Carrbridge to Inverness

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stephen rp

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I'm staying in Carrbridge in August, and contemplating going to Kyle. You can book a ticket in advance for the down Caledonian sleeper (which became a commuter service to Inverness a few years ago) - but can you buy on the train? (Ticket office at Aviemore is open just in time for that, but at Carrbridge there's neither ticket office nor ticket machine.)
 
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najaB

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...at Carrbridge there's neither ticket office nor ticket machine...
That is the only fact you need to consider. In this situation you have the right to buy on board or at your destination station, whichever is the earliest possible opportunity. The end.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Forgot to mention: there's usually someone with a ticket machine at Inverness station who will sell you a ticket so you don't need to worry about getting hassle from the gateline staff. Thinking about it, the Sleeper will be on platform 1 or 2 which is the other side from the main gateline - so they'll likely leave the gates open anyway.
 
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Paul Kelly

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That is the only fact you need to consider. In this situation you have the right to buy on board or at your destination station, whichever is the earliest possible opportunity. The end.
Is it not also worth considering that the train is marked in timetables as having a compulsory reservation requirement for that part of the journey? Because of this, most booking engines will not sell a ticket for it (see attached example). If it is really a turn-up-and-go walkup service for that portion of the journey then Caledonian Sleeper should change the timetable data so that it isn't shown as mandatory reservations required (it's definitely technically possible for the reservation status to change during a journey, most commonly seen on CrossCountry services). I feel this would be less confusing for intending passengers.
 

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najaB

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Is it not also worth considering that the train is marked in timetables as having a compulsory reservation requirement for that part of the journey? Because of this, most booking engines will not sell a ticket for it (see attached example). If it is really a turn-up-and-go walkup service for that portion of the journey then Caledonian Sleeper should change the timetable data so that it isn't shown as mandatory reservations required (it's definitely technically possible for the reservation status to change during a journey, most commonly seen on CrossCountry services). I feel this would be less confusing for intending passengers.
That is a valid point. But I don't see how it is relevant to stephen rp's query since, as far as I know, CS have confirmed that it is a 'day train' between Aviemore and Inverness, and reservations aren't required.
 

Hadders

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Is it not also worth considering that the train is marked in timetables as having a compulsory reservation requirement for that part of the journey? Because of this, most booking engines will not sell a ticket for it (see attached example). If it is really a turn-up-and-go walkup service for that portion of the journey then Caledonian Sleeper should change the timetable data so that it isn't shown as mandatory reservations required (it's definitely technically possible for the reservation status to change during a journey, most commonly seen on CrossCountry services). I feel this would be less confusing for intending passengers.

Good luck trying to get the useless Serco Caledonian Sleeper to do that. This is a significant issue on the Fort William portion which can be used as a day train to/from Edinburgh. Technically reservations are compulsory but it isn't possible to obtain one - even at a station. In reality it isn't a problem but Serco refuse to recognise it as a problem and even claim that historically reservations weren't possible (they most definately were as I had several of them)


That is a valid point. But I don't see how it is relevant to stephen rp's query since, as far as I know, CS have confirmed that it is a 'day train' between Aviemore and Inverness, and reservations aren't required.

Their website confirms this but causes confusion if people think they can't get reservations so doesn't exactly encourage people to use the train as a day service.

https://www.sleeper.scot/
Daytime tickets continue to be valid on the Caledonian Sleeper on the West Highland Line and between Kingussie and Inverness
 
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47271

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Just jump on and they'll be pleased to see you, don't worry about it.

If I were you I'd be more alert to the risk of the sleeper running late and missing my connection at Inverness, it's only a 15 minute gap. If you have a decent wifi or mobile connection at your holiday accommodation be sure to watch it on RTT as it makes its way up from Perth. Don't set out that day if it looks like it'll fluff your change onto the Kyle train.
 
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stephen rp

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Thanks. The sleeper's been on time all last week, but if it's late I'd have time to drive to Inverness (I'll have advance tickets for the Kyle line - £5 each way). It's a pity the "commuter" deal isn't available from further south as I'm staying at Dunkeld in the days before - not sure what happens if you try and get on before Kingussie.

You can't book in advance for Carrbridge - Inverness on the sleeper using the national website, but you can do it using the "national rail" section on the Caledonian sleeper site. But if the train were late.... hence wanting to just get and buy a ticket.

The alternative is to use the 1100 from Inverness, but that only has 10 mins at Kyle before the return.
 

Hadders

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You can't book in advance for Carrbridge - Inverness on the sleeper using the national website, but you can do it using the "national rail" section on the Caledonian sleeper site. But if the train were late.... hence wanting to just get and buy a ticket.

The 'National Rail' section of the sleeper website won't let you reserve a seat on the seated sleeper from Carrbridge - Inverness. You get the following message:

I'm sorry we could not make a reservation on one or more of the journeys you have chosen. If you have purchased an advance ticket it may have just sold out. Please go back and try again.

Now, those of in the know will just buy a 'normal' ticket and jump on (or buy on board) but what would someone who isn't 'in the know' think.

The problem is it discourages people from using the seated sleeper as a day train, and no doubt Serco will then remove this facility at some point in the future claiming there was a 'lack of demand'.
 

najaB

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The problem is it discourages people from using the seated sleeper as a day train, and no doubt Serco will then remove this facility at some point in the future claiming there was a 'lack of demand'.
It' not Serco's decision to make, it's Transport Scotland's. And while they can be a bit dense I doubt even they would fall for that one.
 

Altnabreac

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The 'National Rail' section of the sleeper website won't let you reserve a seat on the seated sleeper from Carrbridge - Inverness. You get the following message:



Now, those of in the know will just buy a 'normal' ticket and jump on (or buy on board) but what would someone who isn't 'in the know' think.

The problem is it discourages people from using the seated sleeper as a day train, and no doubt Serco will then remove this facility at some point in the future claiming there was a 'lack of demand'.

The use of Caledonian Sleeper as a day train is a Franchise Commitment and thus can only be removed by Transport Scotland. Isn't going to happen.
 

scotrailguard

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Hi there,

I am a Conductor that works the Caledonian Sleeper from Carrbridge to Inverness and you are more than welcome to jump on at Carrbridge and purchase a ticket onboard from the Conductor.

No need for a reservation.

Hope this puts your mind at ease :)
 

stephen rp

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Thanks. We're at Dunkeld before Carrbridge so rather than do it from Carrbridge I'll do it the day we move - I'll drive to Carrbridge (2 couples so the others can use the other car for their transfer). I didn't really fancy the 0600 start for the drive to Carrbridge - unless I could get on the sleeper at Dunkeld... - so I've booked the 1100 Inverness-Kyle.

But as I'll be at Carrbridge the next day I might just try the sleeper and have a morning in Inverness (with a plusbus to visit Culloden). 4th August if you're on duty!
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As a PS I had to book on the Scotrail site (rather than TPE and get my nectar points) as I got to buying the tickets on TPE and couldn't get past "continue" (other fares/routes no problem)
 
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stephen rp

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Belated report. In the end I did do the 06 00 drive Dunkeld to Carrbridge - but bad mobile reception meant I didn't know the sleeper was well late until getting to Carrbridge. Wondering about bus to Inverness (or drive) when a minibus rolled up (presumably ordered by Caledonian Sleeper) to take me and one other passenger to Inverness. Told the tale at Inverness and got the earlier (0855) to Kyle - just as well, it was in sun and that had gone by mid-morning.

As I was back in Inverness early (I didn't fancy the walk to Skye in rain) it was ages for a train so - as I hadn't bought a ticket at Carrbridge - I took the bus back (handier for the B&B) but got stuck in a 20-minute traffic jam leaving Inverness. Sleeper had arrived over 4 hours late in the end, variously explained as signal problems or over-running engineering. (It was stuck at Edinburgh Park for two hours - but according to realtimetrains the Fort William portion passed it between Edinburgh Park and Newbridge Junction!)
 

47271

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I can't remember the exact reason for the train getting stuck outside Edinburgh, it was some form of overrunning engineering, but I did see a lot of people wandering around Platform 7 at Perth around 845am as I went for a train south that day.

As I recall, and I might be wrong at nearly a month's recollection, they went to cancel it, got everyone off, and then uncancelled it.
 
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