Golden Eagle Luxury Trains launches an epic British equivalent of the Orient Express

Maria Sergeeva
January 17, 2018

Steam train travel has become has come back into style thanks to the revival of luxury operators.

Just imagine: passing through spectacular scenery, to move from one place of interest to another grabbing several must-see destination in one relaxing trip. No need to change plains, carry huge luggage, just enjoy the most breathtaking landscapes in opulent cabins or lounges of the hotel-on-wheels, savoring fabulous cuisine served in beautiful surroundings.

Famous for its Trans-Siberian Express, the world’s longest train journey – nearly 6,000 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok, the UK operator Golden Eagle now presents its epic 14-day rail tour from Edinburgh.

Set to leave from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station on October 14 2018 the 2,200-mile trip is timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Tornado, the first steam locomotive in over 50 years to break 100 mph on British tracks, sister train to the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, and one of the most revered in the country, having hauled Prince Charles aboard the Royal Sleeper train in 2012.

The tour will then take in the historic Settle and Carlisle Railway before heading south to Chester and then to Wales where it will visit Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog, Caernarfon and Holyhead.

The luxurious tour has already been called the British equivalent of the Orient Express. Crossing into England, there will be stops at Bath, Williton, Penzance, Fowey, Salisbury, Didcot, Oxford, Bridgnorth, York, and Darlington before returning to the starting point in Edinburgh.

York, and Darlington before returning to the starting point in Edinburgh.

The locomotive will haul the 10 carriages of luxe Belmond Royal Scotsman, with only 38 places available for the tour. The lucky 38 passengers will be accommodated in its Edwardian-style state rooms each equipped  with en suite bathrooms, a rare luxury in the world of sleeper trains.

The 2200-mile tour of Scotland, England and Wales on board the 10 carriages of the Belmond Royal Scotsman is not for the thin of wallet, starting from £2150 a night per person.

Lined with rich marquetry, each one features plush beds fitted with soft Scottish wools and tartans. An elegant dressing table and en suite add to the indulgence.

Four types of cabins are available which lets you travelling either single, in couple, with friends or with the whole family.

Twin cabins

Twin cabins are designed for space and relaxation. Lower beds, a long wardrobe, ceiling fans and controlled heating ensure absolute comfort - no matter how the weather is outside.

Double Cabin

Each marquetry-lined double will fascinate passengers with Scottish charm. Plush beds, a drawing table, long wardrobe and window are a warm welcome at the day’s outdoor pursuits.

Single Cabin

Single Cabins offer passengers their own private retreat lined with rich marquetry and tartan furnishings and breathtaking scenery views from the window. Each single cabin features a lower bed, wardrobe and writing table.

Interconnecting Cabin

Interconnecting Cabins are perfect for families travelling together. It is possible to recline on plush lower beds, one twin and one double. A writing desk and large open window will not leave adults as well as children indifferent.

The social heart of Belmond Royal Scotsman is the Bar Lounge Car, a great place to relax and settle into the unhurried pace of life on board. The bar carries some 50 different types of Scottish whisky paying homage to the single malt, from the stronger west coast whiskies like Lagavulin, Talisker or Oban to the smoother eastern malts like Dalwhinnie.

The company says on its website: “From the moment Belmond Royal Scotsman draws out of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, you are embarking on a truly unique and unforgettable experience as you head into a most magical place of history, nature and romance.

Life on board this luxury train is relaxed and indulgent, with gastronomic dining and the convivial atmosphere of celebrating with friends.

The train will be hauled by the Tornado, the A1 Peppercorn Class steam locomotive No.60163 which took 19 years to construct before it made its first journey in 2008.

The directors explain: “The Tornado’s 10th anniversary tour of Great Britain showcases the very best that Britain has to offer, from stunning vistas and its rich railway heritage past to the highest quality local cuisine and unsurpassed attention to detail guests enjoy travelling on the prestigious Belmond Royal Scotsman carriages.”

The philosophy at Golden Eagle Luxury Trains remain the same during any tour offered by the company: is to provide fully-escorted private rail tours for the adventure traveler who is drawn to the excitement of visiting fabulous, and often, remote destinations but wants to appreciate them in style, comfort and safety.

Luxury long-distance rail travel offers discerning and adventurous travelers a unique opportunity to visit some of the world's most memorable places in comfort and style.

Itineraries are designed to turn dreams of a lifetime into priceless memories and take in some of the most culturally diverse destinations the world has to offer and in an exciting new move, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains are taking over the operation of the Danube Express for 2015 and beyond.

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 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, Iran and the Caspian region.

Two 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 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.

The operator’s trains offer trips worldwide through Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Mongolia, China, Central Asia and Iran, onboard a selection of the world’s leading luxury private trains.

This is the best opportunity to discover some of Europe’s less explored destinations with Golden Eagle amongst the magnificent cities of Prague, Budapest, Venice and Istanbul, on a Grand Rail Tour aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Featuring the signature touches of a Golden Eagle rail cruise, these fascinating journeys now provide the ultimate in European rail experiences.