First Group has lost another rail franchise. Hot on the heels of the loss of the Thameslink and Great Northern franchise, which passed to Govia last month, it is now understood that Dutch State Railway Abelio will take over operation of Scotland's railways for a ten year term from April next year. This is a further blow for First who in 2012 won the West Coast Main Line franchise only for it to be taken away before it had even started.
The Scotland-England overnight 'Sleeper' service will not be part of the new franchise and has already been awarded to Serco
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.