The Night Riviera – asleep on the move…
11 August 2015
First ever time on the sleeper train down to Cornwall from Paddington. As the station gradually quietens down at night, and the last few trains leave, over on platform one the sleeper train is pulled into place. The British Rail-era coaches are solid and refurbished, but will soon be rebuilt one by one. You can wait in the First Class lounge - if you ask nicely you can even see the waiting room used by Queen Victoria. You can board from 10.30pm and the on-train buffet is open.
I slept like a log despite the many stops in Devon and Cornwall in the early hours. Bacon sandwiches are provided in the buffet for breakfast. You get off on the seafront in Penzance having saved on the cost of a hotel.
What really marked out the experience was the staff on the train. Keen, perky (at odd hours!) and anxious to help. Great way to travel, miles away from the grind of commuting…
We are doing some work with Serco, the new operators of the Caledonian Sleeper, as they prepare for major investment in this service to ensure passenger views are taken on board. Serco are paying to be included in the National Rail Passenger Survey – that only really leaves Eurostar who are not in!
Some years ago we did a version of our National Rail Passenger Survey for the west country and Scottish sleepers – most passengers love them!