Affordable tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper?

Panceltic

Member
Joined
2 Nov 2012
Messages
260
Location
Aberystwyth, Wales
Hi all,

I might be moving to Glasgow in the future, finally having the option to use the Caledonian Sleeper for my trips to London. I have checked their website and was a bit shocked by the price levels!

Is there a cheaper way to do it? Something like a combination of off-peak tickets + a room supplement? The supplements cost almost as much as inclusive tickets though ...

I have a 16-25 railcard for now and will have the 26-30 for a few more years.

Thanks for any insight!
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

lachlan

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2019
Messages
142
Hi all,

I might be moving to Glasgow in the future, finally having the option to use the Caledonian Sleeper for my trips to London. I have checked their website and was a bit shocked by the price levels!

Is there a cheaper way to do it? Something like a combination of off-peak tickets + a room supplement? The supplements cost almost as much as inclusive tickets though ...

I have a 16-25 railcard for now and will have the 26-30 for a few more years.

Thanks for any insight!
Unfortunately the tickets are rather expensive for the solo traveller as they no longer allow sharing. I queried this and was told it was due to safety concerns (load of nonsense). This was pre-pandemic.

My only advice is book ahead as they do seem to vary in price a bit. With a disabled persons Railcard it was still coming to over £100 for one way IIRC.
 

Panceltic

Member
Joined
2 Nov 2012
Messages
260
Location
Aberystwyth, Wales
Thanks for your answer! Of course I forgot to mention that this would be for a couple travelling (the other person doesn’t have a railcard but is eligible for the 16-25 one if needed).
 

lachlan

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2019
Messages
142
Thanks for your answer! Of course I forgot to mention that this would be for a couple travelling (the other person doesn’t have a railcard but is eligible for the 16-25 one if needed).
No problem, here's hoping there is a way to find cheaper fares.

Edit: as mentioned above there's always the seats! Are they comfy?
 

Watershed

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2020
Messages
2,624
Location
UK
The seats are the only truly affordable option. The price of the rooms has risen significantly since Serco took over the franchise, as they have sought to make it a 'luxury hotel on wheels' (to what extent they've succeeded is another question!).

You do need to consider the fact you're saving on a hotel. An Advance would typically cost from around £30-40 each way on a day train, and even the cheapest Travelodge/Premier Inn is going to cost about £30 a night. So, really, it's only any amount above £60-70 that you are paying as a "premium".

Obviously you are never going to get a great night's sleep on the seats, but they are dirt cheap for what you are getting - it is 2+1 reclining seating with a footrest, unsurprisingly it's similar to the First Class on TPE Mark 5s.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
6,309
I queried this and was told it was due to safety concerns (load of nonsense). This was pre-pandemic.
Safety of the being locked up with a random stranger variety. Very few people would want to be put in that situation these days, especially in such a confined space.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
68,705
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Safety of the being locked up with a random stranger variety. Very few people would want to be put in that situation these days, especially in such a confined space.

I'd be happy with sharing an open coach of couchettes, seats or whatever with strangers, but indeed not such an intimate space. I did share a 2 berth cabin on a ship with someone random once and found it awkward.

I get that the recliners weren't viable, but it's a shame they didn't do some sort of couchette arrangement, perhaps hostel-style with curtains on each bunk but the coach open, a la Platzkartny on Russian trains.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
6,309
I'd be happy with sharing an open coach of couchettes, seats or whatever with strangers, but indeed not such an intimate space.
Same here - I've done it in the past but wouldn't want to these days. However, I am fine with a dormitory room in a hostel or a sleeper on Indian railways where it's just a curtained off bunk. It's the confined space that's the problem.
 

hexagon789

Veteran Member
Joined
2 Sep 2016
Messages
11,779
Location
Glasgow
I queried this and was told it was due to safety concerns (load of nonsense).
It wasn't just that, they did a survey which showed an overwhelming majority of travellers would either not consider, would be uncomfortable with or did not like the idea of sharing.

Why perpetuate the arrangements if people aren't going to make use of the facilities under such arrangements?
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
8,150
Location
Central Belt
Thanks all. It seems to me we’re gonna opt for a daytime train and a hotel instead, until I’m able to afford the Double cabins that is!
That does open an interesting point can you share with someone else you actually know? I was never keen on the total stranger part, but can you actually book a berth for 2 people together?
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
6,309
Thanks all. It seems to me we’re gonna opt for a daytime train and a hotel instead, until I’m able to afford the Double cabins that is!
The double 'rooms' are the most expensive, effectively 1st class plus. For the lower prices you'd want a classic room, and a fixed advance ticket. They do book a long way ahead and are busiest on Fridays and Sundays, and most nights during the summer months.
 

mmh

Established Member
Joined
13 Aug 2016
Messages
2,948
It wasn't just that, they did a survey which showed an overwhelming majority of travellers would either not consider, would be uncomfortable with or did not like the idea of sharing.

Why perpetuate the arrangements if people aren't going to make use of the facilities under such arrangements?

Quite. I think those musing about couchettes aren't appreciating that dormitory / youth hostel style accommodation has never been a large market in Britain, and I can't see there being anything than less of a market for a travelling version. The sleeper is an expensive service to run, and those willing to sleep in a dormitory are also those who aren't willing to pay much for it. I don't doubt some analysis has been done in the past on the feasibility of it, but its only going to become less popular over time. Most people these days go their whole lives without sleeping in the same room as someone they don't know.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
68,705
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Quite. I think those musing about couchettes aren't appreciating that dormitory / youth hostel style accommodation has never been a large market in Britain

The YHA and Hostelworld etc beg to differ. It's a specific demographic, but it's not unpopular at all.
 

lachlan

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2019
Messages
142
I would be happier if the cost for a solo traveller was half that of a couple. I am happy to share a room and it's frustrating that that is no longer an option, and that solo travel is disproportionately expensive unless you're happy with a seat.

I have already made my thoughts known to Caledonian Sleeper so not much more I can do about that unfortunately.
 

Cdd89

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2017
Messages
700
Most people these days go their whole lives without sleeping in the same room as someone they don't know.
I'm not so sure. I'd view sleeper rail as analogous to long haul (night) flights, where sleeping in the same cabin as others is standard.

I agree there is a hesitancy, but isn't that more that people aren't really accustomed to sleeper rail services here?
 

221129

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2011
Messages
6,318
Location
Sunny Scotland
I'd view sleeper rail as analogous to long haul (night) flights, where sleeping in the same cabin as others is standard.
In the seats maybe. How many flights do you share a tiny private room with a stranger?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
68,705
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
In the seats maybe. How many flights do you share a tiny private room with a stranger?

Yep, sharing a tiny private room is very, very different and is not something I would like to do, having done it once in a slightly larger one on a ship.

If I had to share a Sleeper room I'd go in the seats (or day trains and a hotel, more likely).
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
19,549
The YHA and Hostelworld etc beg to differ. It's a specific demographic, but it's not unpopular at all.

But it is cheap, something the sleeper can’t afford to do. Even at £200 a berth they are losing money hand over fist.
 

Deafdoggie

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2016
Messages
1,705
That does open an interesting point can you share with someone else you actually know? I was never keen on the total stranger part, but can you actually book a berth for 2 people together?
If you couldn't, and you can't share with a stranger, it makes twin & double rooms (which they all are) pointless.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
6,309
They'd probably need at least 4 times the number of passengers by the time the costs of carrying more of them are taken into account.
 

Top