Caledonian Sleeper bar car at Euston railway station
|Main route(s):||London Euston—Aberdeen/Edinburgh Waverley/Fort William/Glasgow Central/Inverness|
|Fleet size:||75 carriages (22 × Mark 2, 53 × Mark 3)
75 new carriages under construction by CAF due for delivery in 2018
|Stations called at:||46|
Caledonian Sleeper is a train operating company owned by Serco running the sleeper train that connects London Euston station nightly (except Saturday) with Scotland. It is one of only two sleeper services on the British railway network, the other being the Night Riviera.
There are two Caledonian Sleeper routes, one to Edinburgh and Glasgow which splits up at Carlisle and one to Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness which is also separated on its route and merged on its way back to London respectively. Both routes also have several intermediate stops.
Since the privatisation of British Rail the Caledonian Sleeper has been part of the ScotRail franchise. The Scottish Caledonian Sleeper Service was named in the Top 40 priority investments on page 37 of the Budget 2013 Red Book.
In 2012 the Scottish Government announced that as part of the reletting of this franchise from April 2015 it would be split, with the sleeper a separate franchise to run for 15 years. It was stated that a total of £100 million would be invested in new and additional rolling stock. In June 2013, Transport Scotland announced Arriva, FirstGroup and Serco had been shortlisted to bid for the new franchise. In May 2014, the franchise was awarded to Serco with a commitment to replace the Mark 2 and Mark 3 coaching stock by 2018. On 31 March 2015, Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited, a subsidiary of Serco, took over the operation of the Caledonian Sleeper as an independent franchise split from the ScotRail franchise formerly operated by FirstGroup.
The Caledonian Sleepers headquarters and customer call centre is located within Inverness Railway Station. Each terminus station has lounges and ticketing/customer service desks.
Two trains depart London Euston on six nights per week, Sunday to Friday, heading north on the West Coast Main Line. The trains normally operate at a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour (130 km/h), but are authorised to travel at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) where line speeds permit if the train has been delayed by more than 20 minutes.
Highland Sleeper – Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness
Departs London Euston at 21:15 (20:57 Sunday), calling at Watford Junction, Crewe and Preston to pick up passengers only, and arrives at Edinburgh Waverley approximately six-and-a-half hours after leaving London. The electric Class 92 (Sometimes Class 90) locomotive is uncoupled and replaced by a Class 67 diesel locomotive for each of the three portions, to Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William, calling at intermediate stations.
The front three coaches are for Fort William, the middle portion for Aberdeen, and the rear portion for Inverness.
Heading south, the Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness portions join at Edinburgh to form one train calling at Preston, Crewe and London Euston (alighting only).
Lowland Sleeper – Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central
Departs London Euston at 23:50 (23:27 Sunday), calling at Watford Junction to pick up only. Passengers can alight at Carlisle and at Carstairs (on the Glasgow section only), where the train divides, the rear portion continuing to Edinburgh, the front portion to Glasgow Central additionally calling at Motherwell.
Southbound the portions from Glasgow (calling at Motherwell) and Edinburgh join at Carstairs (where passengers can board the Glasgow section), then call at Carlisle to pick up only, setting down at Watford Junction and London Euston the following morning.
The Sunday services are sometimes diverted via the East Coast Main Line when the West Coast Main Line is closed for engineering work. Services diverted via the East Coast Main Line still depart from London Euston but join the North London Line at a junction north of Wembley to access the East Coast Main Line.
|Caledonian Sleeper destinations|
The train consists of Mark 3 sleeping cars and Mark 2F lounge car and Mark 2E seated cars, all air conditioned. They are hauled by GB Railfreight Class 92 locomotives south of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and DB Schenker Class 67 north of Edinburgh. The portions for all destinations except Fort William have up to six sleepers, a lounge car and seated.
The Fort William portion consists of two sleeping cars (one set up for First Class, the other for Standard), with the lounge car and seated car north of Edinburgh only. This is because the longest permitted length train for the platforms at Euston is 16 carriages. Passengers in the Fort William portion can use the Aberdeen or Inverness lounge cars south of Edinburgh.
Previously, in 2006 First ScotRail and EWS came to an agreement that a dedicated fleet of Class 90s would be used, and these were painted in First ScotRail livery, with a small EWS logo at the cab. Until June 2006 a Class 37 diesel locomotive hauled the Fort William portion; until 2001 Class 47 diesel locomotives hauled the Aberdeen and Inverness portions. The traction is now being provided by a class British Rail Class 67.
The current stand-alone Serco franchise uses traction provided by GB Railfreight. The fleet consists of four dedicated Class 92 electric locomotives that operate the electrified sections of the route, with a fleet of six class 73/9 electro-diesel locomotives to operate the non-electrified sections of the route to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen from October 2015. Until then Class 67 locomotives continue to be used. For London area empty stock moves, class 86 locos 86101 and 86401, and class 87 no. 87002 are used. 87002 has also been used as a back-up loco when others fail on the main passenger service.
Three types of travel are available: First Class sleeper, Standard Class sleeper, and seated. There is often no differentiation between Caledonian Sleeper services and seated services on the National Rail booking system. Caledonian Sleeper offers a booking service which specifically shows its sleeper services, from the syndicated National Rail database. National Rail tickets are valid in seated parts of the train. Advance reservations are compulsory.
- "Budget 2013" (PDF). HM Treasury. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Scottish rail services plan outlined by government". BBC News. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Caledonian sleeper train service bidders named BBC News 28 June 2013
- Serco wins franchise for Caledonian sleeper train service BBC News 28 May 2014
- Companies House extract company no SC477821 Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited
- "Operating enhancements for First ScotRail Sleeper to be delivered by DB Schenker and Axiom Rail" (Press release). DB Schenker Rail (UK). 26 May 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
- Railway Herald issue 444
- "The Sleepers are stirring" Rail issue 756 3 September 2014 page 70
Media related to Caledonian Sleeper at Wikimedia Commons
As part of British Rail
|Sub-brand of ScotRail franchise
1997 - 2004
ScotRail (National Express)
|Sub-brand of ScotRail franchise
2004 - 2015
Split from main ScotRail franchise
|Operator of Caledonian Sleeper franchise
2015 - present