Rail holidays FAQ’s
Will I have enough time in each place?
Railway holidays are as much about the holiday as the rail. They are designed for people who relish rail travel but also want to get off the train and explore more than on your average coach tour, for example. So, in general, railway holiday suppliers are proponents of slow travel, giving you a couple of days in favourite spots along the way. Transits are organised when necessary from the train station and back again, and unless it is a very independent style railway holiday, you will often be met by a local guide at the railway station.
Our Railway Holidays
Will I be travelling with a group?Quite a few of our rail holidays are tailor made to suit your timing, but some, like the Reunification Express in Vietnam, Trans-Mongolian Express and the Moorish Spain to Marrakech by rail holidays are in small groups with maximum group size of 16 travellers. However, this doesn’t mean that you will feel ‘chaperoned’ – it is your holiday after all, but it means that a group leader will be on hand to assist with anything you need during your time in the places you visit along the way. And it means you can totally chill when it comes to connections and reservations.
Will I be in a first class carriage?Again this depends on the trip. It’s first class all the way on the super luxurious “El Transcantabrico” train that shimmies its way rather sleekly across Northern Spain. Or the Maharajas’ Express, which takes you to all points on India’s Golden Triangle in award winning luxury. As part of the Scotland Luxury Rail Holiday, you travel first class on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, over the equally first class Glenfinnan viaduct and top notch highland scenery, as well as a first class Scotrail service back down through the Highlands to Pitlochry.
Do we always sleep on trains?
On most of our rail holidays, you get off the train at night and stay at locally owned accommodation. There are sleepover parties to be had, however, especially on the long distance journeys such as the Tran-Mongolian Express or the Reunification Express in Vietnam. Travelling by night means that you often have the whole day free for sightseeing as well, such as on the Maharajas’ Express.
How will the food be?In general, it is always good to stock up on snacks before you board a train. There are exceptions, of course, but food and trains do not usually a happy marriage make. You will have an adventure, however, on board the likes of the Trans-Mongolian Express, where the buffet cars change according to the country you are in: Russia, Mongolia and China. So, lunch is chicken or meat borsht in Russia, with vodka flowing freely, rice and mutton in Mongolia, and a proverbial Chinese cacophony once you cross that border.
If you'd like to chat about Railway or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Are there luggage restrictions?
The joy of not flying is that you don’t have the luggage restrictions. However, you really don’t want to be hauling big, cumbersome suitcases on and off trains, especially if they are crowded and there isn’t much time at one spot. Try and pack lightly, and have all your immediate requirements in a daypack that is kept by your feet, or overhead.
More about Railway
The journey is often more exciting than the destination - and never is that more apparent than on a railway holiday.
Take a look at our interactive map, below, to see our railway holiday highlights around the world.
There are opportunities for you to dip in and out of this style of travel depending on how hardcore you want to go.
There are some destinations that make you think of classic train journeys - the most famous being Siberia and India, where spending several days rattling along the rails is as quintessential an experience as you can imagine.
One of the world’s most splendid railway journeys, The West Highland Line takes you through mountains, moors and marine marvels, between Glasgow and Mallaig on the west coast.
Trans Siberian Railway tours are one of the most authentic ways to explore all of Russia.
Although nicknamed 'bullet', which is kind of apt due to the shape and speed, Japan's Shinkansen trains provide peace, safety and comfort for passengers travelling north, south and west in Japan.
It takes six weeks to do the most spectacular circuit of India by rail.
Take a ride on a train that you won’t want to get off although it would be a shame to miss out on Agra’s Taj Mahal and Jaipur’s Amber Fort, as you’re passing.
The Kyle Line is otherwise known as the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness Line and takes you coast to coast between the Kyle on the west coast and Inverness on the northeast.
Our railway gurus have shared their top rail holiday tips with us - from what to pack (not too much!) and what to eat, to meeting your fellow passengers and getting a good night's sleep.
Responsible train holidays are pretty much a given: you're embracing slow travel, stepping outside of the multinational resorts and in some cases, cutting down on domestic flights.
Find all of our rail holidays guides in one place, for rail travel in particular places such as India and Scotland.