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  World's Top 25 Trains Select:
 
 

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE)

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), with its restored, 1920s vintage cars, is the world’s most authentic luxury train. Made famous in the Agatha Christie story, the train still runs on the legendary route from Paris to Istanbul. Many other itineraries are also available. They include Istanbul to Venice, and many itineraries including Venice, Krakow, Dresden, Prague and Paris.

 



Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE)

Rovos Rail Pride of Africa

Region: Africa
Tour Type: Luxury

Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa offers an old-world elegance and luxury to a degree that was never equaled in the 1920s. Many seasoned IRT Society travelers consider it their favorite rail experience. Celebrated not only for its fabulous equipment, the train is rightfully proud of its stellar dining and on-board service. In short, the entire experience is an exciting luxury rail adventure.



Rovos Rail Pride of Africa

Golden Eagle

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

No question about it: there is no better way to see Siberia. The all-ensuite Golden Eagle was launched in 2007 to much fanfare in Moscow. The UK operators of this train have made a huge push to up the ante on with a new Imperial Suite, as well as Gold and Silver Class accommodations, all with en-suite bathroom. The train also has two dining cars and a lounge car. It plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as special tours of the Silk Road, Russia's Arctic and the Caspian.

Two Imperial Suites will continue to be available on all Golden Eagle departures. This type of compartment, the most spacious at 120 square feet, has been a huge success for luxury travelers. It offers a fixed king-sized bed, a dedicated dressing table and lounge area. All passengers will enjoy the upgraded service, presence of a quality control manager and improved food and beverage service throughout the Golden Eagle.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy's blog on improvements in 2012 on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.

 



Golden Eagle

Royal Scotsman

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

The Royal Scotsman is a standout train and one of our favorites in the world. 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.

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

 



Royal Scotsman

El Transcantábrico

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

The 52-passenger Clásico El Transcantábrico train, which traverses Northern Spain, started in 1983.  Its launching was one of the first stories in The International Railway Traveler, founded the same year. The train set has six sleepers, each with four double compartments with ensuite facilities. The train is operated by Ferrocarriles Españoles de Vía Estrecha (FEVE), which means Narrow-Gauge Spanish Railways.

In May, 2011, a new luxury service, called Gran Lujo, was inaugurated. It features all Preferente Suites, which are each half a train car. These cabins are about 129 square feet. This will make a huge difference to some travelers who require more space and private lounge area.

The Preferente Suites have a double bed, long sofa, flat-screen DVD, computer for your private use (wifi when in stations) and lots of storage in closets, under the bed, and under the sofa. The Gran Lujo train will only take 28 passengers, and thereby be able to offer a much more intimate travel experience for discriminating travelers. However, these cabins can also accommodate three persons.



El Transcantábrico

Eastern & Oriental Express

Region: Asia
Tour Type: Luxury

In 1991, the Orient-Express company acquired New Zealand’s famed Silver Star, transported it to Southeast Asia and, following refurbishment, re-christened it the Eastern & Oriental Express (E&O). The train runs 1,262 miles between Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand.


 



Eastern & Oriental Express

Deccan Odyssey

Region: Asia
Tour Type: Luxury

The Deccan Odyssey is one of the subcontinent’s most luxurious trains; its cars, built in 2003, have been upgraded with new carpet and bedspreads recently, according to our ground suppliers. These improvements, which we recommended last year, bring this train up to “luxury” status, because its staff, service, amenities and food were already superb.



Deccan Odyssey

Al-Andalus

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

Southern Spain’s opulent, broad-gauge Al-Andalus returned to the rails May, 2012, with its 1920s-era cars newly renovated. The Al-Andalus includes bar, lounge and two dining cars, as well as all-en suite cabins. The train combines stellar service, exquisite Art Deco styling and excellent cuisine for a unique tour of Andalusia. Please see IRT's review of Al-Andalus in our Track 25 blog from spring, 2012.



Al-Andalus

Maharajas' Express

Region: Asia
Tour Type: Luxury

The Maharajas' Express was custom-built to be the most luxurious train in India––and perhaps the world––offering state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. All cabins have large windows, LCD televisions, wi-fi access, individual temperature controls and full en-suite bathrooms. There is one Presidential Suite which comprises a full train car—the largest suite available on any train in the world. The two elegantly decorated dining cars serve a choice of multi-course Indian and continental cuisine. Two lounge cars provide cool drinks and comfortable seating. The train is 22 cars long, taking a maximum of 84 passengers.  The Maharajas' Express is the newest in The Society of IRT's World's Top 25 Trains list!



Maharajas\' Express

Hiram Bingham

Region: South America
Tour Type: Luxury

The gleaming blue-and-gold cars of the Hiram Bingham makes the 3.5-hour trip between Cusco and Machu Picchu every day but Sunday. The train has two 42-seat dining cars serving excellent Peruvian specialties for brunch on the journey to Machu Picchu, and for dinner on the evening return to Cusco. The train also has a gorgeous bar/observation car.



Hiram Bingham

Blue Train

Region: Africa
Tour Type: Luxury

The Blue Train is one of the world’s great luxury trains, and runs eight times a month between Pretoria and Cape Town. The current schedule is southbound on Mondays and the northbound on Wednesdays. The route is a 27-hour journey of 994 miles and includes a sightseeing stop in each direction. The Blue Train is operated by the state-run Spoornet.



Blue Train

British Pullman

Region: Europe
Tour Type: Luxury

The British Pullman is a luxury, vintage day train that completes the British leg of Orient-Express journeys between Paris and London. Passengers from the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express debark in Calais, France, and board a special bus for the short "piggyback" train ride through the Eurotunnel to Folkestone. There, they board the British Pullman for the ride to London's Victoria station. What's not to love about this experience? Fabulous food, lovely scenery and riding on such a gorgeous and historic train.

 



British Pullman

Royal Canadian Pacific

Region: North America
Tour Type: Luxury

Just 30 persons can pretend to be royalty and come aboard to sample this train’s five-star dining, open-platform observation areas, several small salons, and large compartments with private, ensuite shower, toilet and sink. The train and its superb staff combine outstanding scenery, exclusive visits and elegant musical events with the top-notch service and cuisine. It all results in one word: “Wow!” The total RCP package is matched by just a few trains in the world.  It's tops in the Western Hemisphere.

Many of the cars for the Royal Canadian Pacific (RCP) train were built between 1917 and 1931 and were used as business cars for the Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR).



Royal Canadian Pacific
2424 Frankfort Ave. Suite #2, Louisville, KY 40206  •  (800) 478-4881  •  (502) 897-1725   •  fax (502) 897-1729   •  email: tourdesk@irtsociety.com  • ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®