Abellio, a subsidiary of Dutch state railways, has won the new ScotRail franchise it was announced today – and will therefore be the first operator of the new Borders Railway. Leaving aside the issue of whether the new franchise should have been postponed pending potential new transport powers to come to the Scottish Parliament, it’s clear that Abellio has some exciting plans, a taste of which came in their press release today:
“Working with partners to attract international attention to the scenic beauty of Scotland’s railways with major upgrades to Scotland’s scenic trains to enhance the tourist experience:
• Specially refurbished trains to align seats with windows
• More luggage, cycle and ski storage
• Additional service to Oban in peak season
• A Tourist Ambassador and improved on board catering that showcases local Scottish produce
• Special events in the low season to attract customers”
CBR has just issued its latest newsletter (attached), which includes details of the AGM to be held on 6th November at St Peters Church, Galashiels. We already have one excellent guest speaker confirmed and will shortly be announcing other guests. A big attendance is expected at this last AGM before the railway opens.