensure the delivery of rail services in Scotland that maximise economic and social benefit.

Abellio currently operates the ScotRail franchise, while Serco operates the Caledonian Sleeper contract.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 24/08/2018 01:35

    Abellio have extended the franchise to 2025 plus with 10 more 385’s to be built to add to the total of 80 Class 385’s as so far 70 Class 385’s are being built and some have already been delivered and started service between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street via High Falkirk. And will also operate via Shotts once the electrification is completed in March next year.

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    • AndrewJG8918 - 26/08/2018 11:34

      Was meant to say Abellio will extend the franchise from 2025 to 2032 or 2035 (7-10 years). If the contract has been agreed. With 10 more Class 385 3-Car units will be added by 2023 making the total of 80 Class 385 EMU units on the ScotRail network.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 25/08/2018 02:43

    Also. An additional ten 3-car Class 385 units will be purchased by Abellio if Transport Scotland does exercise the option to extend the Scotrail contract from 7 to 10 years. Which these Class 385 units will enter service in 2023.

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