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Scottish alliance launched


Phil Verster heading up joint ScotRail/Network Rail operation

The alliance between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail has been formally launched.

The two organisations will come together under a single brand with the aim of putting passengers at the centre of their future plans. Setting up a formal alliance with Network Rail was one of the commitments made by Abellio in its winning bid for the ScotRail franchise, which began on 1 April.

The alliance is led by Phil Verster, previously Network Rail’s Route Director for London North Eastern & East Midlands. Mr Verster said: ‘The ScotRail Alliance is all about connecting Scotland, bringing people and communities together and putting the customer first in everything we do.’

He described the launch as the start of ‘an exciting journey which will deliver a railway that Scotland can be truly proud of’, adding ‘The new business is not about anything else but people. By bringing track and train together as one business we have a real opportunity to change how the industry in Scotland works, making it more responsive to the needs of the country it serves.’

Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay added: ‘We strongly believe that a more integrated approach across the whole industry is in the best interests of Scotland’s railways. I therefore welcome closer collaboration which places the needs of passengers at its heart through the delivery of high-quality, reliable services, and a more efficient management and operation of the rail network in Scotland.’

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