Caledonian Sleeper guests treated to bedtime stories of Edinburgh’s dark past

Guests of Caledonian Sleeper were treated to a social history extravaganza as a storyteller from The Real Mary King’s Close climbed on board to tell tales of Edinburgh’s dark past yesterday evening (Thursday 1 November).

Themed for Halloween and hosted on board the London to Edinburgh service, the event offered guests a unique insight into the city’s rich history and some of Edinburgh’s most notable characters through a series of short stories told by Robert Fergusson – a well-known 18th century poet who had a great influence on Robert Burns.

Played by Mark Hannah, a character tour guide from The Real Mary King’s Close, Mr Fergusson regaled passengers with stories of his time in Edinburgh, as well as the people that followed him, including the infamous gruesome twosome Burke and Hare.

Speaking of the event, Mark commented: “There’s no better time than Halloween to bring history to life. At the Close, we invite guests to step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history. We tell the intriguing real stories of the city’s past residents, and offer an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces; all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. To be asked to bring a small selection of some of our favourite stories to guests travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper has been thrilling.”

The Halloween event forms a calendar of on board events organised by Caledonian Sleeper to offer guests a series of Scottish-inspired experiences and follows a similar storytelling event with The Real Mary King’s Close last year.

Graham Kelly, Serco’s Guest Experience Director at Caledonian Sleeper, added: “We were very excited to welcome The Real Mary King’s Close back for a second Halloween.

“Travelling through the night on board Caledonian Sleeper is magical in itself but by adding these truly Scottish events, including the historical tales from Edinburgh’s most famous street, we’re able to make the journey even more enchanting and memorable. We hope guests enjoyed the event and weren’t too spooked before bed.”

To find out more about The Real Mary King’s Close, visit

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper, visit

Caledonian Sleeper celebrates #StationsDay

Caledonian Sleeper celebrates #StationsDay with unveiling of £1.6m training facilities and guest lounge in Perth

Caledonian Sleeper is showcasing how it has transformed a disused building at Perth Station in celebration of the first #StationsDay – a day which highlights the £5.2 billion investment to regenerate Britain’s rail stations.

The building has been renovated into a state-of-the-art training facility for Caledonian Sleeper staff and is just one of hundreds of small and medium sized stations that have been improved across the UK since 2009.

As part of the £1.6m project, the overnight rail service has also created a brand new guest lounge to cater for travellers at one of Scotland’s most vital rail hubs.

The centrepiece of the new facility is a mock-up of Caledonian Sleeper’s new carriages, which are due to be introduced to service by end of May 2019. With a fully operational galley, it will allow staff to perfect the meals that will be served on board as part of an enhanced catering facility.

An auditorium, conference room and additional office space will allow staff to work from Perth and take part in various courses throughout the year. There are also plans to open the space up to local groups in the city, giving them access to high-quality meeting space in a central location.

Open exclusively to Caledonian Sleeper guests, the lounge – located at the rear of Platform 7 – is a space to relax before or after travelling, with a host on hand to serve drinks and snacks. Guests will also have access to wet rooms, ensuring they can refresh themselves after travelling overnight from London.

The guest lounge is one of five the overnight rail service has created in stations across the country this year alone, with the help of the Scottish Stations Investment Fund. A lounge in Stirling was also recently opened while lounges at Dundee, Fort William and Leuchars were launched in July.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s Managing Director at Caledonian Sleeper, said: “We’re very excited to be celebrating #StationsDay with the unveiling of our new training facility and guest lounge in Perth.

“Our people are at the heart of everything we do, with our on board hosts the face of our service. These new facilities will allow us to grow our people, helping them to learn new skills and improve our already excellent hospitality offering.

“The lounge is also a major milestone, as we are committed to ensuring guests have the best possible experience in all aspects of their journey. That’s why this investment is so important, as it will allow our guests to relax in comfort ahead of boarding or to refresh themselves once they step off the train in the morning.”

The refurbishment of the building at Perth Station was part funded by the Railway Heritage Trust. It is likely to prove popular with a range of audiences, particularly business travellers who use Caledonian Sleeper to ensure an early arrival in London for meetings.

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper, visit