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Caledonian Sleeper service beds down with refreshed carriages

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May 17 2019

Caledonian Sleeper service beds down with refreshed carriages

Caledonian Sleeper services are to be expanded with the roll out of a new Highland route from June 2019, sporting ‘hotel on wheels’ decor created by Edinburgh-based interior designers Ian Smith Design on behalf of Serco.

Confined to constricted cabin space Smith has created a series of contemporary rooms, some with en-suite toilets and showers, as well as reclining seats, storage lockers and reading lights. These spaces will be served by a new look Club Car employing oak, grey, tan and blue fabrics to foster a relaxing and welcoming environment.

Smith said: “As someone who travels by train a lot I wanted the design to move away from impersonal and utilitarian nature of modern trains to give guests a feeling that their comfort and experience of travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper would not only be a memorable one for the tourist but also a matter of choice for the regular traveller”.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s managing director of Caledonian Sleeper, added: “The design, look and feel of the new trains is a world away from the previous service and the feedback from guests really cements this.

“It was important to us to work with a Scottish designer that understood that what we were trying to do was move away from being purely a functional transport service and instead create a hotel atmosphere.”

As part of the work guest lounges at Inverness, Fort William, Dundee, Leuchars and Stirling have been updated.

A new look Club Car will provide scope for both socialising and being alone
A new look Club Car will provide scope for both socialising and being alone
Images by CFH Photography
Images by CFH Photography

Soft and discreet lighting illuminates the new look club car
Soft and discreet lighting illuminates the new look club car


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 17 May 2019 at 10:46 AM
Complete ego trip to keep a small group of MPs on side. Ridiculous amount of money trying to build a better yesterday.

What is the opportunity cost of the £50mill that was injected into the project to make the figures add up? Great for the train builder but money lost to the Scottish economy.

Total lack of imagination -- whatever happened to innovation and a little bit of original thinking?

Business class lie flat seats were the way forward but somehow it was business as usual with the ancient hotel room vibe.

Interesting to find out the economics of this little exercise -- they are stealing food out of the mouths of poor children to indulge a middle class audience stuck in the past.
#2 Posted by Gorgu on 17 May 2019 at 12:37 PM
and i would respond with it is the bare minimum to keep competitive with some of the experiences offered in Asia these days, I am sorry number 1 but if you think this is an extravagance you belong in the Dickensian ages
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 17 May 2019 at 13:30 PM
We are not in Asia.

We are a declining post industrial nation that has more and more people sleeping on the streets.

Investing scarce public funds to deliver a better yesterday regarding overnight rail services is an indulgence that we cannot afford. Especially since the product on offer is very limited in comparison to the innovation that is part of modern airline passenger standards.

We are paying more than £2mill for a single 22M un-powered passenger carriage -- in the real world using real money this is far too much.
Emma McDonald
#4 Posted by Emma McDonald on 17 May 2019 at 15:47 PM
What day do they start running from euston to Inverness
David Brown
#5 Posted by David Brown on 17 May 2019 at 16:27 PM
Fat Bloke

Class of users have nothing to do with it. This is an excellent service. I use it regularly. You cannot fly into London before 08:15 in the morning and hence you cannot get to any appointments until after 9am. I can leave my home at 10pm, having spent the evening with my wife and family. Board the train at 10:30 and wake up in London leaving the train at 6:30 in the morning allowing 7:30 appointments in London. This has massive efficiency benefits over flights with all their wasted time getting to the airport and out again. Great use of money and excellent for connectivity. Designs look traditional but that is ok as it is aimed at the lucrative international tourist who is essential to the Scottish economy and who is looking for traditional experiences.
#6 Posted by cadmonkey on 17 May 2019 at 16:55 PM
Fat Bloke, I take it you don't travel much to London on business?
Train driver
#7 Posted by Train driver on 17 May 2019 at 22:36 PM
Fat bloke of Troll, sigh. If you understood tourists, you'd realise they come to England to lap up the old colonial part...then pop up to Edinburgh (the northern colonial outpost) to soak up its gravitas. Stick in at primary school I see some talent in you. As a van driver....
#8 Posted by mick on 17 May 2019 at 23:01 PM
The comments #5 David Brown are mature, valid and to be applauded. Well stated.
#9 Posted by alibi on 18 May 2019 at 11:00 AM
this is the future. internal UK flights just shouldn't be necessary.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#10 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 18 May 2019 at 13:18 PM
Base point is the waste of public funds.

£2mill per carriage is too much -- some people are very good at spending other people's money.

One of many examples regarding transport where the Nats have lost the plot regarding delivery and VFM.

No issues with the sleeper service just a case that it needs proper financial control and it needs innovation and new ideas not wasting money on a better yesterday.

As for the need for the fabled 07.30 business meeting / and its use to try and justify the new gold plated sleeper service -- jog on.

These only involve oxygen thieves, ego trippers and wimps trying to look tough.
#11 Posted by Asimov on 18 May 2019 at 22:39 PM
It's just this diesel locomotives that bother me. In 2019...
Walt Disney
#12 Posted by Walt Disney on 20 May 2019 at 10:05 AM
I used the only carriages fortnightly for 2 years while working on jobs in London. It had many, many faults (waking up refreshed and rested, only to find we were still in Waverley to name but one....)but the whole concept is sound. Arrive in Euston at 7.30 and you hit the ground running, getting a full day in before getting the 5pm train back home. Its an essential part of Scotland's business infrastructure. I couldn't imagine paying the prices for a private booking, but then again tourists seem to love it!
Brian Sewell
#13 Posted by Brian Sewell on 20 May 2019 at 16:42 PM
Am I alone in thinking these images/designs are just spectacularly and corporately dull?
Fat Bloke on Tour
#14 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 21 May 2019 at 10:49 AM
The true marker for product / project success is what happens next.

If the world beats a path to our door to learn from our efforts / copy our designs and product offerings then we have made progress.

If the stand back and snigger at our wastefulness and profligacy then we will have failed.

All the while we are supporting manufacturing in Spain -- not good with Springburn on its last legs.
Fitz Hat
#15 Posted by Fitz Hat on 23 May 2019 at 11:16 AM
The sleeper service is excellent for those of us who don't live in the central belt. Flights into London are few and expensive from Aberdeen, let alone Inverness. This service is important to get people to and from Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen. Anyone who used it recently would see that it has been badly starved of investment and was falling apart, despite the excellent staff's best efforts. It's probably not a priority for those of you who live in Glasgow, but there is life outside of that city.
#16 Posted by Aw on 23 May 2019 at 15:03 PM
#15 Anyone who is writing on the UR comments section mid-morning to praise railway staff and insult Glasgow has certified, guaranteed, never regularly caught any train to Central London.
Fitz Hat
#17 Posted by Fitz Hat on 24 May 2019 at 08:27 AM
It's always nice when people who don't know me tell me what I have or haven't done. Have I insulted Glasgow? I was just pointing out that there's a tendency on this website to be rather parochial and think that life begins and ends in the Central Belt.

For the record, the Caledonian Sleeper staff are excellent. Possibly because it has a different operator.

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