RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

The world’s top rail trails

1st June 2011 Print

Luxury escorted touring specialist Journeys of Distinction has come up with its pick of the world’s top rail journeys, all of which are featured in selected itineraries among the company’s exceptional range of high quality escorted touring holidays.

India’s classic Palace on Wheels:-

Take a seven day journey on board one of the world’s most celebrated historical steam trains, the majestic, maroon and gold `Palace on Wheels’, newly refurbished and with each cabin attended by a uniformed Khidmatgar, (personal attendant).

Western, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani style cuisine are served in the Maharaja and Maharani restaurants, and the train features carved furniture, elegant handicrafts and paintings, and has an ambience of a bygone era as it journeys from New Delhi across the state of Rajasthan.

Journeys of Distinction’s 13 day `Palace on Wheels’ tour departs on 16th October and 6th November 2011, with prices from £4245, including the services of a tour manager, local guides, accommodation pre and post rail journey at the Oberoi hotel, Delhi, 7 nights on board the train and return Jet Airways flights from Heathrow to Delhi.

The world’s most luxurious private train:-

The world’s most spacious and luxurious train, the privately owned Rovos Rail, carries a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 suites and recaptures the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era on an iconic rail journey from Durban to Pretoria. Air-conditioned suites have the choice of twin or double beds and ensuite facilities and the train offers accommodation of the highest standard, combining the opulence of a bygone era with modern innovations.

Two days on board the Rovos Rail, visiting game reserves and traversing the heart of South Africa, are included in Journeys of Distinction’s 16 day `Garden Route’ luxury escorted tour from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The tour, by luxury air-conditioned coach, safari jeep and Rovos Rail, takes in the spectacular wildlife and beauty of South Africa’s garden route with guided city tours of Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg, and costs from £4845pp, with departures on 16th September, 14th October and 28th October 2011.

Canada’s award winning Rocky Mountaineer

This is one train journey where the scenery is as awesome as the train itself. Canada’s award winning Rocky Mountaineer journeys`through the clouds’ from Jasper to Vancouver while guests enjoy roomy reclining seats, breakfast and lunch served with a commentary, from onboard attendants, through awe-inspiring scenery.

Scenic highlights include Mount Robson, Pyramid Falls, Yellowhead Pass and the journey along the North Thompson River, the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River and the gushing waters of Hells Gate in the Fraser Canyon.

Journeys of Distinction’s 17 day fully escorted `Grand Canadian Explorer’ holiday costs from £4,595pp and includes guided tours in Banff, Vancouver and Victoria, a day in Banff and Yoho national park, visits to Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefields, Jasper and Maligne Lake and a visit to Vancouver Island, as well as two days on board the Rocky Mountaineer from Jasper to Vancouver. Departures on 11th and 25th June, 13th August and 10th September 2011. There is also the option to enjoy a 3 day pre tour option to Toronto. Departures on 8th and 22nd June, 10th August and 7th September 2011.

Australia’s Ghan and Kuranda Rail journeys

Named after the Afghan cameleers who explored inland from Australia’s coastal towns, The Ghan (an abbreviation of The Afghan Express), provides an incomparable way to travel north to south through fresh panoramas of Australia’s constantly changing landscape. The route takes travellers from Adelaide to Darwin in 48 hours, or Adelaide to Alice Springs in half that time.

A second epic Australian rail journey, The Kuranda Scenic Railway, is a magnificent engineering feat that involved 2.3 million metres of earthworks, creating 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 kilometres of track to create a route for supplies for starving mining workers in 1882. The railway was built through dense jungle and cliffs with sheer drops of up to 327 metres and slopes as steep as 45 degrees. Today this amazing train journey travels through dense tropical rain forest, steep ravines, and picturesque waterfalls and into the sensational Barron Gorge.

The option to enjoy both The Ghan and the Kuranda Scenic Railway, as well as Australia’s major cities, most iconic landmarks and spectacular natural world are all possible on Journeys of Distinction’s leisurely 25 day tour by luxury air-conditioned coach. The company’s `Very best of Australia’ tour includes tours of Perth, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Adelaide, The Great Barrier Reef and Sydney with an overnight journey on Australia’s legendary scenic train available as an optional extra, The Ghan. Departures on 8th November 2011, 24th January, 21st February and 6th March 2012, prices from £4,795 for the 25 day tour, and £5165 to include the Ghan overnight rail journey.

Asia’s Oriental Express

The luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express recaptures the golden age of rail travel winding through some of the world's most beautiful and exotic landscapes in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and on into Laos, passing mountains, forests, fascinating towns and golden temples.

The sister train to Europe’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express the train reflects Oriental styling with Malayan motifs and Thai wall carvings and offers gourmet dining, cocktails in the open-air observation car and local entertainment. The atmosphere on board harks back to a 'Colonial' age of rattan chairs on the verandah, linen suits and tea dances.  

Included within Journeys of Distinctions 24 day fully escorted Asia tour, Jewels of South East Asia’ is a full day and overnight journey on board the Oriental Express, from Butterworth Station, over the River Kwai, and on to Bangkok. The fully escorted tour costs from£5,495 per person and combines Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos to bring you an abundance of culture, legend, architecture, nature and unmatched hospitality, with a full programme of touring on a luxury air-conditioned coach and by train, return Qantas flights and the services of a tour manager throughout.

India’s Maharaja’s Express

The luxurious Maharaja Express is claimed to be the finest train journey in Asia and is certainly one of the most opulent in India. It has a stylish lounge offering panoramic views, deluxe comfortable carriages, state of the art suspension, two restaurants and lavishly decorated cabins with individual temperature controls.

A journey on this magnificent train includes all meals, complimentary drinks and butler service and while the styling of the train may reflect a bygone and elegant age, the train itself is equipped with large LCD TV's, DVD players, direct-dial phones and Wi-Fi internet

An eight day journey on board the Maharaja Express, from Mumbai to Delhi, is featured in Journeys of Distinction’s 13 day `Journey on the Maharaja Express’ fully escorted touring holiday, with prices from £6,845pp, including full board on the train, with all soft drinks and Indian brand alcoholic drinks, sightseeing tours in Mumbai, Vadodara, Updaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra and Delhi, a jeep safari in Ranthambore National Park, local guides, luxury hotel accommodation at the Imperial in Delhi and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai pre and post journey and return scheduled flights from the UK.

A glass vista of Macchu Piccu and a Pullman journey from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca

Peru’s Andean Explorer train is exquisitely decorated in the fine manner of the great Pullman trains of the 1920’s and comprises of a full fleet of refurbished coaches including dining cars and an open-air observation bar car, unique in South America. It journeys from Cuaco to Lake Titicaca, reaching altitudes of 14,150 feet, and passing through stunning Peruvian scenery.

During the journey passengers are served a three course lunch in the dining car followed by coffee served in the observation-bar car. 

Completely different in style, but opening up similarly stunning vistas, is Peru’s Vistadome train, modern in style with leather seating, air-conditioning and panoramic windows. The train journeys from Cusco to Machu Picchu in around 90 minutes, passing fast flowing churning rivers, towering mountains, through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and on to the ancient `Lost city of the Incas’ at Maccu Picchu.

Journey’s of Distinction’s 19 day `Peru in Style’ tour includes a full day’s train journey on the Andean Explorer with views of high snow-capped peaks and endless horizons and a journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu on the panoramic Vistadome train. The tour costs from £3,865 pp with departures on 1 August, 12 September and 10 October 2011 and includes sightseeing tours of Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a day cruise on Lake Titicaca and return flights.

For further information visit: