Posted 2nd November 2013 | 1 Comment

Contenders named for next Scottish franchises

THE identities of the operators who are competing to run two rail franchises on behalf of the Scottish Government have been revealed.

The next awards will see the Caledonian Sleeper service run as a standalone franchise.for the first time.

A pre-qualification questionnaire for ScotRail has been followed by the selection of Abellio, Arriva, FirstGroup, MTR and National Express.

National Express previously ran ScotRail between 1997 and 2004, and 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."

The separate Caledonian Sleeper contract has a shortlist of three operators -- Arriva, FirstGroup and Serco -- and because this competition is running ahead of the other they are due to submit their responses to the Final Invitation to Tender by 12 December.

The draft Invitation to Tender for the main ScotRail franchise will be published on 19 November, according to transport minister Keith Brown, who revealed the shortlists in answer to a Parliamentary question yesterday (1 November).

He said: “I am delighted to advise that we remain on schedule.”

He added that each of the five companies who have been newly shortlisted for the ScotRail franchise had “demonstrated in its response to the PQQ an understanding of, and a commitment to realise, our ambitions for a transformed rail service. I am convinced that this strong competition will deliver a great public rail service for the people of Scotland.”

The present FirstGroup contract was extended last December, and now runs until 31 March 2015. The Scottish Government took the decision in the wake of the West Coast franchise collapse, so that it had time to consider the recommendations of the Laidlaw and Brown Reviews.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Steve, Kuwait City

    Oh Woooow, so UK taxpayers actually get to know some detilas about what's goin' on with this franchise sale? It wasn't so long ago that the Uk's transport minister Justine Greening,, was unable to tell us anything due to 'confidentiality'. For a public service? And we are about to trust them with HS2....great