Open Jaw: Highland Sleeper train; Southend

Where readers write back

Goodnight to the Highland Sleeper train?

I travel frequently between London and Inverness and much prefer the train to the plane. However, the cost of train travel has made it a rare luxury. I've just checked and the cheapest single cabin for my next planned trip would cost £350 – double that of the airfare.

There's no reason why the Highland Sleeper couldn't adopt a simplified pricing structure, clean itself up and advertise properly. Look at the Trainhotel in Europe – some cabins have showers, it's got a proper restaurant car and it's packed.

James Angus

An utter disgrace – the sheer beauty of Scotland will be lost.

"Robertinjapan"

They should make people pay more. It's pretty amazing that it only costs £19 (little more than a cheap day return from Waterloo to Virginia Water). I'm sure people would be prepared to pay a bit more and have the line survive.

Lloretta

It's romanticism rather than practicality. Waking up on a train and enjoying a coffee from the buffet car while a new day breaks across a misty moorland, soon snaps into the reality that it takes a really long time to reach the final destination. As a resident of the West Highlands, I'd shed a tear for the Sleeper's demise, but this wouldn't be the end of tourism as we know it. The majority of visitors drive cars.

Robert Smith

I've always wanted to travel on this line so sounds like I'd better pull my finger out. It would be a big shame to lose the connection. I've done plenty of overnight train journeys overseas and would recommend the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route. I took the very affordable First Class service and it was truly amazing. Our carriage was at the back and there was an outdoor area. The food and service were excellent and it was immaculately clean.

"Green Abode"

I travelled on the Indian Pacific in Australia, between Sydney and Adelaide (although the train ultimately goes on to Perth). It was a wonderful way to see the country away from the coastal cities.

"Dulcimer172"

A few years back I travelled on an overnight sleeper between Venice and Paris: a delight! Admittedly I took a first-class cabin for myself, but the journey was smooth, comfortable and enjoyable and I arrived in central Paris rather more refreshed than if I had taken the 6am flight. I would be sad to see the Highland Sleeper go.

Marianna

"Southend, the arse end of nowhere"

Having read this comment from Michael O'Leary of Ryanair, I very much doubt whether he has been anywhere near Southend recently, or indeed if he has ever visited the town.

Southend is a very vibrant place with a world famous pier, mile after mile of award-winning golden beaches and parks, superb sporting facilities, the Palace Theatre and the Cliffs Pavilion.

We have excellent shopping centres, fast links to London on two different railway networks, Europe's biggest free air show and a cultural calendar that is second to none.

Could it be that Mr O'Leary's ill-conceived and foolish comments are motivated by sour grapes at missing out on the fantastic new opportunities the airport expansion has provided for easyJet and the residents of Southend?

Councillor Nigel Holdcroft, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Leader

It's a bit rich – and offensive – to describe Southend in that way. It's a lot quicker to London than from many cities "served" by Ryanair (Paris would be a good example). And for many in South-east England, the only way is Essex.

Paul Moore, Director of Communications, easyJet

travel@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine