What is Luxury Train Travel?
An increasingly popular way to travel in style, luxury trains are designed to offer travellers a more comfortable and luxurious rail experience. Available in several countries and through a number of travel operators, they also boast certain benefits over other modes of transport, such as air travel.

As well as offering high levels of comfort and luxury, rail passengers can enjoy the passing scene through the train window and really get a feel for the countries they are travelling through. Luxury train travel may also offer benefits such as restaurants, comfortable seating and sleeping areas and occasionally even washing facilities. In addition, luxury trains frequently offer passengers a nostalgic experience as they often emulate the glamour and opulence of the original era of luxury train travel. 

History of Luxury Train Travel

Luxury train travel first emerged in the 19th century when the industrialist George Pullman introduced the first rail carriage to contain dining and sleeping cars. Rather appropriately, it was named Pioneer and led to the founding of the Pullman Car Company in 1880. Pullman's innovation revolutionised train travel, which had previously been quite uncomfortable, turning it into a desirable mode of transport. 

Perhaps the most renowned luxury train is the Orient Express, the first train of its kind in Europe. It was featured, most famously, in Agatha Christie's novel, 'Murder on the Orient Express' which was subsequently developed for stage and screen. The Orient Express departed on it's first journey across Europe from Paris in June 1883 and now provides a luxurious experience for travellers to destinations around the world. 

Luxury Train Travel Today
There are a number of options for global luxury train travel today across the world. The following list describes just a few of the options available and the countries that they can be found in.

Orient Express

The highest number of luxury trains are operated by Belmond Ltd, including the most famous of all, the Orient Express. Their services span across Europe, South America and Asia and they specialise in aiming to recreate the glamour and ambiance of the Orient Express of the 1920s and 30s. 

Royal Scotsman

Also operated by Belmond Ltd, the Royal Scotsman offers an exclusive experience with only 36 passengers and stunning views of the Scottish landscape.

Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Offering luxury train travel from London to the romantic city of Venice, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express is one of the most popular options for luxury train travel. 

Northern Belle

The Northern Belle operates in the north of England embarking from cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Using refurbished British Rail carriages, the train has been painted in vintage colours of umber and cream to emulate the old Pullman Brighton Belle.

Eastern and Oriental Express

For a touch of the exotic, the Eastern and Oriental Express travels over 2 days from Bangkok to Singapore making scenic stops along the way.