Emergency Measures Agreement
In April 2020 the Scottish Government put in place an Emergency Measures Agreement (EMA) which made a temporary variation to the Caledonian Sleeper franchise agreement. This minimised disruption to passengers and rail employees during the COVID-19 outbreak and allowed rail passenger services to continue to operate during this period. The EMA expired in September 2020. A further EMA was put in place at that point and it will expire on 31 March 2021.
Recognising the continued significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures on rail passenger services, work is now underway to put in place a further EMA for the period 1 April until September 2021.
Prior Information Notice – Caledonian Sleeper Franchise
As the scale and pace of the recovery from the impact of the pandemic remains uncertain, a Prior Information Notice (PIN) has been published on PCS. This is a technical measure that stems from relevant procurement requirements.
This PIN is available at the link below and has been published as Ministers may, depending on circumstances and as set out in the PIN, wish to be able to make a direct award under Regulation 1370 / 2007, and not under the public procurement regime. By way of explanation, the references in the PIN to Directive 2014/24/EU, result from the requirements of the PCS portal rather than from procurement requirements in respect of a Temporary Measures Agreement, if awarded.
The Caledonian Sleeper service operates overnight rail passenger services between five separate destination/arrival points in Scotland and London Euston.
The current franchise was awarded to Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited (SCSL) in May 2014, with the 15-year contract coming into effect on 31 March 2015.
Sleeper operations comprise two services in each direction to and from London Euston: the Lowlander combines services from Glasgow and Edinburgh, while the Highlander combines services from Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William.
The Caledonian Sleeper serves 48 stations overall - 43 in Scotland and 5 in England - and is a key part of Scotland’s transport offering that delivers unique journey and tourism opportunities. It is our ambition that the services offered are emblematic of the best of Scotland, in terms of quality, catering and hospitality.
The franchise is worth £800 million over its 15-year franchise term. New trains operating over this period and beyond represent an investment of over £120 million.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson welcomed the new fleet into service in April 2019, saying: "The Caledonian Sleeper shows the best of railways, and the best of Scotland.”
You can find out more about the franchise and plan your journey on the Caledonian Sleeper website, which includes more destination information.