Golden Eagle


No question about it: there is no better way to see Siberia.

The 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 with the Imperial Suites, as well as Gold and Silver Class accommodations, all with en-suite bathroom.

The train also has one or two dining cars (depending on the passenger count), a lounge car and many of the amenities you’d expect of a luxury hotel. It plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as special tours of the Silk Road, Russia’s Arctic, Iran and the Caspian region.

Five Imperial Suites are 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 sitting area with dressing table, and lounge area.

All passengers will enjoy the snappy service, presence of a quality control manager and excellent food and beverage service throughout the Golden Eagle. In addition, all guests receive complimentary use of bathrobes, towels, slippers and luxury toiletries.

Latest News: Click here for owner and IRT President Eleanor Hardy’s blog on the fantastic Imperial Suites aboard the Golden Eagle.


Eastern & Oriental Express


The Orient-Express company, now Belmond, acquired New Zealand’s famed Silver Star, brought it to Southeast Asia, and refurbished it in elegant style, then re-christened it the Eastern & Oriental Express (E&O). The train runs 1,262 miles between Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. The inaugural journey was September, 1993.

In our opinion, the Eastern & Oriental Express is one of the most beautiful trains in the world. It takes a maximum of 82 guests, making for a convivial yet intimate atmosphere. Dining is excellent, as is service. Other highlights include interesting off-train excursions and on-board entertainment. It is overall an exceptional experience.


Deccan Odyssey


The Deccan Odyssey is one of the subcontinent’s most luxurious trains, with comfortable private cabins, lounges, and even a luxurious spa car.  Recent reviews of the service and food on board have been excellent. In addition to its popular Rajasthan itinerary, the Deccan Odyssey ventures to fascinating parts of India not covered by other luxury trains, such as Gujurat, Nashik & Hyderabad.

Shangri-La Express


The private Shangri-La Express is not a luxury train, but it is at this writing the most modern hotel train in China. It far surpasses regular train service.

During our fall 2013 trip, we (Society of IRT co-owners Eleanor and Owen Hardy) were pleasantly surprised by the train’s comfort. The glass-like Chinese rails made for one of the smoothest rides we’ve had anywhere.

The train is modern and air-conditioned. It  has two cabin classes.

Diamond Class cabins are en-suite and have a double bed. Heritage Class cabins have two lower twin beds and shared toilets and showers.

Kyushu Seven Stars


Since its inception in 2013, the Kyushu Seven Stars, Japan’s very first luxury train, has been selling space based on a lottery system to account for the overwhelming demand for this exclusive and utterly unique rail travel experience.

This “Cruise Train” is a beautifully designed fusion of Japanese and Western elements, painstakingly thought-out with an eye to detail. Intricate woodwork and sumptuous textiles abound in the lounge and dining cars as well as in the fourteen all en-suite cabins.

On the Seven Stars, passengers can enjoy the beautiful Kyushu scenery as it flows by their windows. The courses on the Seven Stars are highlights of the best that Kyushu has to offer. The train does not just push through the journey. At certain points passengers will alight from the train to participate in excursions, making this train a new kind of travel experience.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog about his Japanese adventure on the Kyushu Seven Stars. Spoiler alert: He loved it!

Maharajas’ Express


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 Sweet Train


Japan’s diminutive Sweet Train — it comprises just 2 cars — proves that good things come in small packages.

Conceived by the fertile minds of railway company JR Kyushu, the Sweet Train is aptly named: it’s a four-course feast on wheels. Any trip to Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, should definitely include it.

The two-hour trip gives ample time for diners to enjoy an exquisite light lunch, followed by four “sweets” courses.

A dedicated, smiling staff fusses over passengers, who enjoy Kyushu’s natural beauty and the train’s gorgeous, naturalistic interior.

And while you’re traveling, be sure to ask about the Sweet Train’s “American Connection.”

(Can’t wait? Read about it here.)