Travellers planning on using the Caledonian Sleeper service to the Scottish Highlands this summer face more disappointing news after the operator Serco has decided to delay the launch of its new trains on the Highland service, probably until September.
This decision,says the Company,will allow the latest set of eight new carriages, which are due to be accepted into service in the next few days, to be diverted to support the Lowland route between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, which is currently experiencing high levels of demand.
The service has been plagued by problems since its launch with delays, allocation of cabin problems and numerous technical issues.
It will also allow CAF, the manufacturer, more time to fulfil their responsibilities and complete the work required on the remaining new carriages to ensure that they can be accepted into service for the Highland route.
Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s Managing Director at Caledonian Sleeper, said: “We are disappointed to be announcing this further delay, but it is undoubtedly the correct decision and will allow us to improve the reliability and resilience of the Lowlander fleet, and maintain capacity on the Highland route. While we are keen to introduce our new trains on the Highland route as soon as we can, our priority must be delivering a reliable service on the Lowland route and then make sure that each new carriage on the Highland route is ready to welcome guests and deliver a true Caledonian Sleeper experience.
“Our team is working closely with the manufacturers to get the new Highland carriages ready as soon as possible and we are looking forward to launching them on the Highland service once CAF has proved their readiness.”
Guests who have already booked to travel on a Highland service from 7/8 July onwards who still wish to travel and have booked one of our new accommodation options will be refunded the difference in cost; alternatively if they no longer wish to travel they will be offered a full refund or the opportunity to rebook at a later date.