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Serco to end Caledonian Sleeper contract early?

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I wonder if Serco accepted much lower subsidies than the previous sleeper operator? Or it could be the impact of their huge increase in prices reducing passenger numbers - the last couple of times I've been on the sleeper (both Lowland and Highland sleeper) it hasn't felt as full as previously ie it was possible to easily get tables in the bar carriage!

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The government needs to get a grip on this whole franchising malarkey else they're creating a free pass for Calamity Corbyn to unleash his snowflake mates, from the student union bar, onto our railways.

 

So what have they done, they sent in Chancer Grayling a political buffoon, unsure of what he is saying and with little idea of how to say it

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Is this a UK government or Scottish Assembly matter - the service is run from Scotland it isn't part of any English franchise.

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The government needs to get a grip on this whole franchising malarkey else they're creating a free pass for Calamity Corbyn to unleash his snowflake mates, from the student union bar, onto our railways.

 

So what have they done, they sent in Chancer Grayling a political buffoon, unsure of what he is saying and with little idea of how to say it

 

I am getting sick and tired of your frequent political jibes; please take this as a final warning that if they continue access to the site will be removed.

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Is this a UK government or Scottish Assembly matter - the service is run from Scotland it isn't part of any English franchise.

It's a Scottish franchise run from a HQ in Inverness I read somewhere, Rail?,the Sleeper was 2% of the Scotrail business and it's awarded by the Scottish Government - the intention was to improve Sleeper by making it a separate company.

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Caledonian sleeper and Scotrail are awarded and specified by the Scottish parliament, I believe.

Likewise the Welsh franchise and assembly.

 

Another franchise handing back the keys isn't a good look, no matter who awarded it in the first place.

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Caledonian Sleeper is procured by the Scottish Parliament to a specification determined by Transport Scotland. 

 

The franchise OpCo is headquartered in Inverness.

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It is too easy to look at the problems on our passenger railway and think it is only happening here.

It is not, the USA struggles to keep Amtrak running because of costs. Other countries passenger transport is subsidised, or of a poor standard.

I really do not like nationalised industries, but the cost of equipment and the running costs are enormous.

Franchising is obviously not working, if enough people want fast, luxury transport then the bullet has to be bitten.

If nationalisation could only be done without involving politicians. Any and all politicians!

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Comes at an interesting time with introduction of the new coaches. Hope we don't see a repeat of the Channel Tunnel sleepers fiasco.

 

It's an unusual situation. A Scottish Govt awarded franchise but very much reliant on the track access charges that are effectively controlled by UK Govt. I don't know whether the sleeper gets lower track access charges than other trains but logically it should as it is using capacity that no one else wants.

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Also interesting to see from that article that Abellio are finding the Scotrail franchise difficult.

 

Perhaps it needs to be split up with, in particular, the Glasgow suburban services split off from the long-distance stuff.

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I don't know anything about him. But please see Andy's comment above.

Edited by Andy Y
Quote removed

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Plus, it's Yousaf, not Yousef.

 

How would you define "suburban" ? Plenty central belt services now start in the Glasgow suburbs and end in the Edinburgh area; they don't just link main terminals.

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This follows a predictable pattern.  Some railway service limps along with ageing stock for years until by some misfortune a political party which promises investment for the railways achieves power and has the poor judgement to actually implement more investment, whch it expects to recoup from increased revenue.   Investment goes in, interest charges are paid, increased revenue fails to appear whole thing goes t*ts up.   Maybe Serco saw the writing on the wall or read about the 1955 modernisation plan.....

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The Sleeper to Fort William is one of those things on my "must do it one day list" but I've always wondered how it can be anywhere near an economically viable service to run.

 

I'm guessing that 2 sleepers accomodate 40-50 passengers max and randomly selecting a date this week, the website suggests a fare of £135 (and I'm sure there are cheaper fares if I searched more thoroughly) so this suggests a maximim income from any service of well below £10K.

 

I would have no idea of the costs of running any service on the railway and there is a fair amount of shared cost with the Inverness and Aberdeen portions but the sleeper must be one of most expensive operations on the railway- staff, locos etc

 

Not trying to make any political point and wholely subscribe to the view that the value of services in the Highlands should not be judged by profit alone, just mystified why any private concern would take it on without significant contractual guarentees (which it could of course be argued that SERCO have and are considering activating) and genuinely interested in the broad cost of running such a service

 

Rob

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Looking on the sleeper website recently I noticed how prices were on the up presumably to cover the cost of new stock ,watching it when it arrives at Crewe there dont seem to be many joiners ,maybe its numbers causing Serco to have second thaughts.The Scottish Government must be struggling for cash as looking at other items coming out of Edinburgh something is going to have to give.Regards Abello breaking up network cant see this at all as its reallly a small one that interconnects well, mostly the trains are well patronised as I noticed in Glasgow last Friday.

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Also interesting to see from that article that Abellio are finding the Scotrail franchise difficult.

 

Perhaps it needs to be split up with, in particular, the Glasgow suburban services split off from the long-distance stuff.

 

No, please ! (Even) more fragmentation is the last thing we need.

 

Sleeper services are very expensive to operate, due to the low maximum possible passenger loading, stock which can only make one journey per day, and the unique operational factors such as the number of locos and staff required. Therefore a hefty subsidy is necessary. And the Caledonian Sleepers were severely disrupted by the closure of the WCML at Lamington Viaduct in early 2016, which must have affected revenue.

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No, please ! (Even) more fragmentation is the last thing we need.

 

Sleeper services are very expensive to operate, due to the low maximum possible passenger loading, stock which can only make one journey per day, and the unique operational factors such as the number of locos and staff required. Therefore a hefty subsidy is necessary. And the Caledonian Sleepers were severely disrupted by the closure of the WCML at Lamington Viaduct in early 2016, which must have affected revenue.

 

One man's fragmentation is another man's specialisation. Suburban services in London taken over by TfL seem to be doing rather better than those that remain with the conventional franchises.

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It's a Scottish franchise run from a HQ in Inverness I read somewhere, Rail?,the Sleeper was 2% of the Scotrail business and it's awarded by the Scottish Government - the intention was to improve Sleeper by making it a separate company.

 Whereas I think the current problems have been exacerbated by the decision to split the franchise.

 

Firstly, there will be some additional costs, where Caledonian Sleeper has to duplicate HQ functions previously done by the ScotRail franchise. Secondly, I've noted that timekeeping of the down sleepers in the morning is little different than in ScotRail days - but the Sleeper franchise now has to pay compensation to ScotRail for the delays it causes to their services (it always did at the London end, so no change there). 

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Looking on the sleeper website recently I noticed how prices were on the up presumably to cover the cost of new stock ,watching it when it arrives at Crewe there dont seem to be many joiners ,maybe its numbers causing Serco to have second thaughts.The Scottish Government must be struggling for cash as looking at other items coming out of Edinburgh something is going to have to give.Regards Abello breaking up network cant see this at all as its reallly a small one that interconnects well, mostly the trains are well patronised as I noticed in Glasgow last Friday.

 

Oddly enough on another recent thread there was a discussion about the lack of cheap tickets at present

The gist seemed to be that there was no need to offer reduced fares as the trains were almost always fully booked and at times months in advance.

Something it would seem has changed dramatically.

Bernard

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Oddly enough on another recent thread there was a discussion about the lack of cheap tickets at present

The gist seemed to be that there was no need to offer reduced fares as the trains were almost always fully booked and at times months in advance.

Something it would seem has changed dramatically.

Bernard

A harder winter than we've had for a few years?

 

John

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What a typical Scottish Meeja report - Yes it mentions Serco losses, mentions the Transport Minister speaking to Abelio (nothing to do with Serco contract), mentions the Unions and Labour shouting about the "Baw being burst" but nowhere does anyone suggest that Serco will end the Caledonian Sleeper.except for the title (with no supporting detail in the body of the text) Yes the contract is up for review in 2022 - but that was always the plan surely.

 

The Sunday Post should stick to what they do best.  Oor Willie and the Broons, Hon says get your shaving foam cheaper at Aldi, and adverts for 150 garden roses for £20...

Edited by Bob Reid
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Maybe its just not the sleeper contract. It could be that Serco are reviewing all there business units in response to what happened to Carillion.

 

Keith

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What a typical Scottish Meeja report - Yes it mentions Serco losses, mentions the Transport Minister speaking to Abelio (nothing to do with Serco contract), mentions the Unions and Labour shouting about the "Baw being burst" but nowhere does anyone suggest that Serco will end the Caledonian Sleeper.except for the title (with no supporting detail in the body of the text) Yes the contract is up for review in 2022 - but that was always the plan surely.

 

The Sunday Post should stick to what they do best.  Oor Willie and the Broons, Hon says get your shaving foam cheaper at Aldi, and adverts for 150 garden roses for £20...

 

 

Wullie, for the record.

 

Sorry to be a bawbag  :sungum:

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Perhaps mentioned elsewehere but Scot Rail removing coaches from the busiest trains in the Central belt is not clever. Rumours that trains are at the end of their lease and that new ones have not arrived is a poor excuse. It is not just the Central Belt services but also the trains from Carlisle to Edinburgh and Glasgow which are often leaving Carlisle over crowded and unable to pick up passengers waiting at say Lockerbie. How not to run a railway?

Ray.

Edited by Silver Sidelines

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