The London-to-Scotland rail sleeper service is getting a full design overhaul, with Weber Shandwick creating new branding and Edinburgh-based Ian Smith Designs creating new train interiors and lounges.
Serco is set to take over the running of the Caledonian Sleeper service from ScotRail and is bringing in new branding, interiors, website and staff uniforms. A £150 million fleet of trains is set to come into service in 2018 and Serco says it wants to create a “world-class rail hospitality experience”. Caledonian Sleeper managing director Peter Strachan says the new service will aim to take other rail services and competition for the route from airlines.
Weber Shandwick has created the service’s new “white stag” branding, which is being applied to the new website, marketing material and also to train exteriors.
Serco says the white stag identity is inspired by the nickname of the Fort William to London route, which is known as the Deerstalker. The white stag identity has five point antlers, which represent the services three Highland and two Lowland destinations and, according to Serco, has a “strong contemporary look”.
Ian Smith Design has created the interiors of the new guest service centre in Inverness and will also work on the interiors of the new trains. These will offer ensuite berths, a “brasserie-style” Club Car and, according to Serco, will be the first train service to offer pod-style beds. Local suppliers are being used for the train interiors, including Aberdeen social enterprise Glencraft, which will supply the beds.
Other design features in the new trains will include cradle seats for standard-class guests and films and TV available via free WiFi. The new Inverness lounge, which has been created by Ian Smith Designs, features shower facilities and soft furnishings.
Serco says a total of 75 new carriages will be built by manufacturer CAF and that the design process is currently under way.
Outside the trains, Caledonian Sleeper is also introducing new guest information totems at its 48 stops, a new onward travel information system and free station WiFi access.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is launching the service, says: “When the Scottish Government set the specification for the refranchising of the Caledonian Sleeper service, we were clear that it had to become so much more than a commuter rail trip for those travelling between Scotland and London.
“We knew that the routes through Scotland already offered a spectacular backdrop, but we wanted to see the journey become a destination in itself and take a larger tourism role in promoting Scotland.”
The new service is officially launching on 1 April, and the new trains are set to come into service in 2018.