Old School Train Travel is Being Positioned as New School Luxury
The Trans-Siberian Railway, the Blue Train, and the Orient Express are among the usual suspects when it comes to naming the top train experiences in the world. But during the past few years, there’s been a spate of growth on the rails, with new destinations being primed with a coat of classic varnish.
Train travel may seem rather anachronistic. But according to a recent report from J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, in many parts of the world, train travel appears poised for an upgrade. In fact, the report calls 2017 “the year of the train.”
Part of the appeal is that “private luxury trains allow those with a degree of adventure to explore without sacrificing creature comforts,” according to rail travel evangelist Andy Brabin. Currently with travel consultancy Discover by Rail, Brabin adds that the growth in interest in trains coincides with the desire for slow travel. “Slow travel… exploring at ground level… gets the train traveler closer to the destination,” he says.
Another part of the advantage of train travel for those accustomed to luxury is that it allows them to explore undeveloped and out-of-the-way places. Annie Lucas, vice president of MIR Corporation, notes, “So many of these newer routes are places — the Silk Road, Persia — that conjure strong images; they have mystique about them. But due to their geographic magnitude or the forbidden frontier aspect, train travel may be the only way to explore them.”