Caledonian Sleeper alone advice

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sdhodgson91

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Hi Everyone
So I just booked a bargain berth on the Caledonian Sleeper (Euston to Motherwell) and since Im travelling alone I'm assuming i'm going to have to share a berth... not that it bothers me too much... but I'm hoping the since it's a monday (Albeit in summer - 16 August) I'm getting off at MTH and not GLC theres a better chance they'll keep me by myself? Or is this a popular get off stop?

Also in the lounge car, how should I go about sitting there and eating. The haggis has been raved about in many a thread and im quite looking forward to trying it! But I dont necessarily want to take up a whole table since im assuming most will be in couples...?

Also (and this is where my worrying too much comes in) Is there any special etiquette in the compartment and in the lounge car?? Should I take my book in the lounge car there to read on my own or should I go in with a smile on my face and talk to the first random scot I see on his 5th whisky?

Cheers guys.
---
I totally lied, 16 October not August. To be fair who thinks properly at 3am?!
 
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rail-britain

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I'm getting off at MTH and not GLC theres a better chance they'll keep me by myself? Or is this a popular get off stop?
In general this would be the case, you would normally be allocated a berth with another passenger to the same destination
Less than 10% of passengers alight at Motherwell, the majority travel to Glasgow Central

Also in the lounge car, how should I go about sitting there and eating. The haggis has been raved about in many a thread and im quite looking forward to trying it! But I dont necessarily want to take up a whole table since im assuming most will be in couples...?
Simply arrive early enough to obtain your berth and then get a seat, I would suggest about 22:30
There are several tables for two
You can then place your order as soon as you arrive in the Lounge Car

Alternatively, you can arrive in your berth and ask for a later reservation

When travelling First Class you can have a reservation in the Lounge Car, which travelling from the main stations is very useful as the Lounge Car can fill up very quickly

Also (and this is where my worrying too much comes in) Is there any special etiquette in the compartment and in the lounge car?? Should I take my book in the lounge car there to read on my own or should I go in with a smile on my face and talk to the first random scot I see on his 5th whisky?
The atmosphere tends to be very relaxed in the Lounge Car, some people sit by themselves, others watch the (rather dark) scenery, and some have meals and drinks

In the morning First Class passengers quite often have their breakfast served in the Lounge Car, but you can also have your tea served there and enjoy the scenery

You should be given a wake up call as the train passes over Beattock, but you can ask for it as the train departs Carlisle
 

PaxVobiscum

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I travel midweek whenever possible when it tends to be quieter so I've never seen the lounge car full. The times I've been on it there seem to be as many individuals, business and family groups as couples. Tables tend to go first when people are eating but the bench seats are OK to eat at as well. Have a look at the panorama if you haven't already (click on the lounge car at the foot of the page once it loads) and also the picture on the left of an off duty Santa Clause having his haggis in the Caley Sleeper. :D
 

paul1609

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Hi Everyone
So I just booked a bargain berth on the Caledonian Sleeper (Euston to Motherwell) and since Im travelling alone I'm assuming i'm going to have to share a berth... not that it bothers me too much... but I'm hoping the since it's a monday (Albeit in summer - 16 August) I'm getting off at MTH and not GLC theres a better chance they'll keep me by myself? Or is this a popular get off stop?

Also in the lounge car, how should I go about sitting there and eating. The haggis has been raved about in many a thread and im quite looking forward to trying it! But I dont necessarily want to take up a whole table since im assuming most will be in couples...?

Also (and this is where my worrying too much comes in) Is there any special etiquette in the compartment and in the lounge car?? Should I take my book in the lounge car there to read on my own or should I go in with a smile on my face and talk to the first random scot I see on his 5th whisky?

Cheers guys.

Ive done the sleeper many times and Ive only had to share a cabin once, on the other hand i have seen second class passengers asked to vacate the lounge car on many occasions due to overcrowding (only seems to happen on the Lowland sleeper).
However with the WCML speed up it appears to me that the Glasgow sleeper is now a lot quieter than it was a few years ago.



 
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Ah yes, the walk of shame when a mere 2nd class passenger is told to hop it because far more deserving 1st class passengers have just rocked up! Do the staff give 2nd class passengers a hi-vi tabards when they enter the lounge car with the lettering 'boot me out if it gets busy' across the front? ;)
 

sdhodgson91

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Ah thanks guys... I'm now very excited. It's not until October but I have lots of other journeys to keep me entertained until then.

I hope I am on my own, not for any other reason except I doubt I'll be able to sleep much and don't want to annoy the person under me - assuming being 21 I'll be made to sleep on top!
Little miffed I cant use my railcard for the bb but I guess at £29 I can't complain! Seen people on here paying over £100...
 

paul1609

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Ah yes, the walk of shame when a mere 2nd class passenger is told to hop it because far more deserving 1st class passengers have just rocked up! Do the staff give 2nd class passengers a hi-vi tabards when they enter the lounge car with the lettering 'boot me out if it gets busy' across the front? ;)

Must admit I have been pointedly asked for my ticket when 2nd class passengers were asked to leave on one occasion. it appears my crime was wearing baggy shorts amongst the "suits" however service after the (1st) ticket Inspection service was very civil



 

clc

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I always avoided sharing by buying 2 bargain berths, both in my name. £38 for, effectively, a single compartment is hard to beat.
 

sdhodgson91

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I always avoided sharing by buying 2 bargain berths, both in my name. £38 for, effectively, a single compartment is hard to beat.

I did think of this... but after extensive reading technically it would be considered a no show and they could resell the ticket trainside? Either way I'd rather not pay £58 for what will probably be a bad nights sleep...


And they wouldn't kick you out of the lounge car if you were planning on eating would they??
 

bignosemac

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I always avoided sharing by buying 2 bargain berths, both in my name. £38 for, effectively, a single compartment is hard to beat.

Thus denying someone else a Bargain Berth. Deeply selfish.

Oh and ScotRail can and do re-sell berths at the platform side when there are no shows.
 

142094

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I always avoided sharing by buying 2 bargain berths, both in my name. £38 for, effectively, a single compartment is hard to beat.

Has been known for Scotrail to re-sell berths where there has been a no-show - how common this is I don't know but there is always the risk that you might be sharing with someone in the end.
 

theblackwatch

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I've not done a bargain berth for some time now, but my experience when travelling on my own was that you were more likely to get a berth to yourself if you joined or alighted at somewhere a little more obscure. For example, on the sleeper from Fort William, there weren't many others who would be boarding at Dalmuir and they wouldn't want to put someone joining there in a berth with someone who had been on since the train started around 3 hrs earlier.
 

34Short

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I had a £19 fare between Euston - Carlisle. Of course, this meant a berth to myself :)

It was comfy - Plenty of space to lure someone else in if they were interested in joining the Milepost Club. The only issue I had was that it was pretty warm - Air Con had failed in the entire coach, which resulted in temperatures of about 37'c. I couldn't sleep as it was too warm. When we were 15 mins away from my stop, the guard woke me up and gave me a cup of coffee, which is greatly obliged at 0500 on any morning.

The whole buffet car scenario is surreal. Munching away on food at midnight as everything shoots past you at 90mph is bizarre yet thrilling. A few handsomely-priced cans of Stella later and everything is hunky-dory.

Enjoy it, it's an experience everyone should try.
 

sdhodgson91

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Does anyone know if alighting at Motherwell is obscure enough to (almost) guarantee a berth on my own?
Im thinking a little trip to warford jctn would have been a better idea but ah well done now.
 

clc

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I did think of this... but after extensive reading technically it would be considered a no show and they could resell the ticket trainside? Either way I'd rather not pay £58 for what will probably be a bad nights

I've probably done this about 6-7 times over the last 10 years and never once was it queried by the steward even though It was obvious I was traveling solo.
 

EltonRoad

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How common is it for people to buy a berth "trainside"? It would be a bit risky turning up on spec wouldn't it?
 

Liam

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How common is it for people to buy a berth "trainside"? It would be a bit risky turning up on spec wouldn't it?

I think most of these people have tickets for the seated coach, so they will be travelling anyway.
 

paul1609

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Its pretty common, outside of the school holidays these trains are lightly loaded. I sometimes have to go to Scotland at short notice for business. In the event that I was turned back at Euston I can still return to home and get a flight up in the morning.
To date i've never been turned back,
 

34D

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How common is it for people to buy a berth "trainside"? It would be a bit risky turning up on spec wouldn't it?

I once tried it on the riviera, and berths were full :(

If a no-show is filled with another passenger, does the no-show get anything back?
 

bb21

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I once tried it on the riviera, and berths were full :(

If a no-show is filled with another passenger, does the no-show get anything back?

Instructions from The Manual:

FRPP said:
Refunds

Partial refunds may be given up to 28 days after the original travel date.

To make a refund, the sleeper berth charge element of the inclusive price is deducted from the inclusive price. Deduct the following amounts:

Solo berth - £50
Twin berth - £35 per person
The remaining amount can then be refunded, less the £10 administration fee.

Next, the sleeper berth charge element can be refunded, depending on the time of cancellation as shown in the table below. Please make sure that you write the date and time of cancellation of the sleeper berth reservation on the Sleeper refund application forms (RSP 25805/24, RSP 25911).

Time of Cancellation: Not later than 16:00 hours on the day before the date of travel #

Permitted Refund: 75% of the fee paid (rounded up to the next 5p)

Time of Cancellation: After 16:00 hours on the day before the date of travel # and not later than the advertised departure time

Permitted Refund: 50% of the fee paid (rounded up to the next 5p)

Time of Cancellation: After the advertised departure time

Permitted Refund: No refund

# Departures between midnight and 02:29 hours inclusive count as the previous day's departure.

Example 1

Customer hands in a London Terminals-Penzance £119 Sleeper Solo Open ticket for a refund at 15:00 the day before travel:

Fare paid - £119.00
Minus Sleeper berth charge element - £50.00
Minus admin fee - £10.00
Refund on travel element - £59.00
Sleeper berth charge element (75% of £50 permitted for refund = £37.50. Add this to the travel element (£59.00+£37.50)
TOTAL REFUND = £96.50

Example 2

Customer hands in a London Terminals-Penzance £169 Sleeper Twin Open ticket for a refund the day after the booked date of departure:

Fare paid - £169.00
Minus Sleeper berth charge element - £70.00 (2x£35)
Minus Admin fee - £10.00
Refund on travel element - £89.00
Sleeper berth charge element - No refund due
TOTAL REFUND = £89.00
 

12CSVT

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I did think of this... but after extensive reading technically it would be considered a no show and they could resell the ticket trainside? Either way I'd rather not pay £58 for what will probably be a bad nights sleep

But if you were in possession of both tickets, would they be allowed to re-sell, as you have paid for two berths ?
 

clc

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But if you were in possession of both tickets, would they be allowed to re-sell, as you have paid for two berths ?

If both tickets are in your name you surely have entitlement to both berths so I don't see how they could re-sell. As I said, I've never been questioned over it by any member of staff.
 

paul1609

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I once tried it on the riviera, and berths were full :(

If a no-show is filled with another passenger, does the no-show get anything back?

I've only used the Riviera the once since the Plymouth portion was discontinued but you used to just turn up speak to the attendant and be sat in the buffet car whilst they sorted you out. I mostly used to travel down on a Sunday night and unless there had been a Rugby match or during school holidays the train was never crowded. I can remember once having to be in the Penzance portion but I never failed to get a berth.



 
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