£100 million, 15-year deal with GB Railfreight
Serco has signed a 15-year contract with GB Railfreight for the supply of train drivers and traction for the new Caledonian Sleeper franchise, which begins on 1 April.
GBRf will provide drivers and traction for both the Lowland and Highland sleeper services, which run on six nights each week. The contract is worth around £100 million.
Four refurbished Class 92 locomotives will be used on electrified routes from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow. North of Edinburgh, GBRf is planning to use six Class 73/9s, which are currently undergoing work at Wabtec’s facility in Loughborough. Until these become available, Class 47s will be hired from Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC) to haul the services from Edinburgh to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen.
Serco’s Managing Director for the Caledonian Sleeper, Peter Strachan said, ‘GBRf are one of our key partners on the Caledonian Sleeper franchise. Together, we have worked closely to develop a traction strategy for the lifetime of the franchise which takes the service from the 1 April through to the introduction of the new trains in 2018 and beyond.’