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Serco appoints Ian Smith Design as interior designer for the iconic Caledonian Sleeper service Published: Monday, 08 December 2014 22:48

Ian Smith Design, one of Scotland’s leading interior designers has been appointed to manage the design remit for the new Caledonian Sleeper trains which will be introduced into service from 2018.

Based in Edinburgh, Ian Smith Design has managed a number of iconic projects in the hospitality sector, including the New Brasserie, Cameron House, Cook School and Edinburgh restaurant for Martin Wishart and the bar and restaurant at Andy Murray’s Cromlix.  Ian is one of two Scottish designers listed in the UK top 100 design companies.

Ian Smith’s design team will be responsible for working with Serco to design the interiors of the new trains which will offer customers a range of travel options from pod flatbeds to ensuite berths.  The interior refurbishment of the Guest Service Centre in Inverness will also form part of Ian Smith’s remit in readiness for opening in January 2015.

Serco’s plans are well underway in transforming the Sleeper service into an outstanding hospitality service that is emblematic of the best of Scotland and which includes all aspects of the operation of the Caledonian Sleeper franchise; marketing, sales, hospitality service on the trains, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for guests.

Commenting on the partnership, Ian said, “Ian Smith Design is thrilled to be working with Serco on the transformation of the interior of the new Caledonian Sleeper trains.  As a local design company, it is a real privilege to be involved with a much loved local project which runs through the heart of Scotland.  We look forward to being a part of the unveiling of the new trains in 2018.”

Peter Strachan, Managing Director for the new Caledonian Sleeper said, “We are delighted to be working with Ian and his team on the interior design of our new trains as well as our new flagship Guest Service Centre in Inverness.  We have admired Ian’s work for some time and are excited about the contemporary Scottish theme which our guests will enjoy.”

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said, “The announcement that Scottish designer Ian Smith will create the new look for the interiors of the new Caledonian Sleeper fleet is exciting news for the service and for everyone who will use it.

“This iconic rail service will join some of Scotland’s top hospitality brands in Ian’s portfolio and the deal is real evidence of the ambition for the service to go beyond being simply a train journey and offer a real experience of the essence of Scotland.”

A fleet of new carriages will be introduced in 2018 which include a range of new features; ensuite berths, Pod flatbeds - used for the first time in rail, and a brasserie-style Club Car.  Passengers will also benefit from a new website to book their tickets and will be offered a broader range of fares, earlier boarding of trains and the ability to manage their journey virtually.  Over £100m will be invested in the new fleet which is part funded by a £60m capital grant from Scottish Ministers and will be built by leading rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).


For further information, please contact the Media Team.

Notes to Editors:

  1. More information about Ian Smith Design can be found at
  2. The 15-year franchise begins in April 2015 and will see Serco manage all aspects of the Sleeper service including marketing, sales, the on-train hospitality service, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for Sleeper passengers.
  3. The franchise has been split from the main ScotRail franchise to meet Transport Scotland’s vision of transforming the Sleeper service into a truly emblematic and guest focused service for passengers travelling between Scotland and England.
  4. Around 270,000 journeys were made on the Sleeper service in the last full year. 
  5. The current ScotRail franchise, including operation of the Caledonian Sleeper, was awarded to FirstGroup plc, operating as First ScotRail Limited, in August 2004 and continues until March 2015.
  6. Serco is already one of Scotland’s largest employers with 3,000 employees working to provide a range of services, including: NorthLink Ferries connecting the Scottish mainland to the Shetland Islands and Orkney islands; the management of Scatsta Airport; facilities management at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Wishaw hospital; Customer Service Contract centres in Glasgow, Fort William and the provision of ICT and property services for Glasgow City Council (ACCESS).

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