New £150m Caledonian Sleeper reaches London more than three hours late

The new Caledonian Sleeper service arrived in London more than three hours late following signalling problems on the line.

The new carriages in the £150 million fleet of trains made their debut on Sunday night on the Lowlander route between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh.

But the train from Glasgow/Edinburgh to London arrived at 10.27am on Monday instead of the scheduled arrival time of 7.07am following signalling issues.

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s managing director for Caledonian Sleeper, said: “We apologise to guests affected by delays to our services last night.

“These were as a result of signalling problems across the network.

“We are engaging with Network Rail to understand why these issues occurred.”

The new trains will be introduced on the Highlander route between London and Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William in the coming weeks.

The fleet, built at a cost of £150m, has been part funded by capital grants from Scottish ministers and from the UK Government.

Accommodation ranges from new comfort seats to rooms with double beds and en suites – a first in the history of Caledonian Sleeper.

Mr Flaherty said: “Our new trains have been years in the making and to see them make their debut is a huge moment for everyone involved in making this dream a reality.

“The overriding ambition has been to deliver on our vision of a Caledonian Sleeper service fit for today’s traveller, one that combines the modern facilities people expect with that feeling of nostalgia that comes from long-distance railway travel.

“We want guests to have a magical journey with us, whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure.”

Other new features on the trains include a hotel-style keycard entry system, charging panels and Wi-Fi throughout.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government is proud to have played its part in the launch of this new Caledonian Sleeper service.

“In subsidy over the 15 years of this franchise, in support for this fleet of new trains and in funding for stations and passenger lounges, this is clear evidence of our genuine commitment to both rail and tourism in Scotland.

“The scale of change is remarkable and a credit to everyone who has worked on this project.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell: “It is fantastic to see the launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper service.

“The UK Government has invested £50 million in the new fleet, improving vital connectivity between Scotland and England, and improving the service for the thousands of passengers. I was pleased to travel on their debut journey and look forward to using this service for years to come.”