Nostalgy Express – the World’s Most Luxury Trains

Ever since Agatha Christie’s classic detective tale Murder on the Orient Express hit the screens with Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, the Pullman has attained cult status. With their chugging locomotive engines, lovingly restored carriages, period style furnishings, elegant bars and restaurants and viewing cars resplendent with well-stocked libraries, the Pullman is a symbol of high class gentility. Yet even in the hustle bustle of the digital age today’s travellers can still experience a little bit of 1920s glamour.

Hiram Bingham, Peru

With a mere three and a half hours on board, the Hiram Bingham from Cuzco to the legendary settlement of Machu Picchu is by far the shortest luxury train trip…in the shortest luxury train! Nevertheless, for a taste of high class and a chance to experience the real Peru, it’s well worth a visit.

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TransPacifico, Cile


From October 2008 you can experience one of the newest luxury train journeys – a 1700km trip from Santiago to Puerto Varas, a trip through spectacular countryside to the edge of the world.

Ten lovingly restored 1929 coaches take passengers back to the golden era of the Chilean railway as the nostalgic locomotive carries you through the majesty of the Andes. Like a travelling 5-Star hotel, the TransPacifico boasts a luxurious bar, library, viewing terrace, elegant restaurant staffed by Swiss, Mexican and Chilean chefs as well as five well-appointed sleeping cars.

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Tangula, China


The newest generation of luxury Pullman coaches is a new take on an old formula. It has all the comfort and luxury of its more traditionally-styled counterparts but with an ultra modern, minimalist twist. Departing from Qingdao in China, it’s all aboard the Tangula!

Minimalist chic with an Oriental slant is the style here; materials such as silks, leather and natural stones are used to create a sleek, modern atmosphere with a typically Chinese influence, a pleasing compliment to the exotic landscapes gliding past the panorama window. The northern route takes in breathtaking images of snow-capped mountains and vast, saltwater lakes while generations of poets and writers have been inspired by the stunning rock formations on the southern route.

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Eastern & Oriental Express


The most elegant train in the whole of south-east Asia, The Eastern and Oriental Express, works it way through stunning landscapes to hitherto undiscovered dream destinations.

The train from Bangkok travels through the Mekong Valley to Vientiane, the capital of Laos and lasts two and a half days. Upon departure passengers are served an elegant Afternoon Tea in the dining car which can be enjoyed en route to the Khmer historical park, the main attraction of which is the Prasat Hin Phimai temple. A pleasant surprise within the travel program is a visit to local vineyards and a wine-tasting session.

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The Golden Chariot, India


With a relaxing spa wagon, an up-to-date conference suite and access to the Web the Golden Chariot combines the warm nostalgia of a bygone age with all the modern comforts of the present day.

Cabins come complete with private bathroom facilities but also boast LCD TVs, DVD players and Wi-Fi access so you can easily stay in touch with the outside world. Other on-board comforts include two sumptuous restaurants (one of which is exclusively vegetarian), a comfortable lounge bar with live music, a fitness area and spa.

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Palace on Wheels, India


In order to observe local customs and to honour travellers, guests boarding the Palace on Wheels are greeted with a traditional welcome ritual as was common during the time of the Maharajas.

Once on board, the trip takes you through the colorful state of Rajasthan, famous in former times for its sovereign rulers, chivalry and code of honour. The passion and ability for stunning architecture is still in evidence today with many palaces and forts worthy of attention. En route the train passes through Jaipur, the Pink City, the Ramthambhor National Park which is famed for its wild tigers, Udaipur, the City of Lakes, the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur and undoubtedly India’s most famous landmark, Agra’s Taj Mahal.

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Pride of Africa, Africa


The colonial-style décor of the platform kicks off the feeling of nostalgia before the train has even pulled out of the station. Journeys on the Pride of Africa range from 24 hours to two weeks and travel through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

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El Transcantábrico, Spain


The El Transcantábrico has been making its way across the rolling green landscapes of northern Spain since 1983; from Leon to Santiago de Compostela via Galicia, Asturias and Castile to the Gulf of Biscay.

The journey is a culturally historic one and the route spans several generations; from the newly opened Guggenheim Museum for Modern Art in Bilbao to the Tomb of the Holy Apostles in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. However fun is also on the agenda – since the train runs during the night it’s possible to hit the bars and clubs at stopover cities to sample some of the Spanish party spirit.

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The Royal Scotsman, Scotland


Imagine if you can the dignified comfort of an Edwardian country house combined with a trip through some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes. Well imagine no more, as The Royal Scotsman does just that.

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Venice Simplon Orient-Expres


The Orient Express is the definitive luxury train and its story began with its maiden voyage from Paris to Istanbul back in 1883. After extensive restoration in 1982, the Orient Express is now enjoying a revival in popularity.

Back in the 1920s, to travel in a compartment with your own washstand was luxury enough. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be the original stained-glass, sumptuous wooden inlays and enamelled panelling that attract attention. The on-board restaurant, replete with crisp white tablecloths, sparkling silver and crystal glassware is the last word in classic style and evening dress is still a must.

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