Scottish Government to Take Ownership of Caledonian Sleeper Services

Scotland’s Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth has confirmed that Caledonian Sleeper services will be taken over by the Scottish Government once Serco’s current franchise expires on 25 June 2023.

From this date, the Caledonian Sleeper services will be provided by Scottish Rail Holdings, an arm’s length company owned by the Scottish Government. This decision conforms to the government’s statutory Operator of Last Resort duty.

This follows last year’s move to nationalise most of Scotland’s train services at the end of Abellio’s ScotRail franchise.

Caledonian Sleeper
The Caledonian Sleeper night train
Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth said:

“With the Sleeper franchise ending on 25 June 2023, we have carefully assessed the options for successor arrangements in accordance with the current legislative framework and our Franchising Policy Statement.

“Having regard to continuing uncertainty regarding market conditions, travel behaviours and ongoing UK rail reform, it was decided that a Direct Award was not viable and that Sleeper services should instead be provided by the Scottish Government in line with their Operator of Last Resort duty.

“That is why I have confirmed that, from the expiry of the current franchise, Caledonian Sleeper services will be provided through Scottish Rail Holdings, a company wholly-owned and controlled by the Scottish Government. This approach will provide a stable platform for Sleeper services and certainty for passengers and staff.”

Caledonian Sleeper trains travel between London and Scotland, serving Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The service currently operates six days a week from Sunday to Friday.

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