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Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Clansman, 4 Jan 2016.
I guess it's a lot of money to suddenly pay for when it was announced the new stock was coming in.
I was a wee bit surprised they chose a night when there was ecml diversions to launch , but actually feel a bit sorry for them tonight with signalling issues around Carstairs causing some major issuesfor them.
The prices are very expensive. Came up to around £400rtn some random days in July, £600 for ensuite. Could fly for about £50rtn getting early and late flight (allowing two full days in London) same dates on easyJet. Even getting LNER train the previous evening and a (really decent) hotel would be way, way cheaper.
I'm really not convinced there is a market for this service if I'm honest.
I can definitely seeing the odd tourist using it (assuming marketing is good enough, very few people know the sleeper exists IME nevermind that it has been upgraded).
Business travellers maybe but I think they would prefer the flexibility of normal train/plane (eg if meetings finish early then can get an earlier flight or train back). At £600 rrn for an ensuite you are getting into pretty executive business travel as well, would probably be cheaper to get a limo to and from airports with a BA flight to city... more junior staff are not going to get journey like this approved by finance, they'll get a easyJet flight and premier Inn like before.
Given the late boarding and early alighting I bet most passengers don't bother with the lounge car on the Lowlander (it is after all a sleeper, not a sit-up-all-night-and-get-drunk-er - if you're going to do that you might as well save your cash and go in the seats). It's the Highlander, particularly the southbound Fort Bill, where it really comes into its own.
I've on!y ever used lowlander, and in all the years I think I've used lounge once. The timings are pretty tight for sleep anyway and I need all the sleep I can get, so straight to me bed and wake up as late as possible.
In many ways, i prefer using the NB lowlander and then getting a day train from queen st, as unless for sure getting access to lounge car, I prefer the better views from a rickety 156.
Yes, I guess I thought there might be a load of invited journos in there being given champagne and caviar or whatever.
The prices haven’t changed.
The new trains / prices are from 2nd June (and aren’t that much different anyway).
The Lowlander is still priced as it was until then, so the new stock now is a bonus.
29 Late start from Euston might have had something to do with it, many of those having a quick nightcap might have already retired to the berths.
I do wonder how much of a success it'll be with the prices how they are. Maybe normally calling Manchester Piccadilly with the lowlander might be an option if it doesn't fulfil expectations, though it's obviously got it's issues when they're diverted via the ECML.
The Sleeper doesn’t go through Piccadilly (or Manchester)??
Even if it did it’d pass through about 3am/4am in the morning which isn’t going to attract much custom.
Will the 16 car sleeper fit into MAN platform 14?
Here’s 1S26 passing York with 92028 in charge of the Mk5s.
Obviously it doesn't go that way currently, and I'd probably say 0300-0330 departing on start time, but it could be worth a punt for a short while at least, obviously targeting those travelling between Manchester and Scotland and vice-versa. Even if it just picked up cranks at least they'd be fare paying ones
Simply put, no, but I've no idea what kind of door controls Scotrail's Mk5s have. It's just a thought anyway, now that Piccadilly is now an option for through electrics.
I think you mean Caledonian Sleeper (Serco), it's not part of the ScotRail franchise anymore.
It's that late tonight it set off operated by First
Due to signalling issues between Carstairs and Midcalder Jct:
1M11 was 210 late leaving Edinburgh (92043 was also replaced by 92014 which had worked 5C11). Currently 218 late approaching Darlington.
1M16 was 143 late leaving Edinburgh. (1B16 was 30 late, but then believe had to await a loco from Mossend coming to attach to rear, which was delayed due to signalling issues). Currently at Newcastle at least 145 late
1S25 was 16 early into Newcastle but was 176 late departing due to awaiting 1M11 arriving at Newcastle.
Currently just north of Almouth.
1S26 was 4 early on to the King Edward Bridge at Newcastle, but arrived 115 late into Newcastle once 1S25 departed.
Will be about 130 late leaving Newcastle
Why does 1S25 have to wait for 1M11?
Waiting crew off 1M11.
No possibility to swap 1 hour further north to avoid spreading the delay to both directions?
As the London bound sleeper crawls slowly towards Hitchin time to put something together
A brief review of the seats, pictures to follow
Seats ain't that bad for comfort, they have a cushion at the top which has folding wings providing sideways support.
USB & 3pin sockets located on the seat back
Large luggage racks, both for larger bags and for smaller bags
Some of the lights get turned off
Window blinds are better than curtains
Seats have good window alignment
The AC is very strong with the main vends (as far as I can tell) being below the window, so you get a cold arm
The little lockable lockers have flashing red lights which catch you in the corner of the eye
The back of the seats could probably do with having a net at the top, just so you can put your device in it when it's charging without having to have the folding table down.
Fixed armrests on the window side.
Talking megabog (Door is opening/Door is closing) (although it sounds like this has been turned off or the volume turned right down).
Better than I had expected in all fairness.
As noted above, aside from the rail network issues, the train itself is very good. See pics upthread for Club room. Bed is comfortable, maybe feels a tiny bit shorter than old one, but I’m 6’2” and it’s fine for me. Reckon you’d be ok up to 6’4”.
Took a long time for the excessive heat to die down but then it was nice and cool for sleeping. Water pressure in en-suite shower is ok, temperature was lukewarm but these things should be relatively easy fixes. You need to keep pushing the shower button to keep it running (like in a sports changing room). Shower leaves the en-suite floor underwater for a wee while so go to the toilet first then shower (obviously). Overall a godsend to have the en-suite.
Soames offered his apologies for the late service and checked I’d been kept informed. I heard some chat about minor issues coupling which CAF had to attend to.
Overall very good, a huge step forwards, some expected glitches to iron out, and really just the all-too-common problem of infrastructure issues hampering the operating company.
great to read reveiws of the new ones.
Does anyone know the change over date for the highlander sets. I'm keen to use a Mk3 sleeper set for the last time. All I keep reading is that the change to Mk5 will be 'in June' but it would be helpful to know so i can book. Have Serco been more specific yet?
(apols if this is really a Mk3 sleeper question that should be on some other thread that I've not noticed...)
And incoming bad headlines in 3, 2, 1...
From the Guardian article it seems things were a little bit more chaotic than just a late incoming train at Newcastle for the crew swap.
Nevertheless given that most people quoted seem to have a very positive impression, the stock itself must be very good to cancel out the negatives.
Let's hope this isn't their APT moment.
I was just thinking that… let’s hope the gaggle of onboard journalists didn’t have one whisky too many in the club car!
At least for those passengers who aren’t on a press junket, it’s in the 100% refund category of their delay repay scheme, so, that’ll soften the blow of being late a bit.
a decent lie in and your money back! Wish I'd been on it now....
thanks - appreciated
Would’ve loved to have a long lie but had set alarm on the assumption that we’d make Euston in good time, per my previous experience of the Sleeper!
Talking to one of the staff, they also expect the Highlander to switch to Mk5 on 2 June. Should be easier for them as Highlander staff can see/work the Lowlander before their service switches over.
Despite the huge delay, I was very impressed and am looking forward to my next trip on it. I couldn’t honestly say that about the Mk3s which were tolerable rather than good by the end.
Good to hear, I did the lowlander last week two consecutive nights and it's fair to say not a lot of money has been spent recently (understandable). I had stopped 2 consecutive nights on sleeper as it almost killed me, but circumstances dictated.
Hopefully, not too long before I get on a new one
It doesn't cover over the sink, though, so that space is effectively wasted when not using the sink. I can see why they've done it that way - allows nicer sink furniture, and avoids unfamiliar travellers being confused by the lack of a sink. Still a slight loss of space, though.
AIUI, the sleeper deliberately doesn't have much in the way of intermediate stops to make routing it around engineering work easier. There can't be many trains that can be sent up the wrong main line entirely and still serve all their destinations, after all!