75 new coaches to enter service in 2018
Spanish firm CAF has signed a contract with new Caledonian Sleeper operator Serco to confirm that it will build a new fleet of 75 carriages for the service.
It says the new coaches will be of five different types, formed into four trains of 16 coaches, plus 11 spares. The coaches will provide a mixture of travel options including en-suite berths, standard berths, standard seats and POD seat. Improved catering and accessibility are also promised. The deal covers the provision of spares as well as associated technical support.
The project is being funded with £60 million from the Scottish government, plus additional financing from Caledonian Sleepers Rail Leasing Ltd, a subsidiary of Lombard North Central Plc. CAF says the overall contract is valued at approximately €200m.
The new 15-year sleeper franchise begins on 1 April 2015 with the new coaches planned to enter service in April 2018.
Serco has also signed a 15-year €125 million service contract with Alstom to maintain the sleeper carriages. Alstom will initially carry out preventive and corrective maintenance work on the existing Sleeper coaches, and will then maintain the new coaches once they enter service. Maintenance will be carried out at the company’s Polmadie (Glasgow) and Wembley (London) traincare centres, with daily servicing carried out at Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness. Planned overhauls will continue at the Inverness depot.