scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

First ScotRail Letter to FoFNL

The following letter was sent on 8th October, the morning of the announcement that the franchise had been awarded to Abellio:

Good morning,

It was announced today that Abellio will be the new operator of the ScotRail rail franchise with effect from 1 April 2015. I am deeply disappointed that the bid by Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, our parent company, was not successful. However, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved since First ScotRail started operating the franchise in 2004.

Our 10-year journey - in which we have transformed rail travel in Scotland - could not have been achieved without your engagement, support, and input. What we have done, together, over the last decade speaks for itself - from increasing passenger numbers by 34% to more than 86 million a year to achieving both record high customer satisfaction ratings and punctuality and reliability performance. Looking back to our early days in 2004, I'm amazed to see how much has changed. It truly has been a renaissance. Our employees have been the key to delivering these successes for Scotland's Railway over the last decade.

ScotRail has become a top performing UK train operating company and I can assure you that we will deliver a smooth transition for the thousands of employees affected by the change - and support Abellio through the process. We will continue to operate ScotRail services on a 'business as usual' basis until 1 April next year, and I have no doubt that everyone transferring to the new franchise will contribute hugely to the next phase of development. ScotRail is an integral part of Scottish life - and, for a flavour of our impact, I have attached a link to a graphic: ( ) which highlights the story of our achievements.

Finally, we could not have made our 10-year journey - which has transformed rail travel in Scotland - without your engagement, support and input. I thank you for being on board with all at First ScotRail.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind Regards,
Steve Montgomery,
Managing Director, ScotRail