New carriages for Caledonian Sleeper are undergoing trials on the UK rail network for the first time ahead of their introduction later this year. A total of four Mark 5 carriages are being tested on the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Arrochar & Tarbet. Testing on the West Highland Line will continue over the coming weeks before moving onto the West Coast Main Line.
The overnight Caledonian Sleeper rail service will be transformed by the introduction of the new £100 million (115.7 million euros) fleet which will see Serco introduce 75 new carriages in a phased transition starting this autumn. The introduction of new trains will be the culmination of a wide range of improvements and investment in Caledonian Sleeper since Serco took over the franchise on behalf of the Scottish Government in April 2015. These are the first sleeper trains to be introduced to the UK in over 35 years.
The fleet is designed to cater to both business and leisure travel guests. A range of accommodation options will be offered, including comfort seats, classic rooms (twin or single), club rooms (twin or single with en-suite), suites (double bed with en-suite). Other new features will also be included, such as a hotel-style key card entry system, more accessible rooms, charging panels and WiFi throughout the train.
The trains will initially be introduced on the Lowlander route between Glasgow / Edinburgh and London from October 2018. There will then be a phased transition on the Highlander route, which serves Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness.