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Hotel-style Caledonian Sleeper carriages derailed by delays

03 October 2018 08:21

The new carriages will arrive in spring

The new carriages will arrive in spring

New 'hotel-style' carriages that were due to be rolled out for the Caledonian Sleeper have been delayed until next year.

The carriages, which will include double beds and en-suite shower rooms, were due to be launched at the end of October but this has now been pushed back to May 2019.

This is the second delay on the rollout of new luxury carriages on the London - Glasgow/Edinburgh route, with their introduction originally scheduled for April 2018.

Serco, which operates the services, said passengers who booked for the new carriages will be offered refunds.

'Absolutely superb'

Serco said 35 of the 75 new carriages are still under construction in Spain and require testing and regulatory approval before use, despite the original October deadline.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco's managing director at Caledonian Sleeper, said: "The new sleeper carriages are absolutely superb, and will transform the experience of travelling by train between Scotland and England.

"We are sorry that we will not be able to launch the service this autumn and understand that customers who wanted to travel on them in 2018 will be disappointed.

"But with five different accommodation types, as well as on-board catering, dining and shower facilities, this is the most complex introduction of new rolling stock ever undertaken in the UK, and we are determined to get it right."

Significant public investment

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said it was "a particularly disappointing development" with significant public investment in the project.

In a letter to Serco, Mr Matheson MSP said: "I note your confidence that new trains will be ready for service by spring 2019 and thank you for the explanation of challenges experienced in the programme so far.

"However, I would like a robust explanation for Serco's plans to address these in the future, together with full assurance on dates when we can expect to see new trains."

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