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16 January: news in brief

MD of troubled Caledonian Sleeper franchise steps down

THE managing director of Caledonian Sleeper Ryan Flaherty is to leave his post after almost two years. Franchise owner Serco said Mr Flaherty was leaving for ‘family reasons’, and would be returning home to the south of England. He will move to another job within Serco. His replacement has yet to be appointed, and Mr Flaherty will stay in Scotland until the new md can take over. The last two years have been turbulent for Caledonian Sleeper, where the new CAF-built ‘hotels on wheels’ which replaced British Rail Mk3 vehicles last year had many problems, including failures affecting equipment on board, long delays and even one fault which caused Sleeper passengers to be evicted at Stafford, where they were forced to buy new tickets on other trains for the rest of their journeys to London, although CS said these fares would be refunded. The news of Mr Flaherty’s imminent departure came a day after Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson said he had been in talks with Serco about the problems with the new trains, and that it would take another two months for all faults to be fixed.

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