Caledonian Sleeper

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

  1. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    You shouldn't be. It has very little to do with the rest of the West Coast Franchise. The most complicated bits of the service (from a staffing perspective at least) are in Scotland.
     
  2. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Difficult to see how it would be viable in the event of Scottish Independence with the need for Passport and Visa checks at Carlisle in the middle of the night. ;)
     
  3. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Other sleepers run across controlled borders, but not as many since Schengen and high speed rail. Was an independent Scotland going to leave the Common Travel Area anyway?
     
  4. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    I would rephrase that into that it should never have left the Intercity sector upon privatisation.

    However, that is all I am going to say on the matter here, as there have been numerous threads over the years regarding nationalisation and various models of privatisation.
     
  5. MrEd

    MrEd Member

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    As @47271 has suggested above, be careful what you wish for! Scotrail are having numerous troubles of their own at the moment. I can’t imagine (given Scotrail’s track record over the HSTs) that Mk3 refurbishment/Mk5 introduction (whatever Scotrail would have chosen) would be going at all smoothly if the sleeper were still part of the Scotrail franchise. That said, the cross subsidy and the ability to share Scotrail’s existing resources north of the border (guards, cleaning and maintenance staff) might have made a difference both to the service’s reliability and to its cost-effective operation.
     
  6. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    As the Scottish Republic will be a new joiner to the EU adoption of the Euro and Schengen is mandatory as I understand it, It will be in Englands best interests to have a full border.
    I can see the Lowlanders checks being carried out at Edinburgh/ Glasgow but the highlander? new customs facilities and duty free at Courour? ;)
     
  7. MrEd

    MrEd Member

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    I like to think that in that situation, the two governments would do anything in their power to maintain a common travel area/avoid a hard border. Even if they couldn’t, there would be ways to ensure that the sleeper still ran without disruptive border checks in the middle of the night, as there would still be considerable market for cross-border travel. The Eurostar operation (which crosses a hard border) is a plausible model (with border checks taking place in an ‘International’ section of a London terminal before boarding for northbound, and after disembarking for southbound passengers). This would admittedly mean that the Watford, Crewe and Preston public calls might have to be abandoned, so it’s not ideal, but it at least means that the service could still serve the full range of destinations in Scotland (with all border checks being done at the London terminal).

    (I won’t say anything more on this topic, as arguably the future of the Caledonian Sleeper in a putative independent Scotland belongs in the ’speculative ideas’ section of the forum).
     
  8. island

    island Established Member

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    I don't believe they do. A hundred or so pages ago someone posted a photo of a walk-up CS ticket which was issued as a till receipt from the lounge car's POS. Can't see other TOCs accepting that.
     
  9. island

    island Established Member

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    No you wouldn't.
     
  10. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Am a year out of date now but last time I joined the sleeper as a seated passenger for Fort William at Garelochead I was given a written ticket from a BR style pad.
     
  11. MrEd

    MrEd Member

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    I’ve never tried to buy a walk-up CS ticket, but I seem to remember that they are sold by the hosts, rather than the guards (at least south of Edinburgh), as the guards who work between Edinburgh and London are non-commercial if I remember correctly (i.e. not revenue trained).

    I’m not sure about the status of the guards who work north of Edinburgh on the Highlander, as these replaced Scotrail conductors who were revenue trained and could, of course, sell tickets using their Scotrail-issued ticket machines. I would have thought that the guards who work to Inverness and Fort William must be revenue trained, as they are required to sell tickets to day passengers from paytrain stations (I.e. between Helensburgh and Fort William and also from Carrbridge on the HML, which has no ticket issuing facilities).

    Quite why CS don’t use conventional machines which print conventional ticket stock is bizarre, especially as Inverness is gated (though the barriers for platforms 1 and 2 are nearly always left open when the sleeper arrives in the morning). I tend to get off at Spean Bridge rather than Fort William; there was some talk (perhaps nothing more than messroom speculation) of installing barriers at Fort William a while back but I don’t think that ever got anywhere; certainly none were there last September, the last time I used Fort William itself.

    Another thing I’m wondering about (as this is a journey I might be doing myself sometime)- if I get onto the sleeper at Carrbridge at 07:55, to connect with the 08:55 Inverness to Kyle train at Inverness, what’s the chance that the CS guard would be able to sell a through ticket? Carrbridge is unstaffed and has no ticket issuing facilities, so there’s no chance to buy before boarding. Technically CS ought to be able to sell a through ticket as it’s a national rail service, but I’m not sure what the situation is here.
     
  12. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    Oh I would, and I've received it. Heading to Seattle, via Heathrow, my BA domestic flight was delayed by 4 hours. As a consequence I missed my flight to Seattle and eventually arrived 12 hours later than I expected.

    EUR600 compensation.

    £440 is what people are fined for taking a service without payment. £440 is thus a reasonable price to pay for taking payment without delivering a service.
     
  13. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    Buy online and put it on your Scotrail ITSO card.

    As far as I'm aware all service providers in Scotland are required to accept the contactless tickets.
     
  14. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    The problem with introducing hefty compensation payments is that it just makes the franchise more expensive to run and in the longer term that will just get added onto ticket prices (or subsidy amounts).

    However... I'm interested in what financial penalties CS pay to the Scottish government when services don't meet the franchise specifications. Doesn't seem to be publicly available information. But perhaps that money should be going towards compensation for inconvenienced passengers.
     
  15. alangla

    alangla Member

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    The section south of Glasgow & Edinburgh was crewed & hauled by VT under National Express, I think it moved to EWS under First. North of Edinburgh was Transrail then Res/EWS if I remember right.
     
  16. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    Your compensation will have been issued under EU261/2004. The amount payable is dependent on distance, and also requires the delay to be 3+ hours and be caused by circumstances that were not "extraordinary".

    Edinburgh to London (any airport) would "only" give you €250 if your flight were eligible. If the circumstances were "extraordinary" you wouldn't get anything other than perhaps a refund and whatever goodwill your airline was prepared to offer.
     
  17. David57

    David57 Member

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    Saw a Mk 3 set heading up the WCML towards London@ 19.25 (ish) near Hemel Hempstead.
    It just caught my eye as I was travelling North.
    Any Ideas?
     
  18. 800002

    800002 Member

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    Do you think it was this? From Polmadie - Wembley, around HH about 1915.
    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/K62089/2019/08/11/advanced

    It's the only likely candidate I see.
     
  19. David57

    David57 Member

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    Yes, I think that was what I saw...
     
  20. side effect

    side effect Member

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    More problems. For passengers waiting at Edinburgh which means the same for those at Glasgow
     
  21. 800002

    800002 Member

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    Sorry, I've no idea of what it might be- but it could aid someone else in assisting. :)
     
  22. MrEd

    MrEd Member

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    I think that EWS started to provide traction for the sleeper on the WCML as early as 1998, when it was still under the National Express franchise (EWS class 90s at this point replaced VTWC’s Class 87s). Transrail then EWS always provided diesel locos for the Highlander portions north of Edinburgh. I think that Virgin continued to provide train managers for the Lowlander, and on the London-Edinburgh stretch of the Highlander, until Virgin’s hauled stock was replaced with Pendolinos/Voyagers in 2005, at which point First chose to appoint their own train managers for the Lowlander and for the Highlander’s run along the WCML.

    I think that the conductors north of Edinburgh on the Highlander were always Scotrail conductors (from privatisation all through the NatEx and First eras, and into the Serco era, it was only in 2017 that CS used their own train managers for these stretches).
     
  23. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    Virgin provided drivers for the Lowlander and Highlander between Edinburgh/Glasgow and London until EWS took over but they didn’t provide train managers. TMs south of Edinburgh were always from a dedicated ScotRail link.
     
  24. QuestRail

    QuestRail Member

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    Would hazard a guess that tonight's northbound Lowlander is having some troubles too. We arrived into Preston relatively on time (by CS standards at any rate) but have been sitting here for an hour and a half now with no movement or updates. The schedule says we were supposed to be in Carlisle 15 minutes ago.

    Edit: Naturally we start moving the second I hit the submit button. 1:40 behind schedule according to RTT.
     
  25. Andy Pacer

    Andy Pacer Member

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    I assume you will have been waiting for the late running southbound to arrive for the crew change.
     
  26. USRailFan

    USRailFan Member

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    So, how long until they pull the plug on it? :/
     
  27. QuestRail

    QuestRail Member

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    You'd be correct, they confirmed that on Twitter later on. I suppose it makes sense to do it that way to keep crew closer to home, but frustratingly it does mean one delay cascades as it has done here.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Shouldn't worry too much, the poor performance parallels a certain other two larger TOCs and there is no sign about anything being done about those.
     
  29. cambsy

    cambsy On Moderation

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    I have used the sleepers over the years, mainly on ALR’’s and have as far back as can remember, always found them to be hit or miss on punctuality, even few years back I had about 7 hours worth of delays in one week, ended up with about 450 in delay compensation, slowly the new stock seems to be bedding down ok, last time travelled on the sleepers they were showing their age and definitely needed either refurb or replacement, there will be spikes in delays and bad days, nearly anything new that comes out has teething problems be it car models to airliners, so not surprised there been problems with the Mk5’s, but I’m sure Serco will get on top of things and in few months all this will be a distant memory, I’m doing the sleepers again for a week end of September on a 1st class 7 day ALR so will be interested to try out the new stock.
     
  30. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    The plug will not be pulled.
     

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