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Going Dutch: FirstGroup loses ScotRail franchise

Dutch rail operator Abellio will run ScotRail services from April 2015, after promising to invest millions in improving services.

The transport union RMT has criticised the Scottish National Party for supposedly 'colluding' with Westminster to stop public ownership of the franchise.

But the Scottish Government say they didn't have a choice - and argue it's good news for the South of Scotland.

Joe Pike has more:

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FirstGroup loses ScotRail franchise to Abellio

The new 10-year franchise is set to come in at the start of April next year Credit: PA

The franchise to run Scotland's trains for the next decade has been awarded to Dutch rail operator Abellio, transport minister Keith Brown has confirmed.

The announcement comes after current Scotrail operator FirstGroup revealed it had failed in its bid to continue to run the rail service from the spring of 2015.

Mr Brown said Abellio will invest millions in providing an improved service and facilities for passengers and a better deal for staff.

The new contract includes benefits for passengers such as:

  • Free wifi on all trains
  • 23% more carriages across the network
  • Reduced fares for jobseekers
  • High-speed intercity diesel trains
  • Over a third more seats.

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Man dies after being hit by train

A man has died after being hit by a train.

The incident happened at about 9:15am between Penrith and Oxenholme Lake District.

Replacement bus services are currently running for First Transpennine Express customers between Carlisle and Oxenholme.

There are also disruptions to Virgin Trains.

Region's rail services disrupted by flooding

Train services across the region have been cancelled due to flooding.

The Northern Rail service is currently suspended between Carlisle and Maryport due to flooding at Aspatria, where the line is blocked.

Northern Rail are looking to source replacement buses, and there is no estimate for when normal services will resume.

There are also delays of up to 30 minutes on trains between Edinburgh Waverley and Carlisle due to flooding between Lockerbie and Carlisle.

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