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Caledonian Sleeper White Stag unveiled to launch new website

Date: 26 Jan 2015

sleeper.scot now open for bookings

The website for the new Caledonian Sleeper service, sleeper.scot launches today, allowing customers to book the overnight Sleeper services linking Scotland and London Euston from 1 April 2015. The new website allows customers to book up to 12 months in advance of their travel date - a first for any UK rail operator.

As part of the launch, a White Stag was also unveiled as the brand icon for the new Sleeper service, in the first of a series of improvements in preparation for the start of the new service on 1 April 2015.

The new Sleeper brand features a White Stag and will be seen online, across marketing materials, uniforms and onboard the trains. Intrinsically linked to Scotland, this almost mythical creature will act as an icon, helping customers to rediscover a national treasure that is the Caledonian Sleeper.

The stag is already synonymous with the Fort William to London route, known to many as the Deerstalker. The new Caledonian Sleeper White Stag has a strong contemporary look with its five point antlers representing the three Highland and two Lowland destinations.

Plans to transform the Caledonian Sleeper service into an outstanding hospitality offering that is emblematic of the best of Scotland are well underway.  This includes all aspects of the operation of the Caledonian Sleeper franchise; marketing, sales, hospitality service on the trains, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for guests.

The new Caledonian Sleeper is using Scottish boutique suppliers - including award-winning Glasgow fashion designer ten30 for the uniforms and Aberdeen social enterprise Glencraft for beds. Edinburgh-based interior designer Ian Smith will transform the new Guest Services Centre in Inverness and the interiors of the new trains, which will be introduced into service from 2018.

Peter Strachan, Serco's Managing Director for the new Caledonian Sleeper, said: "Our new booking and reservation system, sleeper.scot allows passengers to plan and book their travel up to 12 months in advance, a first for any UK rail operator.  This marks the first in a series of improvements we are introducing to the iconic Sleeper service. We are really proud of the bold new brand we have created and believe it will help us develop a truly iconic international service and attract new customers from the UK and abroad. The White Stag symbolises fresh adventures and coming change, which is what people can expect from the Caledonian Sleeper as it is transformed over the coming years.

"The new Caledonian Sleeper service will provide a great alternative to other rail options and flying for UK travel.  After a relaxing night on board, sleeping while on the move, our guests will arrive at their destination first thing in the morning refreshed and ready to go."

Customers will start seeing an improved service soon after the 1 April, with new menus, soft furnishings and comforts. In 2018 a new fleet will launch, with a range of new features, including ensuite berths, Pod flatbeds and a brasserie-style Club Car.  Over £100m is being invested in the new fleet which is part funded by a £60m capital grant from Scottish Ministers and will be built by leading rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: "The Caledonian Sleeper is a cherished icon of Scotland's railways and it is fitting that a contemporary image of the Scottish stag is chosen to be the new emblem as this service embarks upon a transformation for the future.

"Existing passengers and newcomers to the Sleeper experience can now book up to enjoy all that the new service will have to offer when it launches in the Spring. I am excited to see how the service will develop and how that will continue to benefit Scotland in the form of additional tourism, business travel and inward investment as well as fun holiday opportunities."

For more information about the Caledonian Sleeper visit sleeper.scot

For further information, please contact:

Manjeet Turner

Tel: 0771 819 5320 and Email: manjeet.turner@serco.com

Charles Carr

Tel: 0771 819 4381 and Email: charles.carr@serco.com

Notes to Editors:

1. For anyone wishing to book the Sleeper service for travel before 31st March, bookings are being taken as normal at ScotRail.co.uk/sleeper

2. The 15-year franchise begins in April 2015 and will see Serco manage all aspects of the Sleeper service including marketing, sales, the on-train hospitality service, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for Sleeper passengers.

3. The franchise has been split from the main ScotRail franchise to meet Transport Scotland's vision of transforming the Sleeper service into a truly emblematic and guest focused service for passengers travelling between Scotland and England.

4. Around 270,000 journeys were made on the Sleeper service in the last full year. 

5. The current ScotRail franchise, including operation of the Caledonian Sleeper, was awarded to FirstGroup plc, operating as First ScotRail Limited, in August 2004 and continues until March 2015.

6. Serco is already one of Scotland's largest employers with 3,000 employees working to provide a range of services, including: NorthLink Ferries connecting the Scottish mainland to the Shetland Islands and Orkney islands; the management of Scatsta Airport; facilities management at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Wishaw hospital; Customer Service Contract centres in Glasgow, Fort William and the provision of ICT and property services for Glasgow City Council (ACCESS).

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Last Updated: 29 May 2015