Do you ACTUALLY need a reservation to board the Caledonian Sleeper?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by NightatLaira, 29 Oct 2011.

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  1. NightatLaira

    NightatLaira Member

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    Slightly hypothetical question:

    Do you need a reservation to board the Caledonian Sleeper?

    If 1st Class berths were sold out
    Standard Class berths were all occupied
    And seated Sleeper place all sold out

    What would they do if you boarded with a valid ticket? Would you just have to stand in a vestibule all night?

    I was thinking of boarding the sleeper on Sunday night with a Super Off Peak and no reservation and seeing what happens... but it's probably not a good idea!
     
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  3. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    I belive it has been known for them to sell tickets at the train side if it is not full, however if it is then I suspect you would not be allowed to board.

    Sent from my HTC Desire S
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Assuming you don't mean the Edinburgh-Fort William seated portion, then they may not allow you to board at a station like Euston, if a barrier check is in operation, and the train is completely reserved.

    You could try asking a guard who works this service directly - you have a PM.
     
  5. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    There are several platform staff who check tickets before boarding and direct passengers to the right berth and so would stop you if you were not allowed to board.
     
  6. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    I've travelled on the Fort William service as far as Garelochead on several occasions without a prior reservation.
    You are directed to the Chief Steward in (I think) the Aberdeen section Lounge Car. Ive never been refused a berth so far.
    Excluding school holidays the Fort William sleeper isn't that busy. On one occasion they couldnt accommodate me on the Highland Sleeper but made a phone call to have me accommodated on the lowland sleeper. On all these occasions Ive always bought my ticket on the train which the staff seem quite keen on so I imagine there is some commission involved.
    I would however always have a back up plan, in my case I can return home and get an early morning flight from Gatwick.









     
  7. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Between [stn]FTW[/stn] and Edinburgh it's just a normal train. It does say Reservations Compulsory, but is is the de facto morning train to Fort William from all those places going north, so someone living in, say, Spean Bridge, is unlikely to bother with reservations and obviously doesn't do so.

    When I went on the Caley on Wednesday night the seated coach was close to full and it's not too comfy in these circumstances. An extra 'uninvited' guest would have been unwelcome in these circs!
     
  8. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

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    If all the berths and seats are reserved then no other passengers will be allowed to board, until those unreserved berths become available

    At Euston you will be asked to wait at the gate or Aberdeen / Edinburgh Lounge Car depending on availability

    Southbound the sleeper attendant will be aware of who is boarding, the guard will check the tickets of those travelling in the seats
    On the Fort William priority is given to those travelling to Euston (hence why reservations are compulsory but seats can still be available for local travel)
    If a passenger with a reservation does not turn up then the berth will remain reserved until the final stop, but will be made available to other passengers if the train is busy (tough if you are the passenger with the reservation and board further south, without notifying ScotRail that you may be doing so, hence why when I was travelling northbound I advised I may be boarding at Crewe instead of Euston)
     
  9. NightatLaira

    NightatLaira Member

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    interesting, if all the standard class seats were sold out and you did not wish to purchase a standard berth or first berth, could you stay in the the lounge car all night or would the staff have a problem with this?


    I'm thinking of boarding this Sunday night's service from Edinburgh to Euston. I don't mind moving through to the Glasgow section once we get to Carstairs if there's more room there.

    I've got a return un-used Super off Peak Edinburgh to London Terminals and I'd rather not pay anything 'extra'
     
  10. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    I thought only berth holders could use the lounge car?
     
  11. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Indeed- if it is busy, the lounge can even be restricted to just 1st class berth holders- from the website:
     
  12. NightatLaira

    NightatLaira Member

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    Sorry - quite right.

    So, would you be made to just stand in a vestibule or stand in the seated section?
     
  13. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    I think we have established that you wouldn't be allowed to board the train in the first place.
     
  14. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    Say, I suddenly had to get from a smaller Scottish calling point to London late at night...

    Would, the train hammer straight through without stopping if there were no booked reservations?
     
  15. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    When I have been at Euston in the past and the beds are announced (manually) the announcer has said on occasion that the train is full and anyone without a reservation should not attempt to join the train.
     
  16. rail-britain

    rail-britain Established Member

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    Neither, you would not be permitted to board at all
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    No, the train ALWAYS stops (even if noone visually on the platform) as some passengers wait in their car or taxi until the train arrives
    Although if late the train will slow and if noone is on the platform the train will prepare to stop and if the guard allows (by way of signal) the train will pass through
    I've seen this happen at Inverkeithing and Falkirk a few times, to the anger of passengers waiting nearby, tough for not being on the platform!

    If you did not have a reservation then you will be approached by the nearest attendant or the guard and asked for your reservation (as they will not be expecting you)
    Without a reservation, they will then advise where in the train there is an unreserved berth
    If there are none then the guard will advise if there are any seats available
    If there are none, then you will be asked to leave the train
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2011
  17. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    With all the slack built in I doubt it would exactly 'hammer' through and would likely stop to make up time or because it is a booked call and FSR might (?) still get into trouble for missing stops.

    But good question though.
     
  18. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    The two times I've been on the Caley (not including the Fort William leg) nobody used any of the intermediate stops except Aviemore, Perth and Dundee. Is it worth stopping them anywhere else?
     
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