A History of Britain’s Railways


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Click to enlargeScotRail
(National Express Franchise)

An overview of the ScotRail franchise while held by National Express Group in retrospect.

The franchise was to operate internal train services, (including Strathclyde Passenger Transport), within Scotland and the long distance sleepers from Glasgow, Fort William, Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh to London.

Franchise began 1 April 1997
Franchise extended from 1 April 2004
Franchise ended 17 October 2004

Approaching Rogart from the west.
Approaching Rogart from the west.




The Franchise

In April 1997 the National Express Group became the first holder of the ScotRail franchise. On the 17th of October 2004 the franchise was handed on to First. The changes may seem arbitrary to passengers but it is interesting to note the achievements of National Express during its tenure and the legacy of the period.

A number of improvements instituted in the period have yet to come to completion;

These demonstrate that National Express took the franchise just as seriously towards the end of their tenure, even after it was known that the franchise had been lost. In fact over the franchise period there were a number of notable improvements over the minimal requirement of the ScotRail franchise;

Some of the improvements demonstrated industry leadership;

National Express's ScotRail in retrospect

The first notable change was probably the new livery carried by trains which seemed inspired by green moorland and purple heather hills on a white background. But there were other achievements by the end of the franchise period;

Statistics and awards

New services and improved services

New trains and investment in existing trains

New stations and investment in existing stations The Managing Directors were:

Sources include ScotRail Outlook Autumn 2004

Page created on 19/01/1998
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford