The first rake of the 75 new carriages for the Caledonian Sleeper service are now under test at the Velim Test Centre in the Czech Republic.
Five carriages, two seated, one Club and two sleeper, were despatched in August from the factory in Beasain, northern Spain where the new fleet is being built by CAF.
The sleeper cars travelled by road to Hendaye on the French border. From there, on matching French gauge, the sleepers travelled on by rail to Velim. Once tests are completed the carriages will be moved to Polmadie in Glasgow via the Channel Tunnel for further testing.
Says Peter Strachan, Serco’s chairman, UK Rail, ‘It’s great to see the first of the new carriages on the move. To design, build and introduce a new fleet of rail sleeper coaches is extremely challenging and complex.
‘Achieving this milestone is entirely due to the professionalism of the Serco team and everyone involved across the rail industry. We still have a lot of work to do to successfully bring the new sleeper fleet into service next year, but I am really excited about the quality of experience we will be able to offer our guests when it arrives.’