Caledonian Sleeper – fails to stop at Edinburgh WaverleyBack to Forum
Latest issue to affect this train has been a “staff shortage” which has meant that on at least two trains onboard staff have provided drinks but no food. This wouldn’t have pleased customers on one Inverness-London service who, in these summer months, like to dine and enjoy the Highland views.
One reader who was taking the northbound Highlander service last week told me he wasn’t able to buy a coffee at breakfast owing to staff shortage. He managed to get his breakfast by phoning ahead to the tearoom at Rannoch (where the train stops) which delivered his breakfast to the train.
More serious is the issue which happened at Edinburgh Waverley this morning.
The northbound train failed to stop at Waverley. It ran straight through the station. It meant the train had to reverse to Waverley so that passengers could disembark.
The Scotsman reported on the incident an hour ago.1 Aug 2019
This service, which I was rather looking forward to using at some stage, seems to have been marred from the start by incompetency and lack of adequate planning.1 Aug 2019
In the past hour @CalSleeper has tweeted an apology.
It says “Our northbound service to Edinburgh Waverley overran the platform due to an earlier operational issue at Carstairs. An investigation is under way into the cause of the incident but early indications are that there are no technical problems with the rolling stock.”
For readers who are unaware of this train’s route I would add it uses the West Coast Mainline to Carstairs where the Edinburgh and Glasgow sections are split with one portion continuing to each city.
Edinburghlive.co.uk in a later report quotes one passenger on this train (who has booked en suite accommodation) as saying “Despite paying for a first class experience, you had no food available last night. My toilet wouldn’t flush and my shower won’t work.”
It therefore suggests the onboard teething problems with the new CAF trains still persist as we reported back in June.1 Aug 2019
Total bunch of buffoons. This is what happens when you allow oursourced groups like Serco to get involved. Just like their bungling management of prisons.
Profits first and sod everything else.1 Aug 2019
Yeah, makes me really wince that the rail network is as bad as it is right now. They’re about to spend £50 billion + to get from London to Birmingham 20 minutes faster, yet a really positive and viable option to the plane from Scotland to London is under-managed, under-spent and frankly, an embarrassment.
Trains anywhere in Europe run far more efficiently and with better facilities, the UK rail network has been too bad for too long, and this latest debacle which was being bandied all over the media as a shiny new coin turns out to be nothing more than the same crumpled old £1.00 note from 1983.
AOTG.1 Aug 2019
Of course European railways receive government subsidies many times those in the UK, even for much smaller networks and ridership a fraction of that in the UK. Perhaps it is time to rethink the situation here, though I fear that taxpayers here who do not travel by train may not want higher taxes to make it better for those who do. The problems with the Caledonian sleepers looks to be similar to the T5 fiasco – a lot of homework not done and no proper trials or easing slowly into the new equipment.3 Aug 2019
Hello nevereconomy – The new CAF rolling stock was jointly funded by the English and Scottish governments.
Serco has the contract to operate the sleeper train for 15 years starting on March 31, 2015.
In total there will be 75 coaches built by Spanish manufacturer CAF.
The Railway Gazette reported that the total cost was Euros 200 million of which £60 million is provided by the Scottish government and £50 million by the UK government.
A recent report from telegraph.co.uk said that the service was making a loss and that in 2022 Serco would have the right for the franchise contract to be changed or else it would be allowed to exit the contract.
One would imagine that there has been ample time to test the new CAF rolling stock.
The first coaches arrived in the UK in January 2018.
The plan was to start services in late October 2018. But even then the service introduction was postponed to the end of April 2019.
And today the CAF rolling stock only operates on the Lowlander London to Glasgow/Edinburgh service.
The plan was for the CAF trains to operate the Highlander routes (Aberdeen/Inverness/Fort William) starting last month.
But following the teething issues this date was postponed until September and now there’s no guarantee that date will be met.
Some readers wonder why the old British Rail rolling stock cannot be returned to service.
Some of the 40-year old stock has already gone for scrappage and what’s left is deployed on the Highlander routes.3 Aug 2019
If £50 bn could be poured into the entire UK public transport system, including the Caledonian Sleeper, I think we’d have a world beating rail and bus service, not just one that serves London – Birmingham and Manchester and saving just 20 minutes but causing massive disruption to people’s lives who are having to be rehoused.
Switzerland has almost finished building 2 tunnels, including the worlds longest tunnel (currently) at 57 kms, with a third about to be completed, saving 1 hour 20 minutes on a 240 km journey from Chiasso to Zurich and at a cost of CHF 20 billion, and many UK companies were part of the project, and it’s on time and slightly under budget. Why does an infrastructure policy in the UK have to cost so much, have so many delays, cost escalation, and often as not, not work properly?7 Aug 2019
And a separate thread reports the Fort William service is currently suspended owing to track damage caused by flooding.
Then yesterday morning the Inverness service was terminated in the Highlands because of more flooding. Passengers were transferred north to Inverness by bus.
And last night customers waiting for the Lowlander service at Euston had to wait longer than usual for the empty rolling stock to arrive (from the depot). @CalSleeper tweeted it “has been been delayed at the depot with a loco problem.”8 Aug 2019