THE REVAMPED Caledonian Sleeper service which takes passengers from Scotland to London has been launched by the First Minister.
Incoming rail franchise operator Serco plans to transform the cross-border overnight train into a “world-class rail hospitality experience”.
Nicola Sturgeon was in Inverness, where the new look for the service was unveiled at the city’s new Caledonian Sleeper guest services centre.
She met with the designers who created the interiors for the passenger lounges and the new trains as well as the staff uniforms.
The sleeper’s new white stag branding was also unveiled.
Serco takes over the running of the service from ScotRail from next week, with a new booking website, branding, uniforms and a fresh menu.
A £150 million fleet of new sleeper trains is due to arrive in 2018.
They will offer cradle seats, pod flatbeds, berths and en-suite berths. They will include a brasserie-style club car for dining.
Ms Sturgeon said: “When the Scottish Government set the specification for the refranchising of the Caledonian Sleeper service, we were clear that it had to become so much more than a commuter rail trip for those travelling between Scotland and London.
“We knew that the routes through Scotland already offered a spectacular backdrop but we wanted to see the journey become a destination in itself and take a larger tourism role in promoting Scotland.
“Serco’s plans promise to bring all of this, as well as provide benefits for the small and medium-sized Scottish businesses up and down the country who will be involved in supplying the new service.
“Their commitment to qualification-level training for staff and investment in the service for the next 15 years is also to be welcomed.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS