Argyll and Bute MSP welcomes ScotRail franchise award

The Dutch-owned company Abellio will take over the ScotRail franchise in April 2015.

The Dutch-owned company Abellio will take over the ScotRail franchise in April 2015.

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Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell says the awarding of the new ScotRail franchise to Abellio is good news for people in his constituency.

Among the commitments made by the company, a subsidiary of the national rail company of the Netherlands, is an additional summer service to Oban, more through tickets combining rail travel with ferries, buses and planes, and improvements to information and timetabling to ensure rail services link up with ferries to and from island communities such as Bute.

“The commitment of the company to an additional service to Oban during the tourist season is helpful,” Mr Russell said, “but even more important is the company’s determination to make the most of the stunning scenic rail routes in Scotland including the one that runs through the Argyll constituency.

“With improved rolling stock that aligns seating to windows for the best views, improved catering, Tourist Ambassadors on board and greatly increased marketing there is likely to be a substantial increase in rail usage and tourism in the area.

“I am also pleased to see a commitment to cross selling with other transport operators and improvements in information and timetabling so that ferries and trains link up - something of vital concern in this area both in Oban and on the Clyde.”

The new franchise will begin on April 1, 2015.