The allure of luxury rail travel

Viewed 2567 times

Date: January 28, 2016
The Blue Train
When planning a holiday, the transportation to your destination is not usually the main attraction. We cringe on the thought of long flights, boring road transfers and even morden trains. So  it becomes difficult to think of rail travel as an amazing experience. So why would anyone want to be on any train for long hours or even spend a night there? I’ve learned that to understand the attraction of going on a luxury rail journey like The Blue Train, you have to stop comparing it to other modes of public transport.

Clear you mind off the various ways of public commuting, ignore the bullet trains where you cant enjoy the views outside your window. Forget about the flight where your view is that of clouds passing by. Luxury rail is about the romance and glamour, still exclusive only to a few that a lucky enough to experience it. It’s about stepping back to relive the time where travelling was as anticipated as the destination. It’s the recapturing of style and elegance of travel in a golden era in train building. 

Going on one of the luxurious rail trips is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to see nature in the country side and rejuvenate your senses.  These trains usually offer ample space to move, restaurants and bars, comfortable rooms and seating areas for relaxation. Here are some of our favourite Luxury Rail experiences:

The Blue Train
The Blue Train
Originally introduced as the Union Express in 1923, it became known as ‘that blue train’ after being refurbished and painted blue in 1937. It was officially named The Blue Train in 1946. The Blue Train moves between Pretoria and Cape Town in about 27 hours with one stop in each trip. The stops are at the old town in Matjiesfontein in the Karoo on the Cape Town to Pretoria. It stops in Kimberly on the Pretoria to Cape Town journey. There is also a cheaper option to travel between Pretoria and Durban.

Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer - Morants Curve near Lake Louise, Alberta. First Passage to the West route
Expect to see grizzly bear, black bear, moose and eagles on a memorable journey through the Canadian Rockies in British Colombia. The Rocky mountaineer operates five rail routes. The First Passage to The West is the most famous route. Other routes are Journey Through The Clouds, Rainforest To Gold Rush, Coastal Passage and whistler to Sky Climb.

Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail Room
Known as the ‘The Pride of Africa’ Rovos Rail travels in high style, combining the opulence of pre-war travel with subtle, modern conveniences. It carries a maximum of 72 passengers on a journey of 2 to 14 nights. Rovos is constantly referred to as the most luxurious train in the world and it links some of Africa’s greatest destinations from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam. 

The Desert Express
Desert Express train
The Desert Express covers more than 350km from Windhoek through Namibia’s central highlands, across savannah, desert and gravel plains to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.  A longer safari option includes Walvis Bay and game drives in the Etosha National Park.

There are just some destinations that can only be truly uncovered and enjoyed by rail travel. Have you been on a luxury train holiday?