ABELLIO LAUNCH NEW SCOTRAIL FRANCHISE WITH £1MILLION TICKET GIVEAWAY
Abellio launched the new ScotRail franchise at Stirling Station this morning with a £1m ticket giveaway as a thank you for loyal customers, and as an invitation to new ones to experience the delights of scenic travel on a ScotRail service. To book and print tickets, visit www.freescotrailtickets.com.
Future plans to transform rail services for passengers in Scotland include:
• Brand new trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow offering faster journey times and more capacity
• A fully refurbished, high quality intercity fleet worthy of serving the seven great cities of Scotland
• The launch of the longest new domestic railway in the UK for over 100 years, Borders, with a wonderful celebration of steam services
• Exciting new fares starting at £5 for reservable journeys, and first class advance purchase fares from £10
• Free travel for jobseekers attending up to two interviews a month, and one month’s free travel when they start work
• A Scottish nationwide smartcard to serve an integrated transport network and make travel easier
• The UK’s first national cycle/rail network, w 3,500 new parking spaces, cycle hubs and cycle hire at stations
• A £1m community engagement programme and industry beating environmental performance
• The start of a new relationship with Network Rail moving towards a strategic Alliance between the companies
Commenting on the launch, Jeff Hoogesteger CEO of Abellio Group said
“Abellio is proud to be serving Scotland and it is a privilege to be launching the new ScotRail from Stirling, at the heart of this magnificent country. Today begins a new chapter in the long story of Scotland’s railways. As the new stewards of a vital part of Scotland’s society and economy, we understand the responsibility given to us and will work every day to earn the faith that has been shown in us.”
“On 8th October 2014 I stood with the then Transport Minister Keith Brown, at Waverley station to welcome the award of ScotRail to Abellio. The ball is now very firmly in Abellio’s court, and we have no higher priority than to bring our vision for ScotRail to life.”
“I now live in Edinburgh and will test the services regularly as I travel to Abellio’s new UK headquarters is Glasgow. We have also just opened a new UK Shared Services Centre in Glasgow, so Abellio’s arrival in Scotland is already having a positive impact on the economy.”
Dominic Booth, Abellio UK Managing Director added
“The ScotRail team are handing over a franchise in very good shape and we are grateful. However, we are determined that ScotRail will now go Beyond A-to-B and play a truly strategic role in the long-term success of the country. We will do so by providing jobs and support for small businesses in towns and cities across the country. By supporting and boosting Scotland’s leisure and tourism industries. By working with local schools and supporting community programmes. And by connecting businesses and people through improved journey times and increased capacity on Scotland’s rail network”
“We are particularly excited about welcoming the Borders Railway into the ScotRail family, and introducing passengers to the delights of the tourism opportunities along this beautiful route in September. This new railway will deliver passenger services between Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders for the first time since the 1960’s and we will celebrate the launch with a programme of steam services for the first six weeks. We also have plans for five other steam journeys across the country this year, which you can now read about and book on our new website.”
Today’s launch was attended by the Minister for Transport, Derek Mackay, who commented:
“The ScotRail franchise is the single biggest contract let by the Scottish Government so it was important to us that the new operator could deliver not only a reliable and successful rail service for the country, but also that it would be an enabler for growth in our economy.
“Abellio has promised to contribute to Scottish public life in many ways beyond the railway, from community and third sector engagement to moving their UK headquarters from London to Glasgow.
“For those who are using our railways, there are new and refurbished trains and innovative fares deals on the way and these exciting plans will also help attract more people to use the train.
“We are just months away from opening a new railway to the Borders, a new deep alliance between services and infrastructure will bring benefits for passengers and we have improvements programmes in place for routes up and down the country.
“I look forward to seeing Abellio ScotRail become the beating heart of this exciting time for the railways in Scotland.”