Murder on the Caledonian Sleeper: Val McDermid turns Poirot over service – Kezia Dugdale

Val McDermid branded the upgraded Caledonia Sleeper service a 'disgrace'. Picture: SNS
Val McDermid branded the upgraded Caledonia Sleeper service a 'disgrace'. Picture: SNS
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Train travel used to be quite the precarious business. Any fan of Agatha Christie will know that.

However, this week it came to light that rather than a murder on the Orient Express, we had a grievance on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Rather than investigations by our favourite Belgian detective, this whodunnit was much less glamorous and involved a faulty en-suite

Crime writer Val McDermid took to Twitter to vent her frustrations after paying £335 for the journey down to London and branded the service a “disgrace”.

Having just had a £150m revamp, with 75 new carriages, Val was complaining about having to endure the same narrow bed as before and a walk to the next carriage to use the loo.

We were told this upgrade would create a “five-star hotel on wheels”, but since it was unveiled in April it has been beset by a series of cancellations and delays.

A multi-million-pound upgrade to one of only two sleeper services in the whole UK, is good news even if there are teething problems.

No transport upgrade comes without initial kinks, everyone in Edinburgh knows that.

What is important is that these issues are ironed out as soon as possible so that more and more people consider travelling to London by train rather than fly.

In order to make our emissions targets we are all being told to fly less, so any attempt to make our sleeper service as glamorous as the Orient Express – albeit without the added murder mystery – should be encouraged.