ScotRail to Undergo $7.8 Billion Overhaul

The Scottish government has revealed its plans for the next ScotRail franchise, according to The changes are being described as a $7.8 billion overhaul.

After a lengthy public consultation, the government has decided to offer a ten-year franchise starting in 2014, which will have a five-year break point. Caledonian Sleeper services, which are to benefit from a $156 million investment, will be let separately under a contract which is expected to last for up to 15 years.

The plans have been announced by transport minister Keith Brown, and 'will also ensure attractive and affordable fares, support growth in freight and demand better integration of rail services with buses, bikes and ferries'.

There will be investment along the central belt, including electrifying the main Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen Street line and improvements on the main lines to Inverness and Aberdeen.

Electrification of other routes will continue at the rate of 100km a year, while wi-fi and smart ticketing are also on the agenda. Many fares will continue to be regulated.