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Railhub Archive
2014-12-09 SER-001
Serco Group


Serco appoints Ian Smith Design as interior designer for the iconic Caledonian Sleeper service

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Serco Group

Serco appoints Ian Smith Design as interior designer for the iconic Caledonian Sleeper service

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9 December 2014
source Serco Group
type Press release

Ian Smith Design, one of Scotland’s leading interior designers has been appointed to manage the design remit for the new Caledonian Sleeper trains which will be introduced into service from 2018.

Based in Edinburgh, Ian Smith Design has managed a number of iconic projects in the hospitality sector, including the New Brasserie, Cameron House, Cook School and Edinburgh restaurant for Martin Wishart and the bar and restaurant at Andy Murray’s Cromlix. Ian is one of two Scottish designers listed in the UK top 100 design companies.

Ian Smith’s design team will be responsible for working with Serco to design the interiors of the new trains which will offer customers a range of travel options from pod flatbeds to ensuite berths. The interior refurbishment of the Guest Service Centre in Inverness will also form part of Ian Smith’s remit in readiness for opening in January 2015.

Serco’s plans are well underway in transforming the Sleeper service into an outstanding hospitality service that is emblematic of the best of Scotland and which includes all aspects of the operation of the Caledonian Sleeper franchise; marketing, sales, hospitality service on the trains, vehicle maintenance and the provision of facilities at stations for guests.

Commenting on the partnership, Ian said, “Ian Smith Design is thrilled to be working with Serco on the transformation of the interior of the new Caledonian Sleeper trains. As a local design company, it is a real privilege to be involved with a much loved local project which runs through the heart of Scotland. We look forward to being a part of the unveiling of the new trains in 2018.”

Peter Strachan, Managing Director for the new Caledonian Sleeper said, “We are delighted to be working with Ian and his team on the interior design of our new trains as well as our new flagship Guest Service Centre in Inverness. We have admired Ian’s work for some time and are excited about the contemporary Scottish theme which our guests will enjoy.”

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said, “The announcement that Scottish designer Ian Smith will create the new look for the interiors of the new Caledonian Sleeper fleet is exciting news for the service and for everyone who will use it.

“This iconic rail service will join some of Scotland’s top hospitality brands in Ian’s portfolio and the deal is real evidence of the ambition for the service to go beyond being simply a train journey and offer a real experience of the essence of Scotland.”

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 broader range of fares, earlier boarding of trains and the ability to manage their journey virtually. Over £100m will be invested in the new fleet which is part funded by a £60m capital grant from Scottish Ministers and will be built by leading rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).


For further information, please contact:

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

Notes to Editors:

1. More information about Ian Smith Design can be found at

2. The 15-year franchise 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.

3. 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.

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

5. 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.

6. 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; facilities management at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Wishaw hospital; Customer Service Contract centres in Glasgow, Fort William and the provision of ICT and property services for Glasgow City Council (ACCESS).

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.

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. While in Australia, we own the Great Southern Rail (GSR) which operates tourist trains - the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overlander. Serco 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.

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.

Railhub Archive ::: 2014-12-09 SER-001


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