Monday 15 August 2022

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The Scottish Government decided to suspend the franchising system in April 2020.

The franchise on this page then ceased to exist on normal commercial terms and was replaced by an Emergency Measures Agreement, which guaranteed an income to the operator and removed commercial risk.

The Scottish Government announced on 18 September that its EMAs would be extended from 20 September 2020 to January 2021, pending further discussions.


This was the second passenger franchise in Scotland since privatisation, but this contract was let by the Scottish Government (then the Scottish Executive) rather than the Department for Transport in London. The extension in the original contract was for a nominal three years (actually to 31 March 2014) but it was agreed in 2008 that the franchise should continue until November 2014. However, part of these negotiations included a change in branding from 'First ScotRail' to 'ScotRail', plus the adoption of a generic identity which is not based on the current franchise-holder's branding and is intended to be permanent. A further extension to 2015 was announced in December 2012.

start date
17 October 2004
end date
1 April 2015

owned by
GB Railways Group PLC/FirstGroup plc

legal title
First ScotRail Ltd

service area
Long distance, regional and local services in Scotland, with some journeys extended across the border to England, mainly to Carlisle, plus sleeper services to London Euston.


was replaced by


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