The long-awaited new multi-million pound Caledonian Sleeper train carriages will finally be rolled out across the north over the next month.
Serco this weekend launched its new £150million fleet – with the first guests travelling on the revitalised overnight rail service across the border.
The first of 75 new carriages made their debut on the Lowlander route between London and Glasgow and Edinburgh on Sunday night.
This will be followed by their introduction on the Highlander route between London and Inverness, Fort William and Aberdeen in the coming weeks.
Bookings for the new carriages on north services are being taken from June 2.
The new fleet was delayed from April 2018 and again in October.
The new trains offer accommodation ranging from completely new comfort seats for the budget traveller to rooms with double beds and en-suites.
Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s managing director for Caledonian Sleeper, said: “Our new trains have been years in the making and to see them make their debut is a huge moment for everyone involved in making this dream a reality.
“The overriding ambition has been to deliver on our vision of a Caledonian Sleeper service fit for today’s traveller, one that combines the modern facilities people expect with that feeling of nostalgia that comes from long-distance railway travel.”
The fleet has been part funded by grants from the Scottish UK governments.
Transport, infrastructure and connectivity secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government is proud to have played its part in the launch of this new Caledonian Sleeper service.
“The scale of change is remarkable, and a credit to everyone who has worked on this project. I know those involved have been driven by an ethos of transforming the passenger experience and putting guests first.”
David Mundell. secretary of state for Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see the launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper service. The UK Government has invested £50 million in the new fleet, improving vital connectivity between Scotland and England, and improving the service for the thousands of passengers.”
Prices for comfort seats start from £45 with the most expensive cabins costing £400 for shared.
Other new features include hotel-style keycard entry system, charging panels and WiFi throughout the train.
Comedian and Strictly Come Dancing star Susan Calman will voice all scheduled announcements on the trains between London and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William.