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2014-05-28 SER-001
Serco Group


Serco selected to run new Caledonian Sleeper franchise

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Serco Group

Serco selected to run new Caledonian Sleeper franchise

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2014-05-28 Exciting new Sleeper contract unveiled (Transport Scotland)


28 May 2014
source Serco Group
type Press release

Serco has today been selected by Transport Scotland to manage and operate the new and prestigious Caledonian Sleeper franchise.

The franchise, which is worth up to £800m over the 15-year contract period, begins in April 2015 and will see Serco manage all aspects of the Sleeper service including marketing, sales, the on-train hospitality service, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for Sleeper passengers. The franchise has been split from the main ScotRail franchise to meet Transport Scotland’s vision of transforming the Sleeper service into a truly emblematic and guest focused service for passengers travelling between Scotland and England.

At the heart of the transformation is the aim of creating an outstanding hospitality service that is emblematic of the best of Scotland. Combining Serco’s extensive transport and tourism experience with the expertise of leading Scottish hotel business Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) and Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux OBE KFO, Serco plans to promote and support Scottish enterprise by sourcing local products and produce from small and medium-sized businesses.

A fleet of new carriages will be introduced in 2018 which include a range of new features; ensuite berths, Pod flatbeds - used for the first time in rail, and a brasserie-style Club Car. Passengers will also benefit from a new website to book their tickets and will be offered a much broader range of fares, earlier boarding of trains and the ability to manage their journey virtually. £100m will be invested in the new fleet which is part funded by a £60m capital grant from Scottish Ministers. Built by leading rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), the fleet will be supplied by Beacon Rail – a rolling stock leasing company.

Serco is already one of Scotland’s largest employers with 3,000 employees working to provide a range of services, including: NorthLink Ferries connecting the Scottish mainland to the Shetland Islands and Orkney islands; the management of Scatsta Airport; provision of marine support services for the Royal Navy in the Clyde; facilities management at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Wishaw hospital; Customer Service Contract centres in Glasgow, Fort William, Dingwall and Brora; and the provision of ICT and property services for Glasgow City Council (ACCESS).

Jamie Ross, Business Development Director for Serco’s Transport business said: “We are thrilled to have been selected to run the Caledonian Sleeper service and feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with Transport for Scotland to achieve their aspirations for a truly emblematic service that encompasses the best of Scotland. Serco has a strong track record in running transport operations all over the world from the Dubai Metro and Northern Rail, the UK's largest passenger rail franchise, to the Great Southern Railway in Australia and NorthLink Ferries in Scotland. We are looking forward to transforming the iconic and prestigious Caledonian Sleeper service into an outstanding and world class experience for passengers.”

Norbert Lieder, Managing Director of ICMI, said: “The Caledonian Sleeper is an under-used asset for Scotland’s business and leisure travellers. We have worked with Serco to bring our knowledge of running luxury hotels in Scotland to the Sleeper customer experience with a focus on interior design, catering and service. “We look forward to developing what will become a world-class leisure destination in itself, bringing significant benefit to Scotland’s economy.”


For further information, please contact Serco Media Relations:

Manjeet Turner, 07718195320, or Charles Carr, 0771 819 4381,

Notes to Editors:

1. Around 270,000 journeys were made on the Sleeper service in the last full year.

2. Serco’s subcontractors include: Inverlochy Castle Management International hotels, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), a Spanish based train manufacture; Beacon Rail, a rail vehicle leasing company; GB Railfreight for train operations; and Alstom for train maintenance.

3. The current ScotRail franchise, including operation of the Caledonian Sleeper, was awarded to FirstGroup plc, operating as First ScotRail Limited, in August 2004 and continues until March 2015.

Serco’s transport business

Serco delivers innovative transport solutions, whether by air, road, water or rail, to public transport authorities, government departments and commercial enterprises around the world.

Our focus on operational efficiencies and improving sustainability support our customers in meeting their strategic aims and objectives. Serco's experience in providing a wide range of multi-modal transport solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America enables us to tailor our services to meet the needs of a diverse travelling public. Our aim is to ensure that by delivering high-quality services, we can make a difference to people's journeys and lives.

Serco has a successful track record and compelling offer in both the UK and global light and heavy rail markets. We operate Northern Rail, the UK's largest passenger rail franchise, as well as Merseyrail with our joint venture partner Abellio. While in Australia, we own the award-winning Great Southern Rail (GSR) which operates iconic tourist trains - the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overlander. Serco has also overseen major enhancements on the GSR such as the extension of The Ghan journey to Darwin in 2004, the relaunch of the newly refurbished The Overland, and the introduction of all-inclusive travel for Platinum and Gold Service guests. The service has scooped numerous accolades including Major Tour/Transport Operator at the 2013 South Australian Tourism Industry Council Awards. The Ghan has been voted Lonely Planet Traveller #1 in top five list of unmissable train journeys in 2013

Serco also operates NorthLink Ferries on behalf of the Scottish Government. The lifeline ferry service links the Orkney Islands and Shetland islands with the UK mainland. Since 2012, Serco has refurbished the three passenger vessels and improved the services with innovative Sleeping Pods, new showering facilities, refreshed menus using more local produce, and better onward public transport connections. Serco has also invested in a marketing campaign, including partnerships with Visit Scotland and local promotion bodies. Serco created a bold new brand for the service that is designed to excite tourists by using the Viking heritage of the Northern Isles.

Since April 2014, Serco, together with its 50:50 Swedish joint venture (JV) partner Strömma Tourism & Maritime, has operated one of Stockholm harbour’s key ferry services on behalf of Stockholm County Council and public ferry company, Waxholms Ångfartygs AB (WÅAB).

In the Middle East we have been operating the driverless Dubai Metro system since its inception 2008 and have recently secured a five year extension to 2019. In the UK, Serco has operated and maintained London’s award-winning Docklands Light Railway (DLR) since 1997. It also operates the iconic Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme in London on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) and the innovative scheme has seen over 26 million hires and been expanded across the city.

In the USA, Serco provides a bus transportation service to and from Washington Dulles International Airport for the US National Conservation Training Centre. We also provide on demand and scheduled bus services for the UK’s Royal Air Force.

Serco is the only significant non-government provider of air traffic services in the world. We operate on a global basis and handle about six million aircraft movements each year at airports in Europe, the Middle East and North America on behalf of customers including the UK’s Ministry of Defence, the US Federal Aviation Administration and the United Arab Emirates’ Area Control Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Serco also recently secured a major US contract to integrate and operate the state of Virginia’s five transport operation centres and the contract to operate the Dubai Tramway system.

About Inverlochy Castle Management International

Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) brings together some of the hotel industry’s most senior professionals, including Albert Roux OBE KFO, Norbert Lieder and Dr Sin Chai, in a bespoke tourism management and consulting company. ICMI’s nine property Scottish portfolio includes some of the world’s leading hotels, including Cromlix, Inverlochy Castle and The Atholl.

Charles Carr
Communications Director, UK&E Local and Regional Gov't, Enterprise House
11 Bartley Wood Business Park
RG27 9XB

F +44 (0) 1256 745 949
M +44 (0)771 819 4381
Mobex 819 4381

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