Shared Sleeper

I’m horrified to hear that there is a proposal to end the shared sleeper service from Scotland to London. This is a terrible thing. The shared sleeper is a cheap way to get home after a show in London. It is far greener to have a carriage occupied by 24 slumbering souls than 12. And lastly, but not least significantly, removing the shared sleeper removes the last great frisson from British travel. Stepping onto a train just before midnight unaware of whom you will spend the night with is an experience not to be missed.

You might, after all, be sharing your slumbers with the Provost of the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin.

Shame on them.


  1. I’d share a sleeper with you Kelvin, but matybe that’s just me!

  2. Last time I got the sleeper down south, it broke down in a field somewhere south of Motherwell. Completely broke down. Totally silent, and no ventilation. I swear I could actually feel the guy through the wall snoring for Scotland, although my (stranger) companion sleeping above me slept through this.

    We were 4 hours late into London, and it was nice to spend time in the lounge car talking to the guy who shared the compartment. Scotland is a small place, and I knew the agricultural machinery dealership his father had run.

    I don’t understand what’s wrong with the status quo: if you want a single, you can pay for this. It has worked for years. If the train is not busy, you quite often get a single anyway.

    It is a good service when it is on time.

  3. Even greener were the “Nightrider” trains that used to run in the mid/late 1980’s. A set of first class carriages (seating 48) and fitted with blue tubes in the light fittings. I used these several times and found that I could sleep in the reclining seat without any problem.

    PS – My next sleeper adventure is from Paris to Hamburg whilst travelling from Glasgow to Stockholm all the way by train.

  4. What an interesting scenario. But does the Provost snore?

  5. As it happens, I could comment on whether or not one of our bishops snores, but I chose not to in the above post and I choose not to now.

  6. Elizabeth says

    Sleep in a reclining seat? What a skill! Despite vast amounts of time on trans-oceanic and trans-continental flights and numerous trains, sleeping while sitting up eludes me, which makes travel much more horrendous than it otherwise need be.

  7. The trick to sleeping in a reclining seat is to have a comfortable place for your head. The only occaision I have difficulty sleeping in a sleep was on a trans-atlantic flight from Toronto, but his was more likely due to being at the back of a Tristar, which has the third engine in the back of the fuselage behind the economy toilets.

  8. Stewart, were you wearing your anorak, or did you have it folded under your head?


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