Making Rail Accessible

Helping Older and Disabled Passengers
Accessible travel policy February 2021

Introduction

At the heart of our service is outstanding hospitality that reflects the best of Scotland. We understand that improving accessibility for disabled guests often results in benefits for all guests. This leaflet sets out how to get assistance and useful information to plan your journey with us.

Our Guests

In the rail industry, customers are generally referred to as ‘passengers’. However, as we deliver a hospitality service, we consider our customers to be our guests and use this term in this leaflet.

On board hosts

These are our friendly members of staff who will greet and support you on board all of our trains. They will operate the on board ramps for you and assist you with luggage if needed.

Guest Service Centre

Our team of Guest Ambassadors work in the Guest Service Centre. Their job is to help you plan your journey, book tickets or rooms and give you any information about accessibility features so you can make informed choices. The contact details for the Guest Service Centre are below.

More Information

We are more than just a train service; we want you to enjoy the full sleeper experience. We therefore recommend you plan and book your journey with us in this order:

  1. Plan your journey
    • Review our timetable and the stations we stop at
    • Check the station you want to use is accessible
    • Consider whether our overnight accommodation suits your needs
  2. Buy your tickets
    • Buy your Caledonian Sleeper ticket (or supplement if you already have national rail ticket). Contact us directly for the best prices, up to 12 months in advance
  3. Assistance and Access Needs
    • Let us know if you need an accessible room or wheelchair space
    • Book assistance for your journey (if you wish to)

Our Guest Service Centre can help you with all of these steps in one go.

1.
Plan your journey
2.
Buy your tickets
3.
Assistance and Access Needs

Assistance: what is available and how to obtain it

You can book assistance to use our services but you don’t have to. The benefit of booking is having the opportunity to talk through your access needs and make sure everything is in place to ensure a relaxed and comfortable experience.

Assistance available

We can assist you with:

  • Planning your journey and reviewing your accommodation needs
  • Getting on and off the train
  • Booking your tickets (at the same time as you book assistance)
  • Booking any room supplements (if you need this)
  • Booking a wheelchair space in our seated accommodation
  • Making a seat reservation in our seated accommodation
  • Understanding what services and facilities are available on the train and at the station
  • Carrying your luggage on and off the train
  • Boarding with scooters or other mobility aids

Our staff are trained in assisting guests with both visible and non-visible impairments.

We can provide assistance with planning your journey, getting on and off the train and whilst you are on board. We do not have our own station teams at any stations so we are unable to assist you around the station or connecting to onward transport. However, some stations provide this assistance at times when their stations have staff on duty. We can check this for you if you contact us or you can review our interactive access map: http://accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk/

Please note, our on board hosts are unable to assist with personal care or manually handling (unless in emergency).

How to book Passenger Assist

 

Phone (Freephone):  0800 904 7267
By Next Generation Text: 18001 0800 904 7267
(for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)
Our website: https://www.sleeper.scot/contact-us/
(Under Passenger Assist)

To ensure your assistance booking is logged and guaranteed please request your assistance by 10pm the day before the train is due to leave its originating station. If you plan to stay in an accessible room, you need to book this in addition to your assistance. If you are travelling by train to connect to our sleeper service or travelling on another service in the morning, we can book assistance for you with the other train services. We can also organise alternative accessible travel for you, details can be found in the Alternative Accessible Travel section below.

‘Turn up and go’ assistance

You can turn up at a station (which you have checked is accessible to you) and be assisted on and off the train without booking assistance in advance. However, we recommend you contact us in advance if:

  • You need a wheelchair/scooter space or an accessible room because these are limited
    availability.
  • You have access needs related to overnight accommodation which are crucial to your safety,
    comfort and health. For example, power supply for medical equipment.

If you do turn up at an accessible intermediate station (i.e. not one of the major destination stations) it is likely that the train will call at a time when the station is not staffed. Please wait on the platform and our on board hosts will assist you on board. If there are any problems please use an Information Point or Help Point to get in touch. ” If needed, we can arrange alternative accessible transport for you (refer to the Alternative Accessible Travel section below) but this may take some time to arrange if it has not been booked in advance.

Alternative Accessible Travel

If you need to travel to or from a station that is inaccessible to you (for example, because it is not step free) we will book alternative accessible transport for you at no extra charge to take you between the inaccessible station and the nearest or most convenient one that is accessible to you.

This would usually be a taxi that is suitable for your needs. To ensure you can make as much of your journey with us as possible, please get in touch as soon as possible so arrangements can be made. If we organise rail replacement services when there is disruption, this will be accessible for you.

What to expect – our commitment to you

Before you travel

Our Guest Service Centre colleagues can help you with any aspect of planning your journey with us. You might wish to plan your journey in the following order, with our help.

Our on board facilities
Icon of a train

Our trains offer a timeless experience as you travel between Scotland and London, allowing you to travel overnight and unwind from the stress of everyday life. We want you to be comfortable, safe and relaxed in your overnight accommodation and understand that this may involve different considerations to normal daytime train journeys. Please review the on the train section below and contact our Guest Service Centre to discuss your accommodation needs before you travel.

Stations we call at

As part of our journey planning service, our Guest Service Centre can check the facilities of any station you wish to use. This includes staffing availability and parking facilities. You can look this up yourself if you prefer, on the relevant station page of National Rail Enquiries website: www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations

Your route

You can plan your journey via our website or by contacting our Guest Service Centre. They will also be able to advise you of any planned or emergency disruption.

Choosing your ticket

Everyone needs a valid ticket to travel on our services. We accept two types of tickets on board the Caledonian Sleeper:

1. Caledonian Sleeper tickets.
These tickets offer the best value for money. They are only valid for travel on the Caledonian Sleeper
and include a reservation for seated or room accommodation.

2. National Rail tickets valid on all operators along with a reservation on the Caledonian Sleeper.

The ticket type includes:

  • Anytime
  • Off peak
  • Super off peak
  • All Line Rover
  • BritRail passes
  • Inter-Rail Passes
  • Eurail passes
  • FIP Coupons for GB Passenger Railway

These tickets must be valid between stations served by Caledonian Sleeper for part or all of your complete rail journey. Please note, you also need to make a reservation to travel on the Caledonian Sleeper service through our Guest Service Centre. Unless you book a room supplement, a ticket and reservation allows you to travel in seated accommodation only.

If you plan to book a room for your journey (particularly for comfort and access needs) we recommend you book this directly with the Guest Service Centre to avoid disappointment as they are subject to availability. It is also cheaper to buy a Caledonian Sleeper ticket than to buy tickets and room supplements separately.

Where to buy a ticket

You can buy a ticket in several ways:

Phone (Freephone):0800 904 7267
By Next Generation Text: 18001 0800 904 7267
(for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)
Our website: https://www.sleeper.scot/contact-us/
(Under Passenger Assist)
At a station with a ticket office: For a list see
www.nationalrail.co.uk

When you book tickets with us, we will send you an e-ticket by email. You can either show this to staff on your phone or print them out before you travel. If this is not accessible for you, we can post your ticket to you on request.

If you are a disabled guest and unable to purchase a ticket at the station before your journey, you can buy this from us on board without penalty. Please remember, accessibility facilities and wheelchair spaces are subject to availability.

Discounts

Railcards offer discounts on rail travel to suit a wide range of needs and lifestyles, including:

  • Disabled Persons Railcard – 1/3 off rail fares for you and a friend
  • Senior Railcard – 1/3 off rail fares for anyone aged 60 and over
  • Two Together – 1/3 off rail fares when you and a friend travel together

You are entitled to at least 1/3 off your ticket without having a disabled persons railcard if you are:

  • a wheelchair user staying in your wheelchair during the journey (the discount also applies to one person travelling with you); or
  • visually impaired (blind or partially sighted) and travelling with one other person. You are not
    entitled to this discount if you are travelling alone. You must provide written evidence of your
    visual impairment to get the discount.
Room Supplements

We have a range of rooms to suit different budgets for solo or shared use. Please refer to the On the train section below for more information about our rooms and accessibility levels.

If you already have a valid ticket to travel and just need a room supplement, you can buy these via our Guest Service Centre from our website. However, if you have not yet got a ticket the simplest and cheapest option is to buy a dedicated Caledonian Sleeper ticket directly from us.

Wheelchair and Scooters

Like most trains across the UK, we can carry wheelchairs, scooters and rollators which are no larger than 70cm x 120xm and a combined weight of guest and wheelchair/scooter of 300kg. Guests are asked to check the size and weight before travelling to avoid disappointment.

If you wish to travel in the wheelchair space in seated accommodation, please contact us as soon as you can so we can reserve the space for you. We will also reserve the nearest seat for you as well if you are able and wish to transfer. Whilst we cannot assist with lifting, we can guide you to the seat if support is helpful.

At the station

We serve 48 stations, all of which are managed by other companies. Levels of accessibility at these stations vary considerably. Our Guest Service Centre can help you find out any information you need to assess the accessibility of these stations for your needs.

We have designated Information Points at most of the stations we call at which provide real-time departure information, in addition to customer information screens. Our new Information Points also offer live video-calling to our staff two hours before and after our trains call at the station.

There are also Help Points at the stations too. You can use these 24 hours a day for timetable information or to speak to someone who can contact us directly.

The majority of the stations we call at offer Blue Badge parking. We can check parking facilities for you if you contact us. If you have booked assistance for a journey that starts at a station with staff on duty please go to the meeting point to let staff know that you have arrived. There is a dedicated mobility assistance point at London Euston, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley. For all other staffed stations, please go to the ticket office or the meeting point agreed when you booked assistance. If you wish to relax in the station lounge before your train arrives (where available), please speak to station staff first so you can agree where and when to meet for your assistance. At stations where our services start, guests can often board the train well before departure time and we let you know this ‘boarding window’ in advance. If you need assistance, please arrive at the meeting point of a staffed station during the boarding window but at least 30 minutes before the departure time of your train.

For stations without staff on duty, please be on the platform in time for your train to arrive. Our on board hosts can assist you on to the train.

On the train
Icon of a train

Since 2019 we have replaced our fleet with brand new trains that significantly improved levels of accessibility.

Audio and visual information

Our seated coaches have visual information screens for station stops. We do not issue audio announcements throughout the night so as not to disturb our guests’ sleep. If you are staying in a room, you can request a wake-up call or be notified of delays if you wish. On board hosts will visit your room personally if the intercom is inaccessible. The same applies to guests in our seated coach. Please advise our on board hosts if you need assistance with announcements or stopping times.

Seated Coach

You need a reservation to travel on the Caledonian Sleeper, in addition to your ticket. You will be assigned a room or seat as part of this process. If you have a preference on where you sit based on your access needs please advise us when you make your booking.

There is a dedicated wheelchair space in our seated coach. Guests are assigned a coach based on their destination because the train divides along the route. Priority for the wheelchair space is given to guests who have reserved the space in advance. If you are travelling with friends or family, please let our Guest Service Centre know when you make your booking so we can try to seat you close together (subject to availability).

Toilets

Each seated coach provides access to an accessible toilet. If you are not a wheelchair user but need to be close to the accessible toilet, please ask us during the reservation process.

Some rooms have an en-suite toilet in the room, whereas others offer a shared toilet facility for the coach. There is an accessible toilet just outside the accessible rooms.

Rooms

Every room on board our new trains captures the spirit of the Caledonian Sleeper, with handcrafted Glencraft mattress for the ultimate sleep. Here are some key features of our different room options.


Caledonian Double

  • Double bed
  • Breakfast included
  • En-suite toilet shower
  • In-room washbasin
  • Station lounge access
  • Priority Club Car access
  • Wifi
  • Mobile Charging Points*
  • Room service
  • Keycard entry system
  • Temperature control and dimmable lights
  • Not suitable for wheelchair users

Club Room

  • Twin bunk
  • Breakfast included
  • En-suite toilet shower
  • In-room washbasin
  • Station lounge access
  • Priority Club Car access
  • Wifi
  • Mobile Charging Points*
  • Room service
  • Keycard entry system
  • Temperature control and dimmable lights
  • Not suitable for wheelchair users


Classic Room

  • Twin bunk beds
  • Breakfast available to purchase
  • In-room washbasin
  • Interconnecting door option
  • Wifi
  • Mobile Charging Points*
  • Room service
  • Keycard entry system
  • Temperature control and dimmable lights
  • Not suitable for wheelchair users
Club Room


Accessible Room

There are two accessible rooms on every train and four accessible rooms on our services to and from Glasgow Central. These are more spacious and provide a turning circle for wheelchair users.

  • Double bed and bunk bed options
  • In-room lowered washbasin and table
  • Two emergency alarms
  • Wifi
  • Mobile Charging Points*
  • Room service
  • For access to the Club Car please refer to ‘catering’ section below
  • An accessible toilet is adjacent to each accessible room. Please note that these are not ensuite access and do not have shower facilities
  • Access to Station Guest Lounge (see section below for shower facilities)
  • Keycard entry system
  • Temperature control and dimmable lights

Charging Information

  Please be aware that the Mobile Charging Points on board are designed for items like mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

We are unable to offer a power supply for charging wheelchairs or medical equipment such as ventilators. However, subject to availability, we would be able to offer this in our dedicated station lounges.

Our Caledonian Double and Club Rooms have en-suite showers. There are no shower facilities provided for guests in our seated coach.

There are no accessible shower facilities on board our trains. However, guests staying in accessible rooms can use the accessible shower facilities at London Euston, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Fort William, Dundee, Leuchars, Perth, Stirling and Inverness free of charge. Our Guest Service Centre can provide further information.

Catering and Club Car access

Our trains provide a range of catering options depending on your ticket. For guests travelling in our seated coach, we offer an at-seat service of hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks. Our Club Car has accessible seating options, including a table suitable for wheelchair access.

Our Caledonian Double and Club room guests can expect a range of breakfast options included in their booking and our Classic room guests can purchase breakfast from our room service menu. We provide room service and complimentary breakfast to guests staying in our accessible rooms – this is Club Room service but provided at no extra cost than Classic Room rates.

On every train, one of these accessible rooms has direct wheelchair access to the Club Car. Whilst the other room has access to the Club Car, the route is not wheelchair accessible due to coach width constraints. Please note that on our Euston to Fort William service there is no wheelchair access from any of the accessible rooms to the Club Car as both accessible rooms are positioned mid-way through the train.

If you are staying in our accessible rooms and are restricted from (or for any other reason unable to access) the Club Car, we will provide a full room service offering (at no extra cost to the Classic Room rate) to ensure you are able to enjoy our dining and drinks experience. We will discuss this with you when you contact us to make a reservation for an accessible room.

We also offer adapted cutlery with larger handles for guests who may find these easier to use. All menus are available in large print and online from www.sleeper.scot, but our staff would of course be happy to talk through the menu on request.

Wheelchairs and Scooters

Please refer to the Wheelchairs and Scooters section above for the size of wheelchairs and scooters we carry on our trains. Scooter users can stay in their scooter if they wish but may prefer to transfer to a seat.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are warmly welcomed on board. Please let an on board host know how we can make your dog comfortable eg providing water. If you are travelling with us in seated accommodation, please contact our Guest Service Centre in advance to reserve a seat next to you at no additional cost to enable your dog to sit safely at your feet. Subject to availability we will upgrade you to a classic room free of charge.

Assistance during the journey

Our on board staff will do everything they can to ensure you are comfortable and safe during your journey. Please note that they cannot help with personal care or physical assistance inside your cabin (unless you fall or you need emergency help).

When assistance has been booked in advance, we are committed to assisting you off the train as soon as possible on arrival at your destination, and within a maximum of 5 minutes of the train’s final destination wherever reasonably practicable. Your on board host will ensure that your booked assistance is carried out as planned and be on hand to assist you.

If things do not go as planned

We aim to provide the best quality service possible for all guests to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible. However, we know that things don’t go always go entirely to plan and will do everything we can to put things right. There are several ways to let us know there is a problem:

  • From home: contact our Guest Service Centre
  • At the station: using a Caledonian Sleeper Information Point (via video call) or a Help Point (refer to the ‘At the station’section above)
  • On the train: speak to an on board host or use the intercom system if you are in a room.

If our services are disrupted, we will take all reasonable steps to provide alternative accessible transport to take you (and a companion travelling with you) to the nearest or most convenient accessible station. If that transport is not available, we will offer to arrange accommodation for you and onward travel the following morning at no additional charge.

If there is planned engineering work, our Guest Service Centre will contact you in the way you said you would prefer to be contacted when you booked assistance. They will tell you about any planned disruption and discuss what alternative arrangements might need to be put in place at no additional charge.

At the station, disruption or delays will be displayed on the Caledonian Sleeper Information Points, customer information screens and on our social media accounts.

During the journey, if you would like to be notified of delays or disruption please let a member of staff know.

We have comprehensive evacuation procedures in the event of emergencies and all of our on board staff have regular training. Each train service has several members of staff that can assist in an emergency. Our policy is not to evacuate guests with significant mobility impairments (including wheelchair users) without the support of the emergency services unless there is threat to life. Guests will never, however, be left on the train alone.

If you have booked assistance and this has not been provided to you, you are entitled to compensation. This may involve a partial or full refund depending on the circumstances. We will consider each case carefully on a case-by-case basis. Please get in touch with us via the Guest Service Centre and we will find out what went wrong.
Club Room

Where to get more information and how to get in touch

You can get further information, advice and help planning your journey free of charge from our Guest Service Centre.

We can send you this leaflet in large print, free of charge. Please phone 0800 904 7267

.
We can also send you:

  • A copy of our Accessible Travel Policy – This explains our policies and processes, including details of our training programme and how we plan to improve services. This can also be downloaded from our website www.sleeper.scot.
  • A copy of this leaflet or the Accessible Travel Policy in alternative accessible formats
  • Station and train accessibility information – These can also be downloaded from our website www.sleeper.scot.
  • Information on our Accessibility Panel and how you can get involved with our work with disabled people to improve accessibility.

If you have any queries or issues on the day of your journey please contact our Guest Service Centre.

Complaints

Any complaints should be sent to our Guest Service Centre and they will investigate and coordinate a response to you. If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint is dealt with you can contact the Rail Ombudsman directly:

Phone: 0330 094 0362
Free Phone: 0800 904 7267
Text: 07427 580 060
Textphone: 0330 094 0363
Email: info@railombudsman.org
Post: FREEPOST – RAIL OMBUDSMAN

Passenger Assist

There is also a national freephone Passenger Assist booking line:

Phone: 0330 094 0362
Free Phone: 0800 904 7267
Text: 60083
Textphone: 0845 60 50 600