Caledonian Sleeper moves into Scottish Government ownership
Caledonian Sleeper services will be provided within Scottish Government ownership from today, Sunday 25 June 2023.
This new arrangement replaces the previous Caledonian Sleeper franchise, operated by Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited.
This is a result of the Scottish Government’s decision to run Caledonian Sleeper services, from the expiry of the current franchise, through an arm’s length company owned and controlled by the Scottish Government, in line with its Operator of Last Resort Duty.
Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop said:
“Today sees the start of a new era for the Caledonian Sleeper as the services come into public ownership, in line with our Operator of Last Resort duty.
“The decision to mobilise Operator of Last resort arrangements, announced to Parliament earlier this year, followed an extensive review and consideration of the options available to provide Caledonian Sleeper services beyond June this year, when the current franchise expires. This review was conducted against the background of substantial uncertainty regarding future market conditions and the pace and impact of the UK Government’s rail reform process.
“It is fitting that we recognise the successes of the staff and management at the Caledonian Sleeper who have transformed this service, and who will remain as valued members of the team. I give my reassurances that there is a continued role for them to play in the future success of the service.
“In recent years, the Caledonian Sleeper has flourished, with increasing numbers of people using its unique journey opportunities. The service plays an important role in showcasing the best of Scotland and I look forward to building on that success in the years to come.”
What is happening on 25th June?
From 25th June 2023, Caledonian Sleeper services will be provided by an arm’s length company, Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH) which is wholly owned and controlled by the Scottish Government.
Why is this happening?
In October 2022, having reviewed the operation of rail franchises in Scotland, the Scottish Government decided to terminate the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise Agreement with Serco. Earlier this year, the Scottish Government decided that Caledonian Sleeper services should instead be provided by the Scottish Government, this transfer will officially take place on 25th June 2023.
Is this the end of Caledonian Sleeper services?
No, Caledonian Sleeper services will continue as normal after 25th June. The only difference is that the service will be governed, managed and operated by a public operator (Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH) instead of Serco.
What will the new company be called?
The new Sleeper company will be known as Caledonian Sleeper Limited.
Will there be a new registered office?
There are no plans to change our registered head office, Inverness will continue to be the registered head office for the company.
What plans do Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH) have for Sleeper services when it takes over from Serco?
Caledonian Sleeper will continue to operate as it does now with reservations available for up to 12 months in advance. Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH) will be focused on maintaining our current high standards of service through the transition. In due course, the Scottish Government Ministers and Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH), in partnership with Caledonian Sleeper Limited, will set out their aspirations for Caledonian Sleeper’s evolution.
Will Caledonian Sleeper be merged back into ScotRail?
Caledonian Sleeper will operate as a separate business, as part of Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH).
Can I make a booking for travel after 25th June?
Yes, absolutely. Caledonian Sleeper services will not be affected by the change on 25th June, and you can plan your journey and make reservations as normal. Our booking window is up to 12 months in advance of travel.
Will existing bookings be affected by this change?
There will be no impact to your booking and your reservation remains valid. The Caledonian Sleeper services continue as normal regardless of the change in operator.
Is my ticket still valid after the 25th of June?
Yes, absolutely. The Caledonian Sleeper services continue as normal regardless of the change in operator.
As my plans have changed, can I have a refund? Does the same cancellation policy remain after 25th June?
There will be no change to the cancellation policy on 25th June. Refunds are still available and they remain subject to our standard ticket terms and conditions.
Will your current staff remain?
Our staff are protected by TUPE regulations and will transfer across to the new public operator effective 25th June. This includes the Senior Management Team of Caledonian Sleeper.
Will there be any change to pricing?
There are no plans to change ticket prices.
If your prices are reduced, will I get a refund?
There are no plans to change ticket prices.
Will you be reintroducing bargain berths?
There are no plans to change the current product offering or ticket pricing.
Will there be any changes to onboard services?
Our onboard crew will continue to deliver the high standards of service for which they are known. You can expect the service to look and feel exactly the same as it did before the transition.
Will the ban on alcohol currently in place on Scotrail services apply to the Sleeper service?
Our onboard offering includes the option of selected alcoholic beverages. There will be no change to this part of our service offering.
Are there plans to change the onboard menu?
There are no plans to change the service offering, including our menu, at this time.
Will there be a review of suppliers as a consequence of the transition?
There are no plans to alter any aspect of the service at the time of the transition and our current list of suppliers remains unchanged.