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Caledonian Sleeper performance falls dramatically after Serco takes over

The newly launched Caledonian Sleeper franchise, operated by Serco, has seen its performance for Period 1 2015-16 fall dramatically compared to a year ago. 

This year’s PPM figure of 88.8% for Period 1, which covers performance for 1 April to 2 May 2015, was significantly lower than the 98.1% recorded just 12 months ago. 

From 1 April, the Caledonian Sleeper franchise operated its first service as an independent franchise under Serco

The inaugural service departed Fort William on the evening of Tuesday 31 March and arrived into London Euston on the morning of 1 April. Marking the new franchise, Peter Strachan, Serco’s MD for the Caledonian Sleeper, unveiled the distinctive new livery with its midnight teal base colour and distinctive white stag antler motif. 

RTM has asked Serco for a comment on the fall in performance, especially as the operator said it was “well on the way to transforming the Sleeper into a superb service using our expertise of delivering high quality transport services around the world”. 

As part of the franchise, Serco has ordered a new fleet for their franchise from Spanish train manufacturer CAF. The €200m agreement is for 75 coaches of five different types, formed into four trains of 16 coaches, plus 11 spare coaches for the franchise, operating the Highland and Lowland services. 

Overall, the national performance on the railways for Period 1 has remained at the same level – 91.2% – as in Period 13. 

Network Rail revealed that the latest figure, which covers performance for 1 April to 2 May 2015, was, however, down compared to the 92.7% recorded for the same period last year. 

During Period 1, c2c Rail continued to record the highest PPM going up from 98% in Period 13 to 98.5%. Compared to the figure for the same period last year c2c’s performance has increased significantly from 94.7%. 

c2c’s PPM moving annual average (MAA) was 97.2% head and shoulders above other TOCs – the national average was 89.6%. From 1 April to 2 May, the operator ran more than 10,000 individual services on time. The company added that every single c2c train arrived on time 10 of the 31 days. 

Julian Drury, c2c managing director, said: “As well as achieving a high overall score in the period we are also now focussing on the consistent delivery, every day, of ultra-reliability. For this reason we are very pleased to have achieved ten 100% days this period. Our customers rely on us, so achieving this is our top priority.” 

The worst performing operator, once again, was Southern which recorded a PPM of 83.9% in Period 1, up from the 80.1% it achieved in Period 13.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email[email protected]


Casper   24/11/2016 at 19:04

The sleeper is only going to get worse and worse. The current Scottish Managers are only interested in 2018 when the new carriages come in. In the meantime the sleeper is being neglected by mismanagement and they would not have a clue on feedback passengers give as they have their heads in the sand well not to forget the service runs at night yet the managers only work Monday to Friday during the day, go figure. Yes in Frist Class you get a bed and breakfast on the sleeper but you much purchase everything else. Should you travel on Virgin though, the seats are extremely comfortable, you get their quicker and drinks are included. Oh and the price is dramatically cheaper. You don't really need a bed on a shorter journey and you can travel during the day and actually see things. On the sleeper you generally sleep so what apart from bed and breakfast are you paying for it's not service as you are asleep for most of the journey. Also watch out for the flees in the cabins, take some spray with you.

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