Responsive Website
UX, Design, Development

Experience the Super Sleeper

In 2014, Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited were awarded the new franchise for the Caledonian Sleeper trains from ScotRail - the first time that the Sleeper was split into it’s own franchise. A chance for some industry firsts.

The Caledonian Sleeper service operates overnight rail passenger services in both directions between London Euston and each of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and Fort William. Assertis were tasked with creating a brand new responsive website, customer apps and a unique ticketing system for a complex product which famously in the past has been hard to retail online.

Caledonian Sleeper mobile phone view Caledonian Sleeper tablet view

User experience

Caledonian Sleeper wireframe image


We intimately know rail ticketing is a complex beast – wireframing is an essential part of our process in creating a high level impression of how the product will look and feel in the early stages of development – exploring interactive states and process before we progress to the full design detail.

Caledonian Sleeper wireframe image

Creative design


We undertook a complete design overhaul around the upmarket Caledonian Sleeper brand. To reflect the unique experience of travelling on the sleeper we used stunning imagery to reflect the breathtaking journey through the Scottish wilderness.

We didn’t stop there. In terms of the ticket purchasing experience, we focused on making the core journey planning a beautiful, quick and seamless experience.

Caledonian Sleeper desktop view Caledonian Sleeper desktop alternative view


A mobile experience shouldn’t mean a lesser experience.

The adaptive web design (a more advanced take on responsive) carries on many of the desktop features, whilst streamlining the booking experience for travellers using the site on the go with pages optimised for quicker loading on 3G / 4G devices.

Caledonian Sleeper mobile view Caledonian Sleeper mobile view Caledonian Sleeper mobile view

Staff app

As part of the Caledonian Sleeper franchise agreement, Assertis devised and created an iOS based tablet app used by front-line staff on the train.

Essential functionality includes the ability to check guests in, change sleeping arrangements, order food and much more – essentially replacing an outdated paper system.

A unique tool to take the service well into the 21st Century.

Caledonian Sleeper staff app view


The product

The Caledonian Sleeper is a truly unique experience. We knew we had to recreate this across their website and mobile applications so we threw away everything we knew about selling train tickets to build them something completely bespoke.

In the process we worked with the rail industry to extend the reservation booking horizon from 12 weeks to 1 year. We wrote a custom journey planner in order to ensure that we were always showing the latest and best train times and fares.

Their responsive booking engine is a well crafted Single Page Application written in JavaScript that works as a responsive website but also as the core of the mobile applications. That flexibility allows us to rollout changes across all three platforms seamlessly (nearly!) so that we can continue to provide a bespoke user experience for the Caledonian Sleeper passenger.​