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Abellio is an offshoot of NS (Dutch railways) will lose its Scotrail franchise in 2022 (earlier than planned).
This firm also holds the franchise for Greater Anglia and, more recently as we have reported, East Midlands Railway.
One wonders what might happen to the troubled Caledonian Sleeper franchise which used to be operated by Scotrail previously.
Serco has a 15-year franchise for the sleeper service. But last year Serco warned it might have to hand back the keys early.
Heard this news yesterday , and gotta say, this decision by the government in Edinburgh sums up everything that is wrong with how we run our railways ….
Why o’ why would Abellio now bother a jot for the next 2 years.
More likely to strip back and make as much of their profit margins as possible.
What’s less apparent is what a new operator could possibly improve on.
ScotRail isn’t perfect but Abellio has made it better since they took over, and have just announced further improvements last week.
So, the question has to be, who’s going to submit a bid that can realistically deliver the SNP’s vision and do it profitably ?
IMO public ownership is the only solution because you remove the shareholder growth factor.
And from what is reported in the Scotsman Abellio wanted a further increase in subsidy.
I stress that point because, before the election, a nunber of politicians were giving the impression that some foreign rail operators (Abellio is NS Dutch rail) were making handsome profits from UK rail.