The National Express
Scotland's Daily New Service!
Available at all good stationers
Price £275 million
The great moment has finally arrived at a platform near you. On 10th February the preferred bidder for the Scotrail franchise was announced. Barring problems, National Express will take over the services on the 1st April! Undercutting bids by the ScotRail management team, Prism, Stagecoach and GO VIA, the bus company, who already have Gatwick Express, Midland Main Line and North London Railways in the bag, have only to have their bid approved by Strathclyde PTA. And of course, any conflict of interest with owning Scottish Citylink may have to be resolved. Perhaps their bid succeeded because they offered a dramatic improvement to Far North services; we shall have to wait and see.
Before the awarding of the Scotrail franchise the Friends wrote to all the shortlisted bidders with suggestions for service improvements, which is what privatisation is all about, but not surprisingly have had few replies. We can only hope that there may be something in the successful bid for the Far North, but we can probably rule out tilting trains or total route modernisation. Watch this space.
A warm welcome is extended to Pat Grant of Norfrost who is our new Vice President. She is the one Scottish entrepreneur who has embraced the new era of railfreight with open arms and in so doing has shown that the far North Line does not only have a future as a passenger railway.