Caledonian Sleeper

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Peter Sarf

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If the seated coach is infected it has to be removed for deep cleaning. The rest of the train can't run without it, as it contains both the train management system and the handbrake. So no train at all. Definitely "nope", not "yes".
Why so draconian ?. If the seated coach is NOT infected then the seats can be used. If the seated coach is infected then the seats can be put out of use with any bookings made cancelled at that point. The seated coach itself can continue to be formed in the train thus able to perform its duty as controller of the rake of up to 8 coaches. Surely it is not necessary to cancel the booking IN-CASE the coach gets infected ?.
 

popeter45

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7 Dec 2019
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london
Why so draconian ?. If the seated coach is NOT infected then the seats can be used. If the seated coach is infected then the seats can be put out of use with any bookings made cancelled at that point. The seated coach itself can continue to be formed in the train thus able to perform its duty as controller of the rake of up to 8 coaches. Surely it is not necessary to cancel the booking IN-CASE the coach gets infected ?.
there is a legal aspect to be considered
if somebody get infected while in the seated coach (far more likely than on a standard train due to time or journey and nobody could keep wearing a face mask while sleeping) then somebody could in theory sue for unsafe conditions that caused them to become exposed to Covid
low likelihood of something like that actually happening but still enough that company lawyers may be saying best to avoid usage of the seats
 

Peter Sarf

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Indeed, but most modern trains come in fleets of 20 or more, and not 9.
It should be reasonably safe as CS are currently only using 4 seated coaches out of the 9 seated coaches normally required daily. There are a further 2 seated coaches spare. So 4 seated coaches required out of 11 - only 36% required. So plenty of slack there. Better still if the seated coach is infected it can still perform its duty as controller of the rake of (up to) 8 coaches - just cancel the seats if or when the coach is deemed un-inhabitable.
 

Peter Sarf

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there is a legal aspect to be considered
if somebody get infected while in the seated coach (far more likely than on a standard train due to time or journey and nobody could keep wearing a face mask while sleeping) then somebody could in theory sue for unsafe conditions that caused them to become exposed to Covid
low likelihood of something like that actually happening but still enough that company lawyers may be saying best to avoid usage of the seats
We cannot carry on being so draconian and cautious. I work with people who have to use a bus full of people to get to work. We are entering the phase of tracing.
 

BRX

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20 Oct 2008
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If the seated coach is infected it has to be removed for deep cleaning. The rest of the train can't run without it, as it contains both the train management system and the handbrake. So no train at all. Definitely "nope", not "yes".
Are the sleeper coaches sometimes being removed from the formations for deep cleansing when they are "infected" (however that is determined)?
 

Peter Sarf

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Are the sleeper coaches sometimes being removed from the formations for deep cleansing when they are "infected" (however that is determined)?
Well... From my experience, in a non railway setting, things are getting a more thorough clean during the day. This deeper cleaning is done without isolating the room/furniture from people. So I suspect, for the sleeper train, the deep clean would be carried out during the day. It would easily be done during the day if there is enough manpower.

We are employing extra contractors to cover some tasks. Things are noticeably cleaner !. A good example is the door handles and surrounding part of the doors. These are cleaned daily whilst in use. The site is 24-hour anyway. For the first few days the cloths were getting quite dirty. Now the cloths look almost unused !. Furniture is more involved. The point is we are cleaning more often and more thoroughly. BUT the cleaning is not being done as a reaction to anyone in particular being infected. We are just carrying out more thorough cleaning on a regular basis.

I suspect contact tracing is all that will be done with infected people.
 

Andy Pacer

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11 Jul 2017
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709
Are the sleeper coaches sometimes being removed from the formations for deep cleansing when they are "infected" (however that is determined)?
Isn't it the case that they are reluctant to keep changing the formations and swapping the coaches round due to the computers on board not liking the change?
I know that needs must sometimes, but I'm wondering if they would rather not risk issues.
 

Peter Sarf

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Isn't it the case that they are reluctant to keep changing the formations and swapping the coaches round due to the computers on board not liking the change?
I know that needs must sometimes, but I'm wondering if they would rather not risk issues.
They seem to remain fairly fixed. Complete 16 coach trains are being swapped at the moment as over half the fleet is idle. But before Covid-19 it was generally that an 8-coach set would come out of Polmadie having replaced an 8-coach set in the 16 coach train. There are a few spares so odd coaches can and do get swapped occasionally.

In non Covid-19 times you also have the Fortwilliam portion being only a part of an 8-coach set with the rest going to Aberdeen. The FW portion then gains two coaches in Edinburgh. So there is still plenty of scope for wearing out the connectors !.
 

Andy Pacer

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11 Jul 2017
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709
They seem to remain fairly fixed. Complete 16 coach trains are being swapped at the moment as over half the fleet is idle. But before Covid-19 it was generally that an 8-coach set would come out of Polmadie having replaced an 8-coach set in the 16 coach train. There are a few spares so odd coaches can and do get swapped occasionally.

In non Covid-19 times you also have the Fortwilliam portion being only a part of an 8-coach set with the rest going to Aberdeen. The FW portion then gains two coaches in Edinburgh. So there is still plenty of scope for wearing out the connectors !.
Yes, I was aware of the 'usual' routine swap around, so you'd think they would be reluctant to do even more shunting around even if in the depots!
 

Peter Sarf

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Yes, I was aware of the 'usual' routine swap around, so you'd think they would be reluctant to do even more shunting around even if in the depots!
Yes, at Polmadie, I think the aspiration was to only swap out an occasional coach for heavy maintenance/repair. That is apart from the spare 8-coach set for more general maintenance/servicing. I think the NORMAL (pre Covid-19) era of joining/splitting in Edinburgh accounts for the vast majority of (dis)connecting the coaches experience. A bad place to do it - on the live railway rather than in a depot !.
 

BRX

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Well... From my experience, in a non railway setting, things are getting a more thorough clean during the day. This deeper cleaning is done without isolating the room/furniture from people. So I suspect, for the sleeper train, the deep clean would be carried out during the day. It would easily be done during the day if there is enough manpower.

We are employing extra contractors to cover some tasks. Things are noticeably cleaner !. A good example is the door handles and surrounding part of the doors. These are cleaned daily whilst in use. The site is 24-hour anyway. For the first few days the cloths were getting quite dirty. Now the cloths look almost unused !. Furniture is more involved. The point is we are cleaning more often and more thoroughly. BUT the cleaning is not being done as a reaction to anyone in particular being infected. We are just carrying out more thorough cleaning on a regular basis.

I suspect contact tracing is all that will be done with infected people.
That makes sense to me.

The explanation that the seated coach is out of use because it would have to be removed from the formation if it got "infected" doesn't seem plausible to me. If that were the case for the seated coach, then surely the same would be the case for the sleeper coaches, which we know are in use, which you'd think would result in them becoming "infected" from time to time - unless CS have checked back with every passenger who travels with them that they've not developed any Covid symptoms within X days of travelling, and have confirmed that all passengers have been OK - but the sleeper coaches don't appear to be being swapped out for cleaning.
 

tigerroar

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30 May 2010
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Gloucester
My little jolly on the CS has just come up on my facebook memories from last year including my room tour video. I make a comment about stealing the CS branded towel, I didn't, but do people take them with them?
 

Leisurefirst

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23 Apr 2013
Messages
167
Hi all,
Regarding the seated coach out of use (now until end of August).
If the situation persists beyond this and the ban gets extended I am led to believe that my tickets get refunded.
That seems to be it (other than the option to rebook in a berth if there is room at whatever price it is at that time, possibly more than when originally booking).
Is there no obligation to get me to my destination having bought a ticket, say by day train earlier in the day or the next morning if moving to a berth at no extra cost is not on the table?
The current policy is not filling me full of confidence to make advance bookings just now (hoping of course that the situation will improve.)
 

FQTV

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Joined
27 Apr 2012
Messages
796
Hi all,
Regarding the seated coach out of use (now until end of August).
If the situation persists beyond this and the ban gets extended I am led to believe that my tickets get refunded.
That seems to be it (other than the option to rebook in a berth if there is room at whatever price it is at that time, possibly more than when originally booking).
Is there no obligation to get me to my destination having bought a ticket, say by day train earlier in the day or the next morning if moving to a berth at no extra cost is not on the table?
The current policy is not filling me full of confidence to make advance bookings just now (hoping of course that the situation will improve.)
As it stands, I can't see how Caledonian Sleeper could be obliged to arrange alternative transport, given that they are the only UK operator offering reservations much beyond the beginning of July.

Indeed, I suspect that this is in itself a factor in removing seated coach availability for the moment. The longer that they're the only bookable operator, the more demand there's going to be for their services. However, the implications of social distancing, and the uncertainty about how long those restrictions will last, and how severe they'll be, surely means that it's very difficult for CS to know how many seated passengers they'll be able to convey.

Bear in mind that passengers booked to travel in August 2020 could have made their bookings later in August 2019. If the legal capacity of the carriage is (say) halved, what are CS to do? Arbitrarily cancel half the bookings at random, and have to justify to those affected why the other half can still travel?

It seems to me that they're between a rock and a hard place on this one. Better to cancel all reservations and reopen them when they can, then, and I suspect that that will be when other operators are also moving back to more normal operations.

However, as long as their are no other normal operations planned currently, it seems that CS can only offer a refund, and for more immediate travel, you can rebook with an alternative that may suit your specific needs.

Which
 

MrEd

Member
Joined
13 Jan 2019
Messages
331
Hi all,
Regarding the seated coach out of use (now until end of August).
If the situation persists beyond this and the ban gets extended I am led to believe that my tickets get refunded.
That seems to be it (other than the option to rebook in a berth if there is room at whatever price it is at that time, possibly more than when originally booking).
Is there no obligation to get me to my destination having bought a ticket, say by day train earlier in the day or the next morning if moving to a berth at no extra cost is not on the table?
The current policy is not filling me full of confidence to make advance bookings just now (hoping of course that the situation will improve.)
I think the idea is that no one (other than a key/essential worker) should be making/planning rail journeys until restrictions on non-essential travel ease and the authorities have confirmed this- in a way, I don’t think CS would want to encourage any bookings for discretionary journeys until it is known that the Scottish Government (and UK Government) are allowing non-essential travel once again. I wouldn’t advise you to make any advance bookings for the sleeper just yet, as no one seriously knows how long the UK and Scottish government restrictions on non-essential travel will last (unless your journey fits into the essential category, in which case go ahead and book as you normally would). It may be that non-essential travel continues to be advised against until early September. If your journey is essential, I would contact CS and see if they can arrange an upgrade to a berth (I think that they are offering a discount code for this). For an essential journey, I am sure that CS will have to come up with an amicable solution which allows you to make your journey at the original time and date, and at no extra cost to you. If your journey is not essential, they will probably just give you a refund and advise you to book later once restrictions end (as they, quite rightly given the circumstances, take the view that you shouldn’t be travelling anyway).
 

Leisurefirst

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23 Apr 2013
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167
Absolutely not talking about non-essential travel at the moment just to be clear.
Thinking about getting some kind of holiday for a few days at the end of the year if it's allowed by then and wary of £140 of seat fares turning into £400 plus potentially at the last minute!
 

MrEd

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13 Jan 2019
Messages
331
Absolutely not talking about non-essential travel at the moment just to be clear.
Thinking about getting some kind of holiday for a few days at the end of the year if it's allowed by then and wary of £140 of seat fares turning into £400 plus potentially at the last minute!
That would be lovely if restrictions were relaxed by then. I’m afraid my advice to you is just wait and see, and see what the situation is as we approach the end of the year. We all hope these strange times have gone away, or are at least going back towards normal, by the autumn/winter. What I will say is that the sleeper (or at least the Highlander, at any rate) is very unlikely (as far as I can see) to be *very* busy until high summer 2021 if not later, as many folk will not be willing to book any holidays/trips given the uncertainty (and there won’t be many/any foreign tourists for the foreseeable future), so you should be able to book a trip relatively last-minute (say a week or so in advance) using the seated coach and get a reasonable fare. The sleeper is never that busy on weekday nights in November at the best of times.
 

Leisurefirst

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23 Apr 2013
Messages
167
That would be lovely if restrictions were relaxed by then. I’m afraid my advice to you is just wait and see, and see what the situation is as we approach the end of the year. We all hope these strange times have gone away, or are at least going back towards normal, by the autumn/winter. What I will say is that the sleeper (or at least the Highlander, at any rate) is very unlikely (as far as I can see) to be *very* busy until high summer 2021 if not later, as many folk will not be willing to book any holidays/trips given the uncertainty (and there won’t be many/any foreign tourists for the foreseeable future), so you should be able to book a trip relatively last-minute (say a week or so in advance) using the seated coach and get a reasonable fare. The sleeper is never that busy on weekday nights in November at the best of times.
Thanks, agreed!
 

theironroad

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21 Nov 2014
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Absolutely not talking about non-essential travel at the moment just to be clear.
Thinking about getting some kind of holiday for a few days at the end of the year if it's allowed by then and wary of £140 of seat fares turning into £400 plus potentially at the last minute!
It seems the Scottish govt are advising many tourist business that they'll be able to reopen from 15 July, including Cairngorms national park and the Jacobite steam service between ftw and mallaig.

I'd imagine that cal sleeper will change their messaging before then.
 

MrEd

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13 Jan 2019
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331
It seems the Scottish govt are advising many tourist business that they'll be able to reopen from 15 July, including Cairngorms national park and the Jacobite steam service between ftw and mallaig.

I'd imagine that cal sleeper will change their messaging before then.
I have seen this in the news just now. I myself am sceptical, but it could happen. I wonder, though, whether non-essential travel (especially by rail) will continue to be discouraged until this pandemic is properly under control? I can’t imagine the poor CS staff being particularly happy about an influx of unnecessary travellers in July, nor the key workers who have no option but to travel by CS, and I know a lot of people in the Highlands are very, very scared about an influx of visitors this summer, which is why tourism businesses and transport operators need to be very cautious (and consider their wider social responsibilities). Let me just say, if comments on Scottish newspapers on social media are anything to go by, many folk are positively furious about the Scottish Government’s decision to reopen tourism. I do not want to start a debate about this, as it’s not really relevant to CS, but I for one will do the decent thing and stay away from both the sleeper and the Highlands until we know that it is truly safe (and it’s hardly going to be that on 15 July this year). It’s hard for me as a number of my best friends stay in the Highlands, but I cannot bring myself to go there until this pandemic is over. The Highlands and the sleeper will still be there for us to enjoy next year and in the years to come, let’s make sure that all our extremely hard working rail staff, all our key workers and all our vulnerable communities are kept safe too. I’m afraid that needs to be the message for the foreseeable future, however perverse it may seem. Normally these areas would be bending over backwards to welcome visitors, and CS too.

Completely off topic, but I personally think that the Scottish Government should have arranged a proper, comprehensive support package to ensure that *all* tourism related businesses can survive this pandemic (i.e. for the whole of 2020 and into 2021) without having to put vulnerable communities at risk by reopening, but sadly this has not been forthcoming for many businesses (and is unlikely to be forthcoming now) and many have fallen through the gaps. I get the impression businesses are planning to reopen in July because they’ve been left with no other option (besides bankruptcy).

It will be fantastic to get back on board CS and to travel to the Highlands when it’s properly safe.
 

delt1c

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4 Apr 2008
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Are these individual coaches or unpowered units? If this is progress where computers of individual coaches have trouble talking to each other if swapped, plus the fact that different coaches have different equipment so formation has to be constant. Going back to MK1 (and 2&3) the only requirement was a brake vehicle in the formation and this was an operating requirement.
 

InOban

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12 Mar 2017
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I would guess that they are waiting for Nicola to give details of the next stage, on Thursday
At present the indications are that the 15th July will allow most facilities to open, although with numbers in Scotland seeming to fall quite quickly it is possible that some things might open earlier. At present we're still under essential travel only, I guess when that is lifted CS will move.
 

Bald Rick

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28 Sep 2010
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The FW's main purpose is tourism from South East England, so there is no point reinstating that until the English are once again welcome to come and spend money.
In my experience, whilst it is indeed tourists who have started that part of their journey in SE England, a significant number of come from much further afield. So, until people from outside the U.K. are welcome in to the country without quarantine...
 

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