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Caledonian Sleeper damaged by chemical cleaner

Water pipes on new Caledonian Sleeper train fleet damaged by incorrect chemical cleaning

Water pipes on the £150m Caledonian Sleeper train fleet have been seriously damaged following the use of the wrong type of chemical cleaner.

All 75 carriages in the fleet have been affected after caustic cleaning fluid burned through the pipework, which left passengers without water in the train’s en-suite toilets, basins and showers.

It is thought that the error was not caused by the Sleeper operator, Serco, but instead by a firm acting for the Spanish train manufacturer, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).

The problem was originally discovered when special guests boarded the inaugural service from Glasgow to London in April, however the cause was not established until later, leading to major repairs.

The problem is thought to have affected water level monitoring sensors, leading to toilets elsewhere on the train closing down.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency, which is in charge of Serco’s 15-year franchise, said: “We were made aware of the issues with water systems in two units during the introduction of new vehicles, caused by error’s in CAF’s preparation of new trains for service.

“Affected vehicles have been through repair, with some already returned to service with no recurrence of original faults. Clearly, passengers should expect the highest quality facilities on Caledonian Sleeper services. Financial penalties apply where standards are not met.”

The news follows cleaning company Leadec not having its contract renewed following complaints of Caledonian Sleeper cabins being left filthy and strewn with litter, with many guests believing that no cleaning had taken place between journeys. The service has also been plagued by technical issues on the trains, and the roll-out of services on the Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness to London ‘Highlander’ routes was delayed.

IMAGE CREDIT: Serco Caledonian Sleeper

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