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Serco appoints Managing Director to run the iconic Caledonian Sleeper franchise

Published: 29 Oct 2014

Serco has appointed Peter Strachan as Managing Director of the Caledonian Sleeper franchise which begins operating in April 2015.

He joins Serco Caledonian Sleeper from Serco's business in Australia where he led on and supported two key rail bids in Sydney.  Prior to joining Serco in 2013, Peter was Director-General Major Projects for the Department for Transport, leading on the UK Government's major rail and road capital projects and for transport in London, including the London 2012 Olympics and chairing the CrossRail joint sponsor board.  Also in the UK, Peter has successfully led a number of UK train operating companies as Managing Director, including Arriva Trains Wales and was Route Director for Network Rail London North Western.  Overseas, Peter was CEO of National Express Group's Rail Division in Melbourne and latterly CEO for TransLink Transit Authority in Brisbane.

Peter will lead the Serco team responsible for transforming the Sleeper service into an outstanding hospitality service that is emblematic of the best of Scotland which 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. 

Commenting on his appointment, Peter said, "I am delighted to be taking up the role of Managing Director for the Caledonian Sleeper service.  As a Scot, it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to lead the transformation of our iconic Sleeper service.  I look forward to working with the team to deliver a guest experience that embodies the best Scotland has to offer."

David Stretch, Managing Director for Serco's Transport business said, "Serco has a strong track record of providing high quality, customer focused rail services all over the world, as well as experience in managing large scale tourism-focused transport services.  Peter brings a wealth of executive leadership and experience to our transport business and I am confident that he will lead the team to a successful launch, and subsequent transformation of the prestigious Caledonian Sleeper service over the coming years."

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The franchise, which is worth up to £800m over the 15-year contract period, 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. 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.

A fleet of new carriages will be introduced in 2018 which include a range of new features; ensuite berths, Pod flatbeds - used for the first time in rail, and a brasserie-style Club Car.  Passengers will also benefit from a new website to book their tickets and will be offered a much broader range of fares, earlier boarding of trains and the ability to manage their journey virtually.  Over £100m will be 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).


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