The first carriages from the new £100m fleet of Caledonian Sleeper trains have arrived in the UK ahead of their introduction to service later this year.
Starting in October 2018, the overnight rail service will begin to be transformed as 75 new carriages are introduced in a phased transition. A total of five carriages have this morning arrived in the outskirts of Glasgow, where they will start extensive testing over the coming months. These initial five carriages are still to be fitted out internally following testing. Fully fitted out carriages will arrive in the UK at a later date.
The carriages have travelled through the Channel Tunnel to Scotland from the Velim Test Centre in the Czech Republic where they have been undergoing mandatory trials.
The introduction of new trains will be the culmination of a wide range of improvements and investment in Caledonian Sleeper since Serco took over the franchise on behalf of the Scottish Government in April 2015. These have had a dramatic impact on the service and after years of decline in patronage, the number of customer journeys has increased by 21%.
With the countdown on to the introduction of the new trains – which will initially debut on the ‘Lowlander’ route between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh – Caledonian Sleeper has announced that tickets will be made available from next month.
The new trains are currently being constructed by CAF in Spain, at a cost of over £100m, part funded by a capital grant from Scottish Ministers of £60m. They will be the first sleeper trains to be introduced to the UK for over 35 years. The fleet is designed to accommodate the modern-day traveller and cater to both business and leisure travel guests. A range of accommodation options will be offered, including:
- Comfort Seats
- Classic Rooms (twin or single)
- Club Rooms (twin or single with en-suite)
- Suites (double bed with en-suite)
- Classic, Club and Suites will also be available as fully accessible rooms for guests with reduced mobility
- Other new features will also be included, such as a hotel-style key card entry system, more accessible rooms, charging panels and WiFi throughout the train.
As agreed with Transport Scotland and following consultation with guests and other stakeholders, anyone who books a room on the new trains will be guaranteed solo occupancy unless they choose to share with a partner.
Read more: Interesting piece on the Caledonian Sleeper and other night trains in the UK can be found on Transportdesigned: Sleeping in style – branding the new Caledonian Sleeper
In social media:
Proud moment! This week we brought the first ever CAF built MK5 Caledonian Sleeper Coaches in to the UK. A further demonstration of Rail Operations Group’ growing presence in the delivery of new rolling stock to the UK. #CAF #MK5 #sleeper #locomotive #class37 pic.twitter.com/9juVbJjgBm
— Rail Operations Group (@RailOpsGroup) January 16, 2018