The Rivera Night train
I would think most of will have dozed off on a train at some point but the Sleeper train or the Night Riviera to give it it's official title gives you the chance to get tucked in bed in your PJs as the train hurtles along. The sleeping compartment is a small room with a top and bottom bunk, a sink and just enough room for you stand up and brush your teeth. There is a complimentary bottle of mineral water, a bar of soap and a small towel provided for your ablutions.
The Paddington Bear statue at Paddington Station
The train departs from Paddington Station and you can get on board from 10.30 onwards, you are greeted by the attendant for your carriage and shown to you room, effectively checking into your hotel on wheels. You agree a time for your wake up call and they take your breakfast order which is a served to you in bed, I think the the choice is bacon roll or cereal .
As the rooms are so small most people head for the buffet car where there is a comfy seat and the usual array of hot & cold drinks and snacks, hot drinks are complimentary to sleeper car passengers and usually come with a packet of shortbread on the side.
Apart from the size of the rooms there are a couple of other things to be aware of, there are no showers on board although you can use those at Paddington Station free of charge on production of your sleeper berth ticket, but I have never tried it. Because you are on a train the loos are only available at the end of each carriage, it is a bit bizarre if you have to go in the middle of the night as you are walking down the corridor of a train in your PJs as it meanders though the English countryside. These are not modern trains, I would guess they are from the 1980s so there are no power points or mobile charging points.
One of the reasons I love doing this journey is because I live in Nottingham and for us to drive down to St Ives it would take at least 5 and a half hours each way. That is a lot of time to spend in a car for a weekend away and we would probably need to stop to replenish the Haribos. By taking the night train on a Thursday evening we get an extra day on our holiday as we are there first thing Friday morning.
The other thing I love about this journey is the little train journey from St Erths where we leave the sleeper train to head off to St Ives, without a doubt this has got to be one of the prettiest railway journeys. If you are in this neck of the woods I would strongly recommend that you pay a few quid to do this journey,
View from the train between St Erths and St Ives
I always go the man in seat 61 when I am planning this journey it is such a helpful site and it has a static display of the timetable which makes it easy to refer to. http://www.seat61.com/Cornwall-sleeper.htm#.VQcNZ46sWQA