What can it take to ground a multi-million-pound fleet of cross-country trains? Who could have predicted the water pipes on the £150 million Caledonian Sleeper were put out of action because somebody used an incorrect chemical while cleaning them? It may seem unbelievable, but according to recent findings, this is exactly what happened, having a devastating effect on the 75 carriages in the fleet.

Passengers looking to travel on the sleeper were unable to avail themselves of the spanking new basins, showers and en-suite toilets, after the wrong kind of bleach was used. The caustic fluid apparently had an adverse reaction to the stainless-steel pipes, impacting the train’s sensors controlling water levels, resulting in the toilets breaking down.

Can Using The Wrong Bleach Bring A Sleeper To A Standstill

Image Source: Scotsman.com

The issue, unfortunately, did not come to light when the Caledonian Sleeper made its first journey in April of this year, when, with various politicians and VIPs onboard, it set off from Glasgow to London.

Initially, it was hard to pin down the cause, and the reason for the mishap was established at a later date, when extensive repairs were carried out on the train. The subsequent finger of blame was not pointed at the operators of the Sleeper, Serco, UK provider of public services, such as transport and defence, amongst others. It is felt the fault of the mishap lay with a company working for Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), the Spanish based train manufacturer.

However, the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency, which oversees Serco’s franchise, due to last 15 years, has announced the incident will result in fines.

Caledonian Sleeper maintains both Serco and CAF are committed to working together to resolve any problems with their trains. They say they are dedicated to providing their passengers with the best service possible, to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. Serco and CAF feel they have made great progress in this area, but there is no denying it was an unfortunate incident for all involved.

Who could have imagined using the wrong cleaning product could have such catastrophic consequences?

News Source: Scotsman