First Minister Marks ScotRail Entering Public Ownership

ScotRail officially entered public ownership on 1 April 2022.

All ScotRail services will now be delivered by a government-owned operator, replacing the former franchise run by Abellio.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon marked this new beginning at Glasgow Queen Street Station, stating that the move will prioritise passengers and staff within Scotland’s rail service.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“This historic and momentous occasion marks the delivery of a key milestone in our ambitious Programme for Government to support a greener, fairer, more prosperous Scotland. Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to deliver the smooth transition of ScotRail into public control and ownership. This new beginning creates a real opportunity to deliver a railway which is for the nation, and fully focused on being run for the benefit of its users – customers, staff and stakeholders, as opposed to shareholders.”

ScotRail Public Ownership
Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Hynes mark ScotRail’s transition to public ownership at Glasgow Queen Street Station on 1 April 2022

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth initially announced ScotRail’s transition to public ownership in parliament on 9 February.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Scotland's Railway, said:

“This is a very important day for Scotland’s Railway, and it is a significant moment as we make the transition to public ownership. It’s an exciting new chapter and provides us with a fantastic opportunity to shape the future for rail travel in Scotland. The last couple of years have accelerated the change needed in our industry as we seek to keep pace with the different ways our customers now travel. Our customers will remain at heart of Scotland’s Railway, as we look to modernise the way we work.”

Alongside this transition to public ownership, the government ran a ‘Yours to Use’ promotion on ScotRail services from Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 April to encourage more people to travel by train. This promotion enabled every fare-paying adult to take up to four children free of charge on any journey within Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Rail plays a key role in helping to meet our climate change targets and cut transport emissions. ScotRail passenger services are a central plank in our ambitious decarbonisation plans – backed by £5 billion over this Parliament - to support thriving, resilient and diverse communities. Together with the delivery of our free bus travel for under-22s, we are making public transport a more attractive option, especially for Scotland’s younger generations.”

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