Caledonian Sleeper

Bletchleyite

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Spoke to a friend (non rail enthusiast) at the weekend, who quite often uses the sleeper, and her comment was similar to what many have said on here, which is that the new seats are considerably less comfortable than the old ones. (Haven't tried them myself yet)
They're the same as 80x First Class, so I suspect that may well be the case. That said I know a friend used them and was quite impressed at both the price and the comfort level, so that's all down to opinion.
 
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JonathanH

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Spoke to a friend (non rail enthusiast) at the weekend, who quite often uses the sleeper, and her comment was similar to what many have said on here, which is that the new seats are considerably less comfortable than the old ones. (Haven't tried them myself yet)
The seats are the same as those fitted in first class of the IETs. The primary issue is that they don't recline enough so you end up quite upright. The footrest is also in an awkward position but you can put your legs through it to stretch out. I don't have any problems with the seat base or comfort for sitting in them just think they aren't conducive to sleep.
 

JonathanH

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As for last night's first three-way split - looks like the Inverness portion got away about 15 minutes late, the Aberdeen portion got away on time, and the Fort William portion about half an hour late. Nonetheless it looks like all three portions on track to arrive at their destinations near enough on time.
I'm not sure it's going to be easy to get the Fort William portion away by 4.50 every morning.

The Inverness portion now leads from London so that, in the cycle, the set with 1 PRM vehicle does Inverness and Edinburgh and the set with 2 PRM vehicles does Fort William / Aberdeen and Glasgow.

As a result, the Fort William day coaches can't be added until the Inverness portion has left. For the last 25 years the Fort William coaches have been added as soon as the electric locomotive is off the front.

You will have noticed that the difference in delay to the Inverness and Fort William portions leaving Edinburgh was almost 15 minutes.
 

RLBH

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What happens to those using cheap tickets as a vital service, though? Does TS prefer profit to public service too much? Is the balance correct?
Ah well, there lies the question...

I believe TS's argument is that the sleeper supports the Scottish economy by promoting inward tourism, with each subsidised sleeper passenger spending more than it costs to provide them with a luxury train to travel upon. Personally, I'm far from convinced by this argument.

There's also the consideration that the Scottish Government's current political persuasion would probably rather Highlanders went to Edinburgh or Glasgow than London. A Westminster-specified sleeper might, ironically, have benefited from the DfT's belief that all railway lines must lead to London.
 

BRX

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I'm not sure it's going to be easy to get the Fort William portion away by 4.50 every morning.

The Inverness portion now leads from London so that, in the cycle, the set with 1 PRM vehicle does Inverness and Edinburgh and the set with 2 PRM vehicles does Fort William / Aberdeen and Glasgow.

As a result, the Fort William day coaches can't be added until the Inverness portion has left. For the last 25 years the Fort William coaches have been added as soon as the electric locomotive is off the front.

You will have noticed that the difference in delay to the Inverness and Fort William portions leaving Edinburgh was almost 15 minutes.
Are the seats/lounge still at the south end of each portion?
 

trebor79

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Single travelers who want an actual bed have been left behind... I doubt I'm the only one who was happy to share a room with a stranger, but am not happy to pay extra to have a double room to myself.
Indeed. Surely it wouldn't be beyond the wit of man to modify the ticketing system so that if booking a classic berth you could tick an "I am happy to share with a stranger" box. Everyone benefits - nobody is forced to share if they don't want to, more cheaper berths are available (so increased revenue) and more people get to use the service.

Don't think I'd want to share a club room with a stranger though.
 

lachlan

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Indeed. Surely it wouldn't be beyond the wit of man to modify the ticketing system so that if booking a classic berth you could tick an "I am happy to share with a stranger" box. Everyone benefits - nobody is forced to share if they don't want to, more cheaper berths are available (so increased revenue) and more people get to use the service.

Don't think I'd want to share a club room with a stranger though.
I wrote to Caledonian Sleeper on Twitter and they gave me a pretty good response. Basically based on customer feedback and advice from the police (??) they decided that offering shared rooms wasn't worth their while.
 

Bletchleyite

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I wrote to Caledonian Sleeper on Twitter and they gave me a pretty good response. Basically based on customer feedback and advice from the police (??) they decided that offering shared rooms wasn't worth their while.
Funny that the police clearly didn't give the same advice to GWR.

I wouldn't want to share (I'd rather have a seat than be in an intimate sleeping space with another person I didn't know - indeed the risk of being "upgraded" to a shared bunk is why I've avoided the Highlander the last couple of times I might have had use for it) but I recognise others would, and it's more backs on beds (!) and so more income.
 

BRX

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I wrote to Caledonian Sleeper on Twitter and they gave me a pretty good response. Basically based on customer feedback and advice from the police (??) they decided that offering shared rooms wasn't worth their while.
"Based on customer feedback" doesn't make any sense. What feedback is that? Is it from customers who actively chose to share a cabin, and their feedback is that they don't like sharing cabins? And the solution to this is to rule it out for everyone, instead of saying "well, if you don't like sharing a cabin, don't choose to share a cabin then".
 

Meerkat

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The CS only survives due to politics.
The SNP were using any suggestion of cancellation to beat the “Westminster doesn’t care about Scotland” drum.
Osborne called their bluff by offering half the cost of the new stock (tiny amount in UK gov spending terms), SNP then had to pay the rest and subsidise the service.
Basically imo the politicians don’t care about the cheap travellers angle, it’s just too politically damaging to cancel so they will accept whatever service loses the least money.
Sending it upmarket also keeps the posh folk with political leverage quiet.
 

GrimShady

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They're the same as 80x First Class, so I suspect that may well be the case. That said I know a friend used them and was quite impressed at both the price and the comfort level, so that's all down to opinion.
An excellent choice for over night travel! However decided that should get a medal!

Three hours in one on an IET was bad enough.
 

6Z09

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I'm not sure it's going to be easy to get the Fort William portion away by 4.50 every morning.

The Inverness portion now leads from London so that, in the cycle, the set with 1 PRM vehicle does Inverness and Edinburgh and the set with 2 PRM vehicles does Fort William / Aberdeen and Glasgow.

As a result, the Fort William day coaches can't be added until the Inverness portion has left. For the last 25 years the Fort William coaches have been added as soon as the electric locomotive is off the front.

You will have noticed that the difference in delay to the Inverness and Fort William portions leaving Edinburgh was almost 15 minutes.
Perhaps the dellner process is more labour intensive than the old way?
Progess?? Maybe not.
 

BRX

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Yes, same arrangement with 8-car 'units' and two extra coaches on at Edinburgh for Fort William.
So the FW day coaches still need to be dropped on to the north end of the ABD/FTW portions.

There's a scissors crossover around the middle of the platforms at waverley. I was wondering if a strategy would be to split the Inverness section off immediately and draw it forward with the 92. Then perhaps it is possible to back the FTW coaches in over that crossing, while the 92 is detached and before the INV portion sets off.
 

6Z09

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What does it require that banging a couple of 350s together in about 2 minutes at Northampton doesn't?
Loco couplings have to be lifted/lowered.
Buffers extended/Retracted
Air pipes attached/detached/stowed
For every couple / uncouple!
Plus 2xETS cables,1xElectrical Jumper cable.
 
Last edited:

JonathanH

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So the FW day coaches still need to be dropped on to the north end of the ABD/FTW portions.

There's a scissors crossover around the middle of the platforms at waverley. I was wondering if a strategy would be to split the Inverness section off immediately and draw it forward with the 92. Then perhaps it is possible to back the FTW coaches in over that crossing, while the 92 is detached and before the INV portion sets off.
Not enough room inside the scissors crossover for the extra coaches and locomotive to be attached. Process appears to be:

Aberdeen locomotive arrives in platform 20
Inverness locomotives arrive in platform 20
Fort William coaches plus locomotive arrive in platform 1
1S25 arrives in platform 2 / 19
Portions separated
92 remains attached and draws Inverness portion forward to clear crossover
92 detached
Aberdeen locomotive attaches to front of its coaches via West end of station
Inverness locomotives attach to the front of their coaches via crossover
Aberdeen locomotive draws coaches away from Fort William portion
Doors released for Fort William passengers in Aberdeen seats
Inverness portion departs
Fort William seats and locomotive shunt to East end and back through platform 2
Aberdeen portion departs
Fort William train formed and passengers can board
Locomotive draws Fort William train east to platform 2
Runs round via platform 1 and crossover
Fort William portion departs.

The problem is that none of the complicated Fort William stuff can happen until the Inverness leaves.
 

ScotsRail

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Single travelers who want an actual bed have been left behind... I doubt I'm the only one who was happy to share a room with a stranger, but am not happy to pay extra to have a double room to myself.
Indeed - the Sleeper is essentially out of bounds for me now as I cant justify the cost compared to an extra night in a hotel and a daytime train.

Used the sleeper regularly for about 10 years and never had an issue sharing - hoping they wont arrive before we leave Bingo being a game I'm sure we all played at some point - but since that option was taken away from me I've not set foot on the Sleeper and wont do so again unless the prices are far more reasonable.
 

6Z09

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In times of delay the dellner couplings will be a hinderance rather than a help.
Currently a late running northbound Highlander is able to make up time at Waverley with a slick split,dont see that being the case with the new stock and dellners!
In times of delay the dellner couplings will be a hinderance rather than a help.
Currently a late running northbound Highlander is able to make up time at Waverley with a slick split,dont see that being the case with the new stock and dellners!
I dont want to be proved right but think I will be!
 

BRX

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Not enough room inside the scissors crossover for the extra coaches and locomotive to be attached. Process appears to be:

Aberdeen locomotive arrives in platform 20
Inverness locomotives arrive in platform 20
Fort William coaches plus locomotive arrive in platform 1
1S25 arrives in platform 2 / 19
Portions separated
92 remains attached and draws Inverness portion forward to clear crossover
92 detached
Aberdeen locomotive attaches to front of its coaches via West end of station
Inverness locomotives attach to the front of their coaches via crossover
Aberdeen locomotive draws coaches away from Fort William portion
Doors released for Fort William passengers in Aberdeen seats
Inverness portion departs
Fort William seats and locomotive shunt to East end and back through platform 2
Aberdeen portion departs
Fort William train formed and passengers can board
Locomotive draws Fort William train east to platform 2
Runs round via platform 1 and crossover
Fort William portion departs.

The problem is that none of the complicated Fort William stuff can happen until the Inverness leaves.
Thanks for the explanation!

Any reason, now that the FTW sleepers are in the 'middle' of 1S25, not to have the ABD portion depart first, then the FTW loco backs the day coaches onto the 'west' end of the sleeper? Then it wouldn't have to do any run-around.
 

JonathanH

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Thanks for the explanation!

Any reason, now that the FTW sleepers are in the 'middle' of 1S25, not to have the ABD portion depart first, then the FTW loco backs the day coaches onto the 'west' end of the sleeper? Then it wouldn't have to do any run-around.
Logically, having the Inverness go first, then the Aberdeen suits the arrival times on the two routes.

Having the day coaches on the west end of the Fort William train is efficient in both directions.

Remember that the Fort William coaches used to be in the middle of 1M16 but will now be on the end.
 

InOban

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Didn't they used to do all the shunting around on platforms 7/11 rather than 2/20? After all the 92 sits in the stub line (the Klondike) on that side.

There is in fact an argument for making FW leave before the Aberdeen. While the Southbound schedule suits passengers joining in the Dundee area, where there is minimal air competition, the northbound is too early. And an earlier FW schedule would assist in redrafting the WHL timetable.
 

BRX

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Logically, having the Inverness go first, then the Aberdeen suits the arrival times on the two routes.
But if the Aberdeen portion is now on the W end of the formation, it ought to be easy to get shot of it during the time that the messing round with the Inverness section is going on (92 drawing it back, detachment of 92, attachment of INV locos). In other words, it would seem that having it leave first would not hold up the departure of the INV portion. If that means it's then running a bit earlier than it really needs to, surely it could kill a bit of time somewhere out of the way of Waverley.
 

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