Serco wins franchise for Caledonian sleeper train service
The Caledonian sleeper service is currently provided by First Group as part of the ScotRail franchise, review here, however the sleeper part has been split from the main contract.
With their fingers in many pies, seemingly Serco already offers luxury sleeper services in Australia.
Serco will be responsible for operating all aspects of the Caledonian Sleeper including marketing, sales, passenger services, station facilities and fleet maintenance. More than £100m will be invested in building 72 state of the art carriages, which will make up four new trains, at a cost of £100m by the summer of 2018. This will be helped with a part-funded by a £60m grant from the Scottish government.
Serco is promising improvements including en-suite berths, "pod flatbeds" and a brasserie-style dining car.
And a partnership with luxury hospitality firm Inverlochy Castle Management International and Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux will introduce what was described as "hotel-style service and an improved all-round travelling experience".
The ScotRail franchise is also up for renewal with an announcement due in the autumn.
Hopefully this will come to fruition, and ticket fares will come back down to a better lever to encourage more travel.