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See the luxurious new Caledonian Sleeper trains which launch in October

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We don’t really focus much on sleeper trains on Head for Points, although Rob is doing an 11 hour trip from Stockholm to Lapland at Easter which he may or may not write about!

In the UK the sleepers to Scotland have lost a lot of their appeal in recent years.  Let’s be honest, travelling to Scotland overnight on a very dated train with (possibly) uncomfortable mattresses and a stranger sharing your room doesn’t sound tempting.

This is why Serco has spent £100 million to buy 75 new more luxurious coaches for its Caledonian Sleeper trains which will be rolled out from October 2018.

The first carriages have reached Glasgow via the Channel Tunnel and looking at the pictures they are a great improvement over their predecessor from 1980.

There will be a range of accommodation with the cheapest seats being the Comfort Seats.

Those staying in Club Rooms or Suites can have dinner and drinks in the Club Car.

Suites, Club Rooms and Classic Rooms all come with an en suite bathroom and ‘bespoke mattresses’.

Here is a Club Room:

…. and a Classic Room:

Peter Strachan, Chairman, Serco Caledonian Sleeper, said: “We believe the new Caledonian Sleeper trains will truly set a new standard in overnight travel and we have worked closely with Transport Scotland on their development since taking over the franchise in 2015.”

Comfort Seats start from £45, Classic Rooms are from £85 per person, Club Rooms are from £125 per person and Suites will be priced from £200 per person.

The company has removed the option of booking a bed in a shared room unless you are booking with a friend or partner.  It isn’t clear if a single person will get a discount on a room designed for two.

Tickets will be available to book from next month on this website.  The new trains will initially operate on the ‘Lowlander’ route between London and Glasgow / Edinburgh.

Comments (45)

  • Anthony Burns says:

    Have to say my experience of sleeper train travel has been good although I admit I have not used for ten years or so.
    These new carriages will certainly up the competition with flying as I have in recent years come to hate the ‘airport experience’ at places like Stansted.

    • RussellH says:

      Time was, so friends told me, that Stansted was brilliant. Only been there once myself, over ten years ago, and it was foul. Generally ‘airport experience’ varies inversely as the size, unless you can get priority security and a nice lounge, which, TBH, means that you miss out on the ‘airport experience’.
      🙂

  • Jeremy I says:

    We’ve used the sleeper a few times to Inverness where we rent a car to drive over to Skye and have loved it every time. With a two together railcard the cost is very reasonable. The bar / dining carriage is dated but very romantic and the booze is cheap. Love it !

  • sunguy says:

    As a Scot who has lived in London for the last 14 years, I have *never* taken the sleeper service – and its not without many attempts at trying.

    Every single time, without fail, that I try to book the sleeper, its excrutiatingly expensive often 3 to 4 times the cost of flying! One time, I wanted to go to a friends wedding in Inverness, £500 return on the sleeper, £120 on easyjet.

    I *WANT* to travel by train (I love flying, but the train can be a nice experience!).

    Yes; I do know Im esseentialy paying for a hotel room on wheels, but even then….it costs me £100 in diesel roundtrip….and even if I stay in a motel overnight, thats £150….its about the same to fly in general (or cheaper if you get tickets in a sale, etc).

    I wouldnt mind paying a little premium for using the service, but as someone who is paying this for himself and is not having a company/taxpayer pay for it, I just cannot justify double and more of flying or driving…..but I WANT TO DO IT…..and there in lies the problem….

    How many other folks are in the same situation as me ?

  • Carl says:

    Although I would like to try this, I would still prefer to fly
    I went to Edinburgh at the weekend form Luton Airport with my partner.

    £88 return. Hotel was £54 including breakfast, thats a total £142 for both of us.
    Much cheaper than a train with a bed and a lot of time saved.

    Turned up at the airport just an hour and a half before the flight, and within 3 hours of turning up at Luton airport, we were in our hotel in Edinburgh.

  • Concerto says:

    Sleeper services in Europe are almost non existent these days, a real shame. In the not so distant past, I did Lausanne-Venice and Basel/Bern-Weimar getting there at 05h when I was at the Weimar opera house. That train went on to Prague and I hopped on it once at Weimar for a great day out in Prague (saw the original manuscripts of several Berthoven symphonies while there).

  • Pierre says:

    Having done the Stockholm-Lapland route a few times by train, I can say it’s great value (though not as luxurious as the pics of the Caledonian here)

    • Rob says:

      I agree, I was surprised how little it cost. Forgotten now but there are 4 of us and it was very modest for 11 hours in a cabin.

  • Toucan says:

    Just got back from a trip on the Narvik-Stockholm sleeper (did Helsinki-Kolari last year) – it was brilliant. The cabins are for 3, so if there’s just two of you then you pay a reduced fee for the third berth and get the whole thing for yourself. Nice and spacious (moreso than the current sleepers in this country, and the Empire Builder roomette in the USA), a nice restaurant car (reindeer stew & mash anyone?), and decent toilets & showers.

  • Michael Canning says:

    On first inspection without doubt this is an infinite improvement on the current carriages which are nothing short of a disgrace (as they’re dirty, tired and uncomfortable – so not great for sleeping!!!).

    I know price is driven by demand, but I think the current sleeper has been over-priced for years (esp. considering its condition) and it’s a shame the operator is trying to justify the raising of prices because of the new carriages – for the current prices you would be right to expect high standards and the operators been failing on this for years.

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