Diehard train travel fans, it’s time to cash out a chunk of your 401K and splurge on what will prove to be the most epic and luxurious cross-country rail tour of this century. Golden Eagle Luxury Trains has just announced an exclusive steam train tour of Great Britain for 2018. With less than 40 spots, it’s almost guaranteed to sell out.
The sole departure of the Tornado 10th Anniversary Tour of Great Britain on October 14, 2018, will begin in the Highlands near Edinburgh, Scotland. It will journey more than 2,200 miles in total through some of the United Kingdom’s most popular cultural destinations. Stops along the way include Chester, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Bath before arriving in Penzance. Specific highlights include dining in Scottish castles, meeting with local royalty, a private tour and tasting at the Glenfarclas Distillery, and a visit to Edinburgh Castle for a private banquet dinner, and first-hand glimpse of the Scottish Crown Jewels.
But, as with every great trip, it’s less about the destinations and more about the journey. For this tour, the train will be pulled by the famed Tornado, a main line, coal-fired steam locomotive. In April of this year, it made railway headlines as the first steam locomotive to hit 100 miles-per-hour on British tracks in more than 50 years. This trip will mark only the second time the locomotive has been used to pull a sleeper train. In 2012, its first such duty was to haul the Royal Train with HRH Prince Charles aboard.
The 10 sleeper cars are part of the widely acclaimed Belmond Royal Scotsman (sister train to the Venice-Simplon Orient Express). All are intricately designed in the classic Edwardian style with the world’s highest standards of luxury. Inspired by classic Pullman coaches, each cabin is awash in plush bedding, tartan furnishings, and mahogany cladding, plus en-suite baths. Additional carriages include a first-class Observation car, two formal dining cars, and a Bamford Haybarn Spa car.
Clearly, this is not your average dinner train trip. This is an exclusive trip of a lifetime for classic rail travel enthusiasts. The price tag? Just $39,995 per person. That includes 14 days of tours, transfers, nine nights aboard the train, luxury hotel accommodations in Edinburgh and St. Ives, all meals, porterage, and gratuities. They even throw in most drinks.