With its new fleet of Spanish-built rolling stock Caledonian Sleeper ought to be offering ‘the bee’s knees’ in terms of comfort and facilities.

Most of the time that is the case (despite occasional issues) however these Anglo-Scottish night train services remain loss-making.

This week The Scotsman reports that Caledonian Sleeper’s losses increased by 48 per cent from £3.08 million to £4.57 million in 2019-2020.

Details were revealed in its annual accounts and do not cover the period when Caledonian Sleeper was operating during Covid-19 and lockdown.

On the other hand subsidy payment from the Scottish government went down from £23.4 million to £15 million.

Ticket sales increased from £23.5 million to £25.6 million but strangely catering revenue fell from £731,000 to £671,000.

I say “strangely” because onboard catering, with its emphasis on Scottish specialities, is reputed to be one of Caledonian Sleeper’s attractions.

During the lockdown period two of Caledonian Sleeper’s routes were suspended and onboard service was cut back.

In common with other UK rail operators the number of passengers using the Caledonian Sleeper fell sharply during this period.

In addition the new train, with its higher fares, was to be aimed at corporate travellers and the well-heeled leisure market, especially overseas visitors. But right now there are fewer travellers in all three categories.

Under current emergency measures the government has been and will continue to pay Caledonian Sleeper’s operating costs.