Serco has been awarded a 15-year franchise by Transport Scotland to operate the iconic Caledonian Sleeper service between London and Scotland.

The franchise, which has been let separately to the ScotRail franchise, will include the introduction of four new trains – an investment of £100 million.

Spanish manufacturer CAF will supply 72 new carriages by the summer of 2018, which will be leased by Serco from Beacon Rail. The new carriages will include en-suite berths, Pod Flatbeds – a first for the rail industry – and a brasserie-style Club Car.

The vehicles will make up a fleet of four new 16-car trains, leaving eight units spare.

Serco will take over the service from April 2015. Total revenue over the 15-year term has been estimated at around £800 million.

Rupert Soames, Serco Group chief executive officer, said: “Serco has a strong track record of providing high quality and efficient rail services around the world, as well as experience in managing large-scale tourism-focussed transport services.

“I am delighted that we can use this unique blend of expertise to transform the iconic Caledonian Sleeper into a modern, high quality hospitality service to make Scotland proud.”

Scotland’s Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The contract secures the future of the Caledonian Sleeper, ensuring it delivers a service fit for the 21st century and that it provides – as it has done for over 100 years – a unique, valued and high-profile overnight service between Scotland and London.”

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