Emergency Measures Agreement
In April 2020 the Scottish Government agreed an Emergency Measures Agreement which made a temporary variation to the ScotRail franchise agreement to minimise disruption to passengers and rail employees during the COVID-19 outbreak and allow rail passenger services to continue to operate during this period.
The ScotRail franchise operates around 2,400 train services each day and delivers over 93 million passenger journeys per year. It is the single biggest contract let by Scottish Ministers, worth a total value of over £7 billion over 10 years.
In October 2014, the franchise was awarded to Abellio. Operations commenced on April 1 2015. The renewal programme documents all of the background information on the procurement process.
The ScotRail franchise covers all services in Scotland apart from services by other operators that cross the Anglo-Scottish border (Virgin, East Coast, TransPennine, Cross Country and the Caledonian Sleeper). ScotRail does operate services to Carlisle.
Rail franchising in Great Britain was created by the Railways Act 1993. Franchising allows a private operator to provide rail services on the Scottish rail network on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Franchise commitments include:
- the living wage as a minimum for all staff and subcontractors
- at least 100 apprenticeships
- guarantee of no compulsory redundancies throughout the life of the franchise contract
- rail staff pensions and travel rights to be protected
- introduction of guaranteed trade union representation on every franchise board meeting
Documents relating to the ScotRail franchise agreement can be found in the Public Register. Regular meetings are held with Abellio ScotRail to discuss franchise performance. We publish all the minutes of these meetings.
Previous franchise arrangements
The previous rail franchise was held by First ScotRail. This ended on 31 March 2015 and all documents relating to this franchise can be found in the Public Register. In addition, you can also read all the meeting minutes from regular meetings with First ScotRail.
The results for the Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) for the First ScotRail franchise are also available. More detailed information can also be found on the Network Rail website.