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World's Top 25 Trains

Train: Belmond Royal Scotsman

Train Type: Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman
Royal Scotsman double cabin. (Photo courtesy of Orient Express)

Belmond Royal Scotsman
Decadent desserts abound on the Royal Scotsman. (Photo courtesy of Orient Express)

Journeys on this Train

Country Homes & Gardens by Luxury Train in Scotland
Western Tour
Classic Tour
Highland Tour
Grand North Western Tour
Grand West Highland Tour
Grand Tour: England, Scotland & Wales
Classic Whisky Journey
Classic Scottish Golf Tour
Edinburgh to London Majestic England Tour


The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a standout. A small venue—just 36 passengers—it’s great for those who wish for a more intimate, luxury setting with gourmet, five-star dining, wine-pairing and superior service. Simply put, it is one of our favorite hotel trains. All the train’s cars, save the 1928-era diner, are of 1960s vintage equipment, but they have been recast into an Edwardian confection of varnished woods, polished brass and fine fabrics. Especially fun is the open-air observation platform. The Royal Scotsman is one of the world's finest luxury train experiences. This train is operated by Belmond (formerly Orient-Express). 

Latest News: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy's May, 2012 trip on the Royal Scotsman.

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The five sleeping carriages provide 14 twin-bedded, 2 double-bedded and four single cabins, beautifully designed with rich inlaid wood.

The 14 twin compartments are 85 square feet with two lower twin beds positioned in an “L” shape.  The beds are six feet, five inches long.  The two double compartments are the same size, but instead of twin beds feature a double bed. The private shower, sink and toilet, is 25 square feet, included in the measurement total of the room.

Four compartments are for single travelers so there is no single supplement––a rarity on luxury trains.  These rooms are 66 square feet.  They contain one twin bed. The private shower, sink and toilet  is 15 square feet, included in the total measurement of the room. The bathrooms are large and ensuite with private sink, toilet and shower.

Note for very tall travelers: Please request a very long bed. There are two compartments which have beds measuring six feet, eight inches long. This is unusually large for a train. Note for those thinking of the double-bedded compartment: please request this upon booking. They are placed at the far end of the train, farthest from the public areas, perhaps perfect for honeymooners but not for those with any mobility issues.

All cabins have dressing table, full-length wardrobe, individually controlled heating, ceiling fans, opening windows and a cabin service call button. Most people sleep like kittens on this train, because it stops at quiet sidings at night.


Dining is an elegant production. Meals are multi-course, candlelit affairs, made with the freshest, finest local produce, seafoods and meats, and served either in the newly restored “Swift” dining car; or in the second dining car, “Raven.” Presentation is gorgeous; service is friendly and professional with fine wines included.

Lounge Cars

At the end of the train is perhaps the most distinctive carriage, the observation car. Originally built in 1960 by the Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company, the observation car entered service in 1961 as a first-class kitchen car. In 1989, the car was bought from its private owner, Michael Bailiss, and converted it to its current luxury configuration, able to comfortably hold all 36 guests at any time. At the back is a favorite spot: the open-air observation platform, for wind-in-the-face viewing of the lovely Scottish scenery.


Plainly said: a few nights just is not enough on this grand train. If time and budget allow, combine two of the itineraries for an eight-day journey. The cost of the tour includes everything except traditional gratuities to the train staff. Dinners are formal affairs on alternate nights. Ladies wear dressy outfits; men wear jackets and ties or tuxedoes (or formal kilts).

Booking at the last minute? Ask us about special offers on selected dates.

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