Friday, 11 April 2014

In love with the sleeper train.

I wrote earlier of the romanticism of travelling by sleeper train, and how, despite its obvious drawbacks in terms of personal space, it maintains an allure which is difficult to ignore.

Now, as I sit in the Caledonian Sleeper's lounge car, sipping a whisky as we thunder through the Chilterns, I think I've fallen even deeper in love with this mode of transport. You see, something as simple as good old fashioned customer service, a can do attitude, something which seems to be sorely lacking in so many aspects of modern life, is alive and kicking on the sleeper train tou Glasgow.

Now, you might say I'm influenced to some degree here by the ever diminishing glass of Lefreuge, sitting before me as I write this piece, and you might at least be partly correct. Anybody who saw my tweets from Euston, bemoaning the lack of a staffed customer information point might justifiably compare my pre and post boarding experience. But I really think, alcoholic and other influences aside, that the staff aboard the sleeper could teach others a lesson or two.

Take, for instance, the host for my carriage. On arriving at the door, having been guided along the platform by a kindly member of the public, she immediately noted my visual impairment, which I hadn't advised them of in advance, and suggested a different cabin so as to be within easier reach of the toilet facilities. And then, on acquiring about the lounge car, I was promptly shown along to it before arrangements were made for someone to show me back. They're little things, but they make a big difference m

Now back in my compartment, snuggled under a comfy duvet I can confirm that the excellent service received earlier was not an isolated occurance. Train staff seem genuinely to enjoy their work, and to want to make each passenger's journey perfect. I am especially impressed by their use of initiative, adapting their service to suit individual needs without having to be asked.

But the staff isn't the only component which really makes this trip. The cozy compartments, strikingly smaller than their cousins on the continent, and the complimentary toiletry bag featuring a tiny pack away toothbrush and racer, together make this journey what it is. In short, what makes the Caledonian Sleeper special is the care that has been taken, and continues to be taken, to respond to customers ' needs.

Location:Chapel Lane,Lancaster,United Kingdom

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