Caledonian Sleeper

PG

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
1,162
Location
at the end of the high and low roads
I know that the food isn't included in the price (why not?), but the dining & bar are part of the package they're selling.
Can't provide those on a coach, so it's nowhere near good enough as a replacement.
National Express managed to do it back in the 80's on their Rapide services and I'd bet some high end football team coaches these days are capable of it too.
All depends how much CS are prepared to pay...

I would agree though that a coach is not a good enough replacement for a train!
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,016
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
One thought- if CS were to buy accommodation & an airline ticket for a passenger & let’s say they were delivered to Heathrow or London City by 0700, is there any refund due on the rail ticket? You’re in London at the scheduled time after all and had a bed for most of the night. That might be cheaper than refunding some of the top price fares & arranging ticket acceptance the next day
This is to be fair probably easier than chartering, and no I don't think I would expect a refund in those circumstances as the alternative offered is comparable.

To be fair regarding coaches, those are offered free, i.e. you get a full refund AND a coach trip, so in that regard they needn't necessarily be comparable.
 

158756

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
1,105
I don't get the insistence that the Sleeper should be a premium service. The government of Scotland recognises that climate change is a serious issue; domestic flights need to stop - surely overnight trains will need to play a role here in catering for the mass market. Furthermore all political parties except that currently in office in Westminster agree that the cost of rail travel needs to fall dramatically - again where does the Sleeper fit?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,016
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
I don't get the insistence that the Sleeper should be a premium service. The government of Scotland recognises that climate change is a serious issue; domestic flights need to stop - surely overnight trains will need to play a role here in catering for the mass market. Furthermore all political parties except that currently in office in Westminster agree that the cost of rail travel needs to fall dramatically - again where does the Sleeper fit?
In a land of regret that they didn't order a few couchette coaches? I like the "minicompartment" thing OeBB have done with theirs.
 

35B

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2011
Messages
403
I don't get the insistence that the Sleeper should be a premium service. The government of Scotland recognises that climate change is a serious issue; domestic flights need to stop - surely overnight trains will need to play a role here in catering for the mass market. Furthermore all political parties except that currently in office in Westminster agree that the cost of rail travel needs to fall dramatically - again where does the Sleeper fit?
That may or may not be valid. But, today, it is sold as an upmarket service and that is the basis on which customers suffering from last night’s disruption should be considered.
 

option

Member
Joined
1 Aug 2017
Messages
454
They are also quite good at designing things for minimum flexibility, such as LHCS using non-standard couplings (so you can't just bang any D-lok on the front) and that gets confused if you swap a couple of coaches round. The absolute pits of design, that.
The Mk5 are capable of being hauled by diesel or electric locos, provided they have Delner couplings and are electrically compatable.

Why couldn't the carriage set be self-contained & have it's own power supply?

If your ordering carriages that effectively only work with one type of loco, then surely you need to also buy the locos?
 

trebor79

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2018
Messages
1,580
Why couldn't the carriage set be self-contained & have it's own power supply?

If your ordering carriages that effectively only work with one type of loco, then surely you need to also buy the locos?
Gosh, who want to try and sleep with some diesel engine thumping away under the floor?
They will work with any loco. Fit some Dellners and the required electrical and communication gubbins to a class 37 or whatever you like.
It's the Dellner coupler that is causing the incompatibility, not the coaches themselves.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
12,608
Ok thanks for that. I remember back in the 80s following West Ham all over the country on inter city instead of football specials. One night we paid £11 return to Sheffield Wednesday not knowing the last train back was 9ish. Anyway, we took a big crowd up that night and there were 100s of us stranded and the police kept us on the platform until gone midnight and we ended up being forced onto a loco hauled.

Point being was that already planned or did they just pull out a spare train. We got back 5am.
Almost certainly a booked parcels train that had a couple of day coaches rustled up from somewhere stuck on the back.
 

Furrball

Member
Joined
9 May 2011
Messages
412
Only just catching up on this.

Caledonian Sleeper response to this guy in Crewe is just ridiculous

https://twitter.com/rossedwards95/status/1199786842616401920

@rossedwards95 Replying to @CalSleeper
I was supposed to be getting on the train at Crewe. Any idea what time the bus will leave Crewe and where from exactly?



@CalSleeper
Replying to @rossedwards95
Hi Ross, I'll confirm this with you as soon as I have more details. Are you able to get to Euston at all? Mark
@rossedwards95 Replying to @CalSleeper
Currently in north wales so wouldn’t get to Euston in time
@CalSleeper
Hi Ross, the bus won't be stopping at the intermediate stations I'm afraid. If you can't get to Euston you shouldn't continue your journey to Crewe. Mark
@rossedwards95
Hi Mark, obviously not you personally but shameful on your company for not honouring all of the train’s stops. Can I confirm I will get a full refund of both outward and return journeys I now can’t take?
 

cf111

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2012
Messages
1,220
Only just catching up on this.

Caledonian Sleeper response to this guy in Crewe is just ridiculous

https://twitter.com/rossedwards95/status/1199786842616401920
That really is awful treatment of a customer. I also think that it may be a breach of the National Rail Conditions of Travel:
Where disruption prevents you from completing the journey for which your ticket is valid and is being used, any Train Company will, where it reasonably can, provide you with alternative means of travel to your destination, or if necessary provide overnight accommodation for you.
I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that someone in the CS office in Inverness would be empowered to book and pay for a hotel room in Crewe (or request Virgin do the same, as per the clause above) and arrange for the passenger to travel south as soon as the line was open in the morning.

If that was me I would be livid.
 

MrEd

Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
327
That really is awful treatment of a customer. I also think that it may be a breach of the National Rail Conditions of Travel:


I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that someone in the CS office in Inverness would be empowered to book and pay for a hotel room in Crewe (or request Virgin do the same, as per the clause above) and arrange for the passenger to travel south as soon as the line was open in the morning.

If that was me I would be livid.
You’re right, what CS did to that poor guy at Crewe can’t possibly be right (and it’s very bad customer service). Mind you, in other farces that I’ve been involved with, their ignorance of the NRCoT has been apparent (like the farce that ensued when the Inverness portion arrived at Inverness 100 minutes late a few weeks back and the staff seemed somewhat clueless about how to deal with passengers with onward connections). I appreciate that it’s very difficult to arrange solutions at short notice, but CS sometimes give the impression of giving up at times of severe disruption. The fact that the Crewe passenger gets a full refund is not really the point- he actually had to get somewhere, and CS made no effort to arrange replacement transport. Even if he lived close enough to Crewe to get back home once he knew that the train was cancelled, the poor man would still have been left out of pocket paying for a walk-up day train ticket the next morning had he needed to travel (and would have been until the delay repay came through). Not all journeys on the CS are optional leisure travel.
 

MrEd

Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
327
Wow just wow! :frown: <(
Is there any point in travelling to/from an intermediate station if that is their attitude??
Incidents happen, of course, many of which are not CS’ fault, but I do feel that their crisis management is somewhat lacking at the moment. It won’t be long before folk begin to lose confidence in the service.
 
Joined
7 Aug 2011
Messages
203
The English intermediate stops have always seemed to be somewhat ignored, the advertising is always 'London' to Scotland. Indeed when commuting to the Midlands from Aberdeen it took me some time to realise that - with a few connections - I could travel from Crewe and be home effectively a day earlier.
 

John Bishop

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2018
Messages
146
The English intermediate stops have always seemed to be somewhat ignored, the advertising is always 'London' to Scotland. Indeed when commuting to the Midlands from Aberdeen it took me some time to realise that - with a few connections - I could travel from Crewe and be home effectively a day earlier.
Of course, this is just 1 passenger. There must have been others at Crewe and Preston we haven’t heard about on social media etc who have been similarly abandoned.

This amateur operation really needs a kick up the proverbial and try and sort itself out. This is completely unacceptable for a ‘so-called’ public service dressed up as a luxury experience.
 

TimboM

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2016
Messages
3,599
Could this be the first demonstration of a significant drawback in having Dellner couplers?

Obviously we can't assume an alternative loco would have been available, but it wasn't unheard of in the past for the Mk2/3 ECS to be brought in by a 66 or 47.
The planned 92 (020) failed on depot just ahead of service. It happens. If there was another non-Dellner locomotive available (which there wasn't) you could just use the dead 92 as a translator. So not a significant drawback (pun intended?).
 

TimboM

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2016
Messages
3,599
That really is awful treatment of a customer. I also think that it may be a breach of the National Rail Conditions of Travel:


I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that someone in the CS office in Inverness would be empowered to book and pay for a hotel room in Crewe (or request Virgin do the same, as per the clause above) and arrange for the passenger to travel south as soon as the line was open in the morning.

If that was me I would be livid.
What has been omitted from the cut & paste of the Twitter thread was that CS confirmed the guest would get a full refund for his outward and return trips. Also based on public info in the tweets and his bio, he was at home in N Wales (and remained there) - not stranded on a freezing platform in Crewe. (Incidentally was also travelling to Inverness, not the south.)

As for a breach of the NRCoT - CS weren't able to arrange alternative travel, so they're then obliged to provide overnight accommodation - should they've booked a hotel down the road from his house so he could've stayed there?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,016
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
As for a breach of the NRCoT - CS weren't able to arrange alternative travel, so they're then obliged to provide overnight accommodation - should they've booked a hotel down the road from his house so he could've stayed there?
In what way weren't they able to arrange alternative travel? Was the bus driver unable to read a map to see where Crewe and Preston stations were? Or was his sat-nav broken?

Unacceptable.
 

Deafdoggie

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2016
Messages
1,438
In what way weren't they able to arrange alternative travel? Was the bus driver unable to read a map to see where Crewe and Preston stations were? Or was his sat-nav broken? Unacceptable.
Possibly driver hours and/or extra journey time. Crewe station is under 10 minutes from J16 so there, back and stopping is going to add at least 30 minutes. This can be significant, given the driver only has 4.30 hours assuming he starts ‘clean’ at Euston. what is more the question is why a mini bus didn’t start at Crewe and call at Preston.
 

option

Member
Joined
1 Aug 2017
Messages
454
What has been omitted from the cut & paste of the Twitter thread was that CS confirmed the guest would get a full refund for his outward and return trips. Also based on public info in the tweets and his bio, he was at home in N Wales (and remained there) - not stranded on a freezing platform in Crewe. (Incidentally was also travelling to Inverness, not the south.)

As for a breach of the NRCoT - CS weren't able to arrange alternative travel, so they're then obliged to provide overnight accommodation - should they've booked a hotel down the road from his house so he could've stayed there?
North Wales could be anything between 20 & 100miles away.

As for arranging alternative travel;
CS tweeted at 8:22pm, he replied 5mins later. At 8:40 they said there was no alternative travel arrangements, only 4mins after finding out there was no way he could get to Euston.
I don't believe they made any attempt to organise alternative travel.
 

Essexman

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2011
Messages
1,104
As a fairly regular sleeper user I've been delayed many times, a few times there have been doubts as to whether the sleeper would run / complete its journey, but Wednesday was the first short notice cancellation. It didn't matter too much to me as rather than work this was a trip for walking which I can rearrange.
Regarding alternatives, I would never use a coach (travel sickness) or fly (environmental grounds). I would want the following options.

1. Cancel journey, full refund for both directions - which is offered now. OK if cancelling trip but not if coming home from Scotland.
2. Catch evening (day) train if there's time, with CS to cover cost.
3. Overnight stay in hotel or static sleeper train with option to use day train or sleeper (if capacity) next day. CS cover cost.

I know that in providing a coach they are probably meeting conditions of carriage and this should be offered for those who want it (maybe only option other than refund for those in seats) but for a premium product they should offer more than an overnight coach.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,016
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Possibly driver hours and/or extra journey time. Crewe station is under 10 minutes from J16 so there, back and stopping is going to add at least 30 minutes. This can be significant, given the driver only has 4.30 hours assuming he starts ‘clean’ at Euston. what is more the question is why a mini bus didn’t start at Crewe and call at Preston.
4:30 is not going to safely get you to Scotland - they were always going to need two drivers for a service like that.

But if the coach couldn't be used, then as you say another should have started at Crewe, or even individual taxis (they could even have offered to start one in Wales for him). The only circumstances under which it is acceptable not to provide any replacement is if it cannot be provided, which basically means severe weather conditions and not a lot else - well, the other night was a bit chilly, but that's all. CS have form for ignoring intermediate stations and it is not acceptable.
 

John Bishop

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2018
Messages
146
What has been omitted from the cut & paste of the Twitter thread was that CS confirmed the guest would get a full refund for his outward and return trips. Also based on public info in the tweets and his bio, he was at home in N Wales (and remained there) - not stranded on a freezing platform in Crewe. (Incidentally was also travelling to Inverness, not the south.)

As for a breach of the NRCoT - CS weren't able to arrange alternative travel, so they're then obliged to provide overnight accommodation - should they've booked a hotel down the road from his house so he could've stayed there?

How about a taxi from Crewe station to an M6 services to meet the northbound bus at a prearranged location. It’s not rocket science.

Sometimes it’s not about getting a refund, it’s about getting to where you need to be. The fact these passengers were abandoned speaks volumes of the intent and determination to deliver good customer service.

How many other passengers were at Crewe and Preston stations waiting for the sleeper and couldn’t rearrange their travel plans?
 

Top