Passenger ends up in train depot after not being woken on Sleeper service

Passengers have been turfed off the Caledonian Sleeper hours early or found themselves in a depot after not being woken on arrival at their destination, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

One unlucky traveller arrived in Motherwell at 5am on 4 June because the train from London was running two hours ahead of time, only to find themselves trapped inside a locked station.

Other passengers have complained of being dumped at Edinburgh Waverley at 4am – 90 minutes early.

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On 18 June, another passenger was left on the train after it arrived at Glasgow Central as it was shunted off to the Polmadie depot, three miles away.

They had to be put in a taxi to get back to the city centre.

An internal memo stated: “It is essential that we operate to our advertised times.

“We have received a number of complaints from guests who claim to have been asked to leave the service prior to the advertised times.

“We have unfortunately found ourselves in a situation where a guest claims to have been asked to depart the train at Motherwell just after 0500 and then found themselves trapped within the station due to this early arrival. We have also had feedback from other guests who claim to have been asked to leave the train at Edinburgh at around 0400, which has resulted in substantial waiting times to allow them to connect to other services.”

David Sidebottom, a director of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: “It’s worrying to hear of passengers being asked to leave Sleeper services early or not being alerted that they had reached their intended destination.

“It’s vital that station operators are alerted in advance, Caledonian Sleeper learns from these incidents and the necessary measures are in place so passengers can travel with the confidence they won’t happen again.”

Caledonian Sleeper managing director Ryan Flaherty said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been operating a reduced service with a special timetable.

“On a small number of occasions, some guests have been asked to leave the service at Edinburgh and Motherwell at an earlier time than advertised. We have spoken to our on-board teams and made clear guests must be allowed to remain on board to the scheduled time.

“We’re sorry to those guests affected and have put further processes in place to ensure it does not happen again.

“We can confirm a guest travelling on our northbound service was taken to Polmadie depot following the train’s arrival in Glasgow Central.

“The issue was quickly identified and the guest was transported back into the city centre via taxi. We have apologised for the error and addressed the issue with our team to ensure no repeat.”

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