The sleepers have been separated from the ScotRail franchise and will be operated by Serco Caledonian Sleepers Ltd for fifteen years from 1st April. The MD will be Peter Strachan, an Aberdonian, and catering will be masterminded by Inverlochy Castle Management International in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux.
The schedules will not change much, but there will now be a connection to and from Oban. New rolling stock will be built by CAF in Spain for introduction in 2018 at a cost of nearly £200M shared between the UK and Scottish governments and a Japanese bank. There will be some cabins with en suite showers and toilets, some conventional bed cabins and some areas with convertible flat bed seating as now seen on some aeroplanes.
Inverness Depot seems set to lose its heavy maintenance role. When the new coaches arrive the current eight day rotation through Inverness will cease. An administrative HQ will be set up in Inverness co-located with a passenger lounge at 3, Union Street just across Academy Street from the main station entrance. The new booking website opened in January. Details of the proposed new interiors can also be seen there.