Will the Caledonian sleeper be axed during the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis?

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LeylandLen

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  • I'm just a casual observer, not connected with the railways, but common sense tells me that there will be a reduction in people using the sleeper services as we, the public, are being asked not to make unnecessary journeys. Obviously not so many tourists from abroad will be using them; many people just will not have the money and companies are cutting back on travel.
  • So does anyone know if sleeper services will run during this Covid-19 emergency? Are they obliged to run, surely will be losing a lot of money as with the airlines.
 
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47271

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  • Im just a casual observer not connected with the railways, but common sense tells me that there will be a reduction in people using the sleeper services as we, the public, are being asked not to make unnecessary journeys. Obviously not so many tourists from abroad will be using them ; many people just will not have the money and companies cutting back on travel.
  • So does anyone know if sleeper services will run during this Covid-19 emergency ?Are they obliged to run , surely will be losing a lot of money as with the airlines.
I take your point, but as airline schedules are pruned back, if not the whole business going bust, and daytime trains become an infection risk, where better to self isolate than in a sleeper cabin?

They've closed the Club Cars now so, if you must make the journey, it's got to be the least risky way to travel between London and Scotland.
 

Bletchleyite

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TBH I suspect a shutdown will come soon. Those who need to travel can use day trains.

That said, the upside of CS is that if everyone has a single room it's about as socially isolated as you can get on a train! :)
 

Meerkat

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What do you think government PR/nudge unit are saying?
A reduction in frequencies happens quietly, but would they be concerned about the message from closing down flagship services completely?
Cuts both ways - “we are serious that you need to stay home” and “the country is shutting down OMG!”
 

Drumtochty

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The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Connectivity Committee’s meeting this
morning had a changed agenda to hear from and question the Transport Secretary about
coronavirus issues. Main points of interest:

Caledonian Sleeper is not reducing services at the moment, but may need to do so in
future. This might result in just the lowland sleeper running, or reduced frequency
(so not every night).

Network Rail is making contingency arrangements to ensure signal boxes and electric
control rooms continue to be staffed. This includes training additional staff.
 
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  • Im just a casual observer not connected with the railways, but common sense tells me that there will be a reduction in people using the sleeper services as we, the public, are being asked not to make unnecessary journeys. Obviously not so many tourists from abroad will be using them ; many people just will not have the money and companies cutting back on travel.
  • So does anyone know if sleeper services will run during this Covid-19 emergency? Are they obliged to run , surely will be losing a lot of money as with the airlines.
I don’t know about the Caledonian Sleeper, but GWR are suspending their Night Riviera sleeper after Friday’s service.
 

47271

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What I'm hearing is that the Highlander is likely to get the chop very soon as a thinning of the timetable with the Lowlander remaining for the time being, but that's just local gossip.
 

leightonbd

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What I'm hearing is that the Highlander is likely to get the chop very soon as a thinning of the timetable with the Lowlander remaining for the time being, but that's just local gossip.
Interesting. There is an argument that, if you are only running one, it should be the Highlander, as it is one of a relatively small number of direct connections to London for those parts of Scotland, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow are likely to have more alternatives. But there will be other factors to consider also - eg reduced usage on the Highlander with less tourism. Reflects my bias as a sometime Speyside dweller ...
 

47271

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Interesting. There is an argument that, if you are only running one, it should be the Highlander, as it is one of a relatively small number of direct connections to London for those parts of Scotland, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow are likely to have more alternatives. But there will be other factors to consider also - eg reduced usage on the Highlander with less tourism. Reflects my bias as a sometime Speyside dweller ...
I think it's part of a strategic reduction of all services, Scotrail will be dropping down too, and if they keep the Lowlander then at least those of us further north can connect into it.

I'm a full time Speyside dweller and I'll be returning there tomorrow on daytime trains with no idea when I'll be leaving again. There are far worse places to be confined.
 

sparkie70

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What I'm hearing is that the Highlander is likely to get the chop very soon as a thinning of the timetable with the Lowlander remaining for the time being, but that's just local gossip.
I hope not. Its the only connect route from London on some of the routes. At least Glasgow & Edinburgh have decent daytime services.
 

paul1609

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I hope not. Its the only connect route from London on some of the routes. At least Glasgow & Edinburgh have decent daytime services.
Thats not really true anymore even the West Highland Line has good connections from its limited service to the rest of the UK.
If you don't want to/ cant do the 10 minute walk in Glasgow change at Dumbarton Central or Dalmuir for a same platform service to Edinburgh or Glasgow Central Low Level.
I've been able to get home to Romney Marsh comfortably from the lunchtime up West Highland Line train ever since the West Coast Modernisation was completed.
 

SteveM70

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If there’s a desire to reduce to one service, is it possible to run a single 16 carriage train consisting of four portions of 3/4/5 carriages each (dependent on demand) for Edinburgh / Aberdeen / Inverness / Fort William?

That would maintain connectivity to the destinations that are most remote. Presumably the Edinburgh portion could be detached there and passengers could stay in their berths until a sensible time?
 

hexagon789

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What I'm hearing is that the Highlander is likely to get the chop very soon as a thinning of the timetable with the Lowlander remaining for the time being, but that's just local gossip.
I think they should chop the lot, after all there are plenty of alternatives and the government has recommended against non-essential travel.
 

47271

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I think they should chop the lot, after all there are plenty of alternatives and the government has recommended against non-essential travel.
I quite agree, other than it could be the safest way to travel if your journey is absolutely essential, so on that basis it could be requisitioned by the government. It's certainly got no commercial or part subsidised future in the short term.

Every sleeper user I know is having their travel wound up this week, and I know of a couple of Flexipasses that have had six or seven cancellations made on them in the last few days.
 

paul1609

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I quite agree, other than it could be the safest way to travel if your journey is absolutely essential, so on that basis it could be requisitioned by the government. It's certainly got no commercial or part subsidised future in the short term.

Every sleeper user I know is having their travel wound up this week, and I know of a couple of Flexipasses that have had six or seven cancellations made on them in the last few days.
They could use the stock as emergency staff (NHS etc) accommodation in City Centre stations. The platforms are unlikely to be needed for sometime.
 

Bletchleyite

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If that was the case they could set the platform screens to 'This train is going nowhere' ;)
I'm sure I recall DB put up something like "Hotelzug" on the PIS for when they had to shut down their entire system for a night due to a severe storm...

Actually:

PIS with Hotelzug displayed with a badly graffitied DB IC set in the background - from German newspaper WAZ
 

Peter Sarf

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They could use the stock as emergency staff (NHS etc) accommodation in City Centre stations. The platforms are unlikely to be needed for sometime.
No good, cannot expect critical workers to put up with cancellations and delays :E. i can see it - The stock to form tonight's accommodation is currently at a stand outside Euston with a faulty door alarm / wheelflats / failed loco.

Seriously though. You just made me think. There will probably be lots of spare rooms at London hotels.

Use it for ambulance trains to spread the load if any area’s healthcare gets overloaded!
Maybe not a good idea. When it is over who would want to travel on it. How can i put it - sleeping in a bed used by so many critically ill people.
 

Meerkat

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No good, cannot expect critical workers to put up with cancellations and delays :E. i can see it - The stock to form tonight's accommodation is currently at a stand outside Euston with a faulty door alarm / wheelflats / failed loco.

Seriously though. You just made me think. There will probably be lots of spare rooms at London hotels.



Maybe not a good idea. When it is over who would want to travel on it. How can i put it - sleeping in a bed used by so many critically ill people.
You can imagine the locals in the lounge car telling the tourists about the voices you can hear in the night. Apologies if inappropriate
 

Peter Kelford

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nteresting. There is an argument that, if you are only running one, it should be the Highlander, as it is one of a relatively small number of direct connections to London for those parts of Scotland, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow are likely to have more alternatives. But there will be other factors to consider also - eg reduced usage on the Highlander with less tourism. Reflects my bias as a sometime Speyside dweller ...
I would not hesitate to agree with you on this. The Highlander serves remote communities that need transport far more than Edinburgh and Glasgow. the Lowlander gets to it's destination at an unearthly hour of the morning anyway.
 

Trackbedjolly

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https://www.sleeper.scot/caledonian-sleeper-reduces-services-during-covid-19-outbreak/
Under the temporary timetable, the overnight rail operator will run an eight-carriage train from Glasgow Central and an eight-carriage train from Inverness. The two sections will join up at Edinburgh Waverley before making the journey southbound to London Euston.

Similarly, one 16-carriage train will leave London before splitting at Edinburgh to carry on the journey to Glasgow and Inverness respectively.

Services will not run between Fort William and London or Aberdeen and London while the special timetable is in place
CS have suspended services to Aberdeen and Fort William so there will be a lot of disappointed people in the West Highlands. They are running a single train from Glasgow and from Inverness which join/split at Waverley.
 
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Bletchleyite

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As the rate of Coronavirus is higher in London than most of the rest of the country, it may be best to curtail the Sleeper service. It could help more people bring Coronavirus from London to Scotland, and is inevitably popular as it saves people a night's hotel stay.
 
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