Caledonian Sleeper Train
Caledonian Sleeper Trains are overnight rail services that link London with Scotland, allowing their passengers to arrive fresh at their destinations the following morning. The Caledonian Sleeper operates six days a week (not Saturdays), to over 40 destinations in Scotland, as well as those in England. The service offers passengers cosy air-conditioned cabins and a lounge car serving snacks and drinks.
Services can be booked up to twelve weeks in advance, either online, by telephone, at stations or through various rail agents. A limited number of cheap fares are available for every journey as 'Bargain Berths'.
The Caledonian Sleeper service offers passengers a range of accommodation options for their journey.
First Class / Single Berths
First Class compartments have just one bed, and include a continental or hot breakfast in the morning. First Class passengers are offered a selection of light snacks and drinks from the room service menu, and a complimentary toiletry pack is included in the fare. First Class cabins include all bedding, a bedside light, private sink and towel, and shaver point.
There are no on-board showers, although shower facilities are available at some stations. Fort William station has good showers and luggage lockers.
First Class Single ticket holders are also given a free refreshment voucher for the Lounge Car, as well as a Zone 1 and 2 London Underground ticket for onward travel.
Standard Class / Twin Berths
Second class compartments have two berths (single passengers may have to share the compartment with a fellow traveller of the same sex, depending on how busy the train is). Second class berths are bunk-bed style, with the upper berth accessed by ladder. Passengers are given a complimentary toothbrush kit (on request), and tea/coffee and shortbread is served in the cabin in the morning. Passengers may upgrade to a full continental breakfast for a supplement (order at time of boarding).
Each cabin includes all bedding, a bedside light, private sink and towel, and a shaver point. There are no on-board showers, although shower facilities are available at some stations. Fort William station has good showers and luggage lockers.
If you would prefer not to pay for a cabin, an air-conditioned seated carriage is available, offering passengers reclining seats with footrests, and individual reading lights. Seated passengers are not permitted to use the Lounge Car, but can order snacks and drinks from a buffet service. Also, when travelling between London and Fort William, you will be woken up to switch carriages (at either 12am - Scotland to London - or 4am - London to Scotland).
Luggage & Facilities
There are no strict limits on luggage allowances, although passengers should be able to accommodate their belongings within their cabin, or within the designated luggage spaces.
Food & Drink
All passengers have access to the Lounge/Dining Car, which serves light snacks and drinks. On busy journeys, the use of the Lounge Car is restricted to First Class passengers only, although both First and Standard Class passengers may purchase items to consume in their cabins. Seated passengers are not permitted to use the Lounge Car, but a buffet service is available in its place.
Travelling with Children
Children under the age of 16 must travel in a twin berth cabin with another member of their group, or pay for sole occupancy of that cabin. In seated accommodation, an adult must accompany children under 16.
Children under the age of 5 travel for free, although no separate berth or seat will be allocated for them. Passengers travelling with children under the age of 5 must pay for sole occupancy of their cabin (if applicable).
Travelling with Pets
Pets may be brought onboard, provided that the owner has paid for sole occupancy of a cabin, and is willing to pay for a cleaning charge after each journey. Pet spaces must be booked in advance, either by telephone (08457 55 00 33) or at a station no less than 48 hours in advance of travel. Passengers should be aware that taking a pet on the Caledonian Sleeper is not a particularly cheap exercise (we were quoted £60 each way to take a dog from London to Fort William).
Guide dogs may travel for free (no cleaning charge), but will not be permitted in the seating carriage. You can still book a seated ticket however, and you will be given a free upgrade to a private berth.
Space is available for up to six bicycles (three on services from Inverness). These must be reserved in advance (free).
As a Caledonian Sleeper customer, you get some additional benefits at your start and end station. Customer Lounges are available at Aberdeen, Carlisle, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Inverness and London Euston stations. Each offer a range of benefits, click here for details.