Caledonian Sleeper

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Essexman, 10 Jan 2019.

  1. Class 466

    Class 466 Member

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    Only issue with 1S25 is there’s a shortage of staff and there’s no lounge car at all. Half the toilets are out of use in the Inverness portion. Bit of a farce and gives off the impression they don’t really care.
    Glad I didn’t book first class, all they’re getting is lukewarm orange juice and some other “contingency breakfast” items - whatever that means!
     
  2. 31160

    31160 Member

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    I'm sorry to be saying this but unless this all radically improves I can see contracts being torn up. Surely it cant stagger on much longer
     
  3. Megafuss

    Megafuss Member

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    My last Sleeper journey was in March and I cannot believe how far it's dropped since then, and even then I hit lucky as on my trip a portion was cancelled (Aberdeen from memory) and the evening after my outward trip, the same service was cancelled entirely.

    As a genuine punter using the service as part of a holiday It's actually putting me off booking later in the year. I won't be the only one.
     
  4. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    I love how Caledonian Sleeper twitter has dream big slogan at the top of their page, dream big at the moment is the full service turning up & boarding on time, & arriving at the destination with no issues such as no lounge car ecc.

    I see the Financial Times has an article on the issues, but it's hidden behind a paywall so i can't access the article.
     
  5. alangla

    alangla Member

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    The Twitter feed is grim reading. If anything, VT’s night shift Twitter person is giving out more useful information than CS’s. It does sound from that like a lot of folk have had a couple of hours in the Jury’s Inn near Glasgow Central, presumably not in a room, followed by the 0415 VT service south
     
  6. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

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    A terrible night for CS. Where did the Fort William portion reach after rescue? And what's the plan for onward travel? Other TOCs must be getting fed up with it by now too.
     
  7. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

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    Just seen a tweet that passengers have been booted off at Dundee at 0545. Aberdeen portion in trouble? RTT seems to suggest it's running OK though.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2019
  8. Essexman

    Essexman Established Member

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    Seems I was lucky as I’ve got the bacon roll I ordered.

    I’d was served with a delay repay form in the bag but we’re on time so seems have been fortunate on this train.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2019
  9. paddington

    paddington Member

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    You can access it using a fresh instance of a browser with all cookies etc cleared, then typing the headline into Google and clicking the link from Google.

    Not sure if forum rules allow the text to be quoted on here?
     
  10. sleeper fan

    sleeper fan Member

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    Full breakfast was served this morning on the Inverness portion. Had egg Royal and a friend had highland breakfast. Apart from no water in my friends coach all seemed ok tonight. Staff nice but I must say a bit of a drop in standards since last year but tonights portion was ok...must have but lucky.
     
  11. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    The passengers bound for the Jurys Inn left at about 1:25am and the member of crew clearly announced that the SDM had secured 14 rooms so not sure what happened there.

    The crew on the ground will no doubt get the blame for most of the poor communication but I have to be honest the three of them done absolutely everything they could given the circumstances.

    Currently at J3 of the M40 so a good couple of hours to go yet I think. Can’t fault the coach it’s two weeks old and very comfortable. Driver has said he has been asked to remain in London till Sunday night though “Just in case” so if you’re heading to Edinburgh or Glasgow tomorrow night I’d start considering your options.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I am starting to wonder if they should actually consider completely pulling it for a few months for some heavy in-depth testing. The trouble is that there is then the risk it never restarts.

    How far are they off getting the second set in service?
     
  13. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

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    A couple of things I take from that. CS have about as much confidence as the rest of us, but at least there's been some proactive thinking.
     
  14. awsnews

    awsnews Member

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    Currently heading for Edinburgh, due around 10.30. Has resulted in the cancellation of the northbound Fort William portion, presumably due to no locomotive and seated/lounge
     
  15. Essexman

    Essexman Established Member

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    Fort William portion apparently 9 hours late. At least passengers on board could still sleep rather than wait at stations but what will have been done for those boarding further south.
     
  16. Mainliner

    Mainliner Member

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    The FT states “Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy.”
     
  17. JModulo

    JModulo Member

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    Been a lot of negative points on here recently, some more true than others, however on a positive I'd like to say the TM and Crew on 1S26 were brill last night, even with all the issues that they faced.
     
  18. Kendalian

    Kendalian Member

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    I can only think of one positive out of what turned into CS's Black Friday.....they've an extra 24 hours to sort their mess out.

    4 trains, 3 with parts cancelled and the 4th boarding 2 hours late, with guests yet again turfed out onto the concourse at Euston when the lounge closed. Someone complained on Twitter and was told bluntly "it's not our lounge". No hotel would survive treating its guests with this level of contempt and without drastic changes fast, CS will go that way.
    What was heralded as a showcase of Scotland has turned into a national embarrassment under Serco's watch. Time for heads to roll.

    We all want to see the Sleeper successful, but as things stand, pulling the service for a couple of months to sort the mess once and for all might be the only way to save it.

    **As per last post, the staff have been great trying to deal on the ground with all the problems**
     
  19. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    I was just looking into a London trip to see family in September.

    In all sorts of ways I would prefer to use the sleeper. But reading more tales of delays etc, I’ve booked return BA flights. And planted enough trees in the Caledonian forest to offset my year’s carbon emissions (yes I know carbon offsetting is far from perfect).

    All with a few quid change from a one way trip on the sleeper (not en-suite).

    You’d have to really relish the chance of a significant delay or a long distance coach to take the chance right now.
     
  20. diffident

    diffident Member

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    CalSleeper just said on Twitter ; "Caledonian Sleeper sincerely apologise for last nights cancellations and disruptions to service. We are currently working on a plan to get the Fort William guests to Glasgow Central Station then onward to London. We will update later on plans for tomorrow nights services."

    Was last night the straw that broke the camel's back?? I would be very surprised if there is not significant fall-out in terms of business and politically as a result of the melt-down.
     
  21. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    Is the southbound FW still somewhere on the WHL?
     
  22. Beebman

    Beebman Member

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  23. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    Looks like the Deputy News Editor of the Metro was also booked on my southbound train last night.

    He’s tweeted saying pretty much the same as most of us have - staff great but a complete lack of a back up plan.
     
  24. Megafuss

    Megafuss Member

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    Expected in Edinburgh just after 12 according to that link. Over 30 minutes after the daytime southbound Highland Chieftan is due to leave, which is quite incredible when you think about it.
     
  25. Scotrail84

    Scotrail84 Established Member

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    Its gets dimmed as low as is permissible.

    Not accurate

    Again, not accurate!

    Sets a failure so I was informed.
     
  26. Scotrail84

    Scotrail84 Established Member

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    Yes, it appears they went through the wringer as well last night.
     
  27. SC318250

    SC318250 Member

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    Apart from the mark 3 coaches that went to Booths earlier in the year, are the others that did the lowland still available even to run in reduced capacity?
     
  28. Ian Wallbank

    Ian Wallbank New Member

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    I had a lovely trip to Inverness and back on the sleeper in April in the disabled berth. The staff was courtesy and helpful. Similarly on my visit to the lounge in Inverness. The staff must be as distraught as anyone at the present state of affairs. I was planning another trip later in the year on the new Mk. 5s. It saddens me to see what is happening now though I don’t think it signals the end of the sleeper. The problem with the Fort William sleeper last night though very inconvenient for the passengers involved was I feel a one-off and unfortunate it happened at this time. However, the problems with the new stock on the Lowlander are more fundamental and are deeply worrying that they are taking so long to sort out. I think CS is correct in delaying the introduction yet again but I reckon they should say it is to the end of the year at least and book on that basis. If the new trains are deemed fit before that date, all well and good and see their introduction as a bonus. All the repeated announcement of a delay in introducing the Mk 5s is doing is to make CS look foolish and turn away customers- maybe some permanently. The pressure to meet franchise targets may encourage them to be unduly optimistic. A return to accountable public control – not for profit – may be the long-term answer.

    I find the faults in the new coaches rather perplexing. Though a lot of new technology has been brought together, am I wrong in believing that a single item is not new and should not be failing with such frequency?
     
  29. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    I’m starting to wonder if I should pre-emptively find a hotel for the night for a week on Friday, at a cancelable rate. I’ve got a super off-peak return plus supplement (to Edinburgh) so a bit more flexible than others.

    The only issue then is the reduced service up the east coast which means the first day train from Kings Cross is no good. I’ll need to do it up the west.
     
  30. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    Whilst I accept CS is a costly franchise and any additional costs are likely to be resisted, it does make me wonder what measures could be taken to make the operation more robust.

    For example could Fort William be 2 x 73s ?

    Could the contract state a spare 73 be based at Fort William ?

    Could Serco pay on a blanket basis for one of the catering outlets at Euston to remain open until 1am for the next few months ?

    Could they look at features that have virtually no cost becoming complimentary (tea/coffee etc) to avoid the tales of £400 guests being charged £2.75 for some instant coffee granules ?

    Could they look at recruiting an extra one or two sleeper hosts for each service for a year to give some extra support to the staff who are clearly under huge strain (See RMT action) ?

    Could a couple of old Mk3 First Class vehicles be leased and stored at Polmadie / Wembley for in extremis use when a set totally fails on the lowlander ?

    Doubtless they would say they can’t afford it. But given how hard you have to look on Tripadvisor to find a recent positive review, and £100million + already spent, you might argue they can’t afford not to.

    The staff are clearly doing great work in almost impossible situation. But for the sleeper to have a future, the number of people leaving saying “never again” (and in this day and age probably tweeting / posting on tripadvisor too) needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

    To anyone casually searching this thread, the sleeper is a great way to travel, and the staff are the best I’ve found anywhere on the railways. They deserve the infrastructure and support to continue their work many years into the future.
     

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