Watch us take the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train 2 different ways

Aug 20, 2021

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TPG staff members are known for reviewing flights and airlines all around the world — but this doesn’t dampen our fascination with other modes of transport, especially trains.

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The Caledonian Sleeper is the overnight rail service operating between Scotland and London, and a trip we’ve had within our sights for some time. Liam Spencer and I jumped on board this unique service to see what a night would be like comparing one of the train’s comfiest suites against a regular seat.

The trains travel from Edinburgh and Glasgow on their Lowland Route, and Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen on their Highland Route into London’s Euston Station.

The Caledonian Sleeper completed the rollout of its new trains in October of 2019, which include the Club Car lounge and restaurant, which was unfortunately closed on our journey due to the ongoing pandemic. But more importantly for us, there were different classes of travel to try.

Spencer snagged the swankiest option, a Caledonian Double – an en-suite room with a double bed and breakfast included and whilst there are also Club Rooms and Classic Rooms available, in true TPG style, I would be spending the night at the other end of the spectrum, in the train’s Comfort Seats.

My 10-hour journey would be spent in reclining seats equipped with not much more than charging points and lockable storage.

We departed Aberdeen at 9.34 p.m. and arrived the next day at London Euston at 7.49 a.m.

You can watch the full video of our experience here:

Caledonian Double — Liam Spencer

We paid: £395 ($544)

The comfortable and large double bed inside Coach B’s room 5R made for a totally unique sleeping experience. The spacious room came with its own shower and offered complete privacy from the rest of the train. Spencer enjoyed the fast room service with a sizeable drinks menu.

On the downside, the noise and rattling of the train made it very difficult for Spencer to sleep, despite the comfy bed. There was also no hot meal available for dinner. The communal dining area was closed so there wasn’t much opportunity to walk around the train.

Seat – Nicky Kelvin

We paid: £73 ($100)

For train seats, I found seat 7C in Coach A relatively comfortable with some recline. The arrangement of the seats made it just about possible to curl up in a ball across two seats, and the carriage was very quiet. The amenities provided were very handy for the journey, especially the eye mask. The crew and service, while limited, were incredibly efficient and friendly.

It wasn’t all great, though. I definitely did not arrive in London feeling refreshed. A solid sleep was difficult and that was with the benefit of a spare seat next to mine. There were no significant washing facilities and a shower would have been necessary to really hit the ground running in London.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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