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Scotland's Train Operator, Scotrail, to be Nationalised - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Scotland's Train Operator, Scotrail, to be Nationalised

Abellio: Scot Rail

Scotland's train services are to be run by a public sector body, the Scottish government has announced.

Dutch firm Abellio will stop running the ScotRail franchise at the end of March next year, after this an "arms-length" Scottish government company will take over the running of services.

Abellio has been running the franchise since 2015 but had its contract ended early amid criticism over cancellations and performance levels.

All ScotRail staff will transfer to the new Scottish government-owned entity.

The arrangement is being made under powers which allow the Scottish government to take over the rail franchise without a bidding process.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said he was not able to say how long these "operator of last resort" arrangements would last for.

Scotland's railways have already been temporarily nationalised since March last year to help the service cope with the impact of coronavirus.

The Scottish government has spent £452m in support for ScotRail, along with the Caledonian Sleeper, after passenger numbers dropped dramatically as a result of lockdown restrictions.

The "operator of last resort" model that the Scottish government will use is currently being used by the UK government to run the East Coast franchise by means of the arms-length London North Eastern Railway company.

For more information, visit Transport Scotland

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