In this part, I will talk about my experience with travel on Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston to Aberdeen*.
More about my plan for a challenge can be found here: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2018/07/23/doms-32-hours-on-trains-in-the-uk-challenge/
Table of contents for this report can be found here: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2018/10/18/doms-32-hours-on-trains-in-the-uk-challenge-report-part-1-introduction/
On arrival, I was informed that the train will go as far as Dundee and then they will be replacement bus provided. Not good as it will affect my change at Aberdeen. I asked for help regards my onward journey, but I have noticed that the staff was not willing to help in that matter. Staff, in general, were ‘fake’ friendly. They were OK without being great. They just did the job without care too much. They were good sides like they inform about train travel update.
Let’s talk about the train.
Train feels like you are on the set of original set of USS Enterprise. There are lots of old looking switches and buttons.
The corridor is wide enough for ants up to small kids but if you are a fluffy man .. then you need squeeze through the carriage. Carriage with seats looks really cosy and comfortable.
I must say that The Sleeper Seat looks much more comfortable than many first-class seats in the UK.
My apartment was ancient looking prison cell but .. I like it.
The bed is firm but comfortable. The desk is quite wide, but there is no way to use your laptop on the desk as it is on the side. However, there is nothing to stop you to enjoy smashing your keyboard on the bed. You had your own sink under the desk. Almost everything is easy to use, and they even have instruction on how to use everything. Almost? Well … using blinds turns out to be very tricky. These blinds are evil! You need to pull in a weird way to open. It took me forever to figure out, but luckily I was on a long journey so have some time to spare to figure out how to open it.
They provide some Amenity Kit. I really like it. Pillow spray smells like my grandpa perfume. There are some fancy hand wash, some soaps and shampoos, earplug and eye mask. I found a lot of useful goodies.
Toilets on this train were operated by buttons on the floor.
Buffet car was only one place that has modern lighting (in fact the only modern thing I found on this train). It was quite cosy and good place to socialise. I really enjoy staying there.
However, this is no place to stay but place to eat. I ordered food there, but sadly my expectation of the food was much higher than it should be.
My main looks like I was eaten in Weatherspoon. They should advise this as freshly re-heated food from the microwave. Food taste like cheap food to reheat. The wine was not bad and much better than the main. Sadly, they didn’t have a cheese board (which apparently is really good), so I ordered a cheesecake instead, and it was delicious. I bought some nuts. In theory, it should be salt and pepper cashews, but I got maltodextrin cashews(check ingredients) which taste like sugar-coated cashews.
After that, I went back to my berth. When we departed from Preston, I decided to go to sleep. I must say I had short but decent 2.5-hour sleep. I planned to sleep for 5 hours but due to our train was terminated earlier and I spent some time to figure out when I should change to my train to Penzance I went to sleep later and wake up earlier.
At 5.05 am breakfast was served, and it was not too bad actually.
Overall, it was a great journey. I am looking forward to travelling with Caledonian Sleeper after they introduce a new sleeping train which will be rolled out in Spring 2019.
We arrived at Dundee a few minutes before the scheduled time where the journey continued on rail replacement bus.
However, after speaking with CrossCountry customer service I decided to stay in the lounge on the platform to wait for my train to Penzance. I must say their customer service is really good.
While I was waiting at the platform I saw The Royal Scotsman train. It looks amazing. I hope to take it someday.
In the next part, I will talk about my experience on the train that suppose to be between Aberdeen and Penzance but things went badly wrong. It was indeed the longest train trip I had. https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2018/10/29/doms-32-hours-on-trains-in-the-uk-challenge-part-4-aberdeen-penzance/
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