GB Railfreight (GBRf) has agreed to a seven-year deal with Caledonian Sleeper to continue hauling coaches on the Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight services between London and Scotland.
Having provided services since 2015, this agreement is a continuation of the original 15-year contract between GBRf and Serco for the Caledonian Sleeper brand until 2030.
The services will see GBRf support the new phase of a state-operated Caledonian Sleeper, departing seven trains a night, six nights a week, hauling the Mk5 coaches between London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and Fort William.
GBRf will continue to use British Rail Class 92s and Class 73s to haul the service, with the length of the new agreement offering the potential opportunity to consider incorporating GBRf’s new bi-modal Class 99 locomotives in the future.
Utilising Class 99s would create a significant reduction in the volume of carbon created by the service.
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“This new partnership with Transport Scotland is another great example of GB Railfreight’s ability to deliver an excellent and reliable haulage service,” said GBRf CEO John Smith.
“As the iconic Caledonian Sleeper enters a new era, we are extremely proud to be working with Transport Scotland and look forward to continuing to deliver fantastic service to passengers for many years to come.”
The Caledonian Sleeper brand was taken into full public ownership as of 25 June, and Scotland’s Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop said the move was the “start of a new era” for the service: “In recent years, the Caledonian Sleeper has flourished, with increasing numbers of people using its unique journey opportunities.
“The service plays an important role in showcasing the best of Scotland and I look forward to building on that success in the years to come.”
Caledonian Sleeper will operate as a separate business from Scotrail, the train operating company publicly owned by Scottish Rail Holdings on behalf of the Scottish Government.