Caledonian Sleeper

"The Deerstalker"


The "Caledonian Sleeper" provides direct overnight service from Fort William to London Euston and back six nights a week. It does not operate Saturday evening to Sunday morning.

Southbound, the train from Fort William combines at Edinburgh Waverley with sections from Inverness and Aberdeen and then proceeds via Carstairs to London Euston.

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It's July 1998 and the Fort William bound "Deerstalker" is about to enter the West Highland Line at Craigendoran.
The northbound "Deerstalker" is passing Ardoch which is located about a mile east of Cardross Station. July 1998.
After leaving the Glasgow to Helensburgh line, the West Highland line climbs steadily through Craigendoran and Helensburgh. This scene shows the train approaching the bridge over Redgauntlet Road in Craigendoran. July 1998.
With the River Clyde in the background, the northbound "Deerstalker is seen here about half a mile east of Cardross Station. July 1998.
Now on to May 2001. This is Fort William Station and this mid morning scene shows the train now in National Express ScotRail colours. The formation is ready for its evening departure south.
In 2001, the Guard's accommodation is no longer located in a MK.1 full brake vehicle. Recently converted Mk.2E Brake Unclassified Open (BUO) vehicles provide accommodation for the guard and also for non sleeping car passengers. May 2001.
Catering facilities on Caledonian Sleeper trains are provided in a Mk.2F Restaurant Lounge Open (RLO) car. May 2001.
The Fort William portion of the Caledonian Sleeper service normally provides two Mk.3 sleeping cars. May 2001.
On to June 2003 and we are back at Ardoch in the very early morning.
At Craigendoran, the "Deerstalker" commences the steep climb to Helensburgh Upper Station. Unfortunately the train time and the high tide time did not coincide resulting in a less than photogenic view of the foreshore. June 2003.
Just west of Ardmore East level crossing, the "Deerstalker" will soon leave the relatively flat Glasgow Helensburgh Line for the steep grades of the West Highland Line. June 2003.
This view from the A814 Dumbarton to Helensburgh road on a fine June 2003 morning shows the "Deerstalker" having just crossed Ardmore East level crossing and slowing for the junction at Craigendoran.
The reign of the Class 37 on the "Deerstalker" is scheduled to end with the commencement of the summer timetable on the 11th of June. This view is at Westerton on the 7th of June 2006. (Photo: David Black)
The Summer 2006 timetable is in operation and Class 37's on the "Deerstalker" are no more. After many years of service on West Highland services the Fort William Sleeper is now in the charge of the Class 67. This view is at Westerton in July 2006.
Forward nine years to 2015 and the Caledonian Sleeper has a new image. This is London Euston just before departure. June 2015. (Photo: Peter Mills).
A welcome awaits in your compartment. The nightcap is not compulsory but is usually very much appreciated. June 2015. (Photo: Peter Mills).
For the journey between Edinburgh Waverley and London Euston a motive power change takes place. In this instance a Class 92 rests during the day awaiting its return to London. October 2015.
Forward another year and another change of motive power on the Deerstalker. Just why a Southern Region third rail electro diesel is deemed suitable motive power for this service is bizarre. Usually a Class 66 diesel electric locomotive leads this consist, a somewhat excessive amount of power for just four passenger cars. October 2016.
If the intending passengers for the Caledonian Sleeper checked out the motive power on their train and saw a Class 73 locomotive they may assume that they had imbibed in one dram too many or they were boarding the ghost of the Night Ferry and not the London bound Caledonian Sleeper. October 2016.
This image illustrates the straight electric capability of the Class 73 electro diesel. The third rail collector shoes are of course in the retracted position. No doubt the straight electric capability of the locomotive would be useful if the Deerstalker was ever diverted from the West Coast main line via Southport to Hunts Cross. October 2016.
The regular Mk.2e Brake Unclassified Open is absent on this occasion and has been replaced with 9526, a Mk.2f Brake Standard Open car still in the colours of Inter City. October 2016.
The regular sleeper reception Restaurant Lounge First car has been replaced with 1203, a Mk.2f Restaurant First Open also still in the colours of Inter City. This car is present to provide sustenance to sleeping car passengers. October 2016.
However the Mk.3a 10650 SLED (Sleeping Car Either Class Disabled) is shown in the colours of the Caledonian Sleeper service. October 2016.

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