The 'Caledonian Sleeper' franchise was initially handed out as part of the ScotRail franchise which was won by National Express who took over the services operation in 1997. National Express continued to use BR's Mk3 sleeper coaches, hiring locomotives from Virgin Trains until March 1998, and EWS from then on. Mk2 seated carriages were added to the service in 2000 featuring First Class-style reclining seats, while the Mk3 sleeping cars were refurbished.
In 2004 the ScotRail Franchise including the 'Caledonian Sleeper' was transferred to FirstGroup with the Caledonian sleeper rolling stock being repainted in FirstGroup's corporate blue, pink and white livery. In 2014 the 'Caledonian Sleeper' became part of a separate franchise awarded to Serco who invested £100 million in new Mark 5 carriages which were introduced in April 2019, replacing the aging Mk3 stock.