Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF S.A.) has announced the signature of an agreement with Serco Caledonian Sleepers Ltd for the manufacture of 75 coaches, plus associated spares and technical support. The new coaches will be of 5 different types, formed into 4 trains of 16 coaches, plus 11 spare coaches for the Caledonian Sleeper franchise, operating the Highland and Lowland services. The coaches will provide a mixture of travel options including, en-suite berths, standard berths, standard seats and POD seat. There will also be improved catering and accessibility, amongst other improved facilities compared to the existing service.
Serco were chosen by Transport Scotland in May 2014 to be the franchise operator of this service which connects Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William in Scotland with London. This 15 year franchise will take over from the existing operator in April 2014 and the new coaches will be introduced into service in April 2018.
The project is being funded with £60m from Scottish Ministers, with additional financing being provided by Caledonian Sleepers Rail Leasing Ltd, a subsidiary of Lombard North Central Plc. Overall the contract is valued at approximately €200m for CAF.