Eastern & Oriental Express

Asia
Luxury

In 1991, the Orient-Express company acquired New Zealand’s famed Silver Star, transported it to Southeast Asia and, following refurbishment, re-christened it the Eastern & Oriental Express (E&O). The train runs 1,262 miles between Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Deccan Odyssey

Asia
Luxury

The Deccan Odyssey is one of the subcontinent’s most luxurious trains, with comfortable private cabins, lounges and even a luxurious spa car.  Recent reviews of the service and food on board have been excellent. In addition to its popular Rajasthan itinerary, the Deccan Odyssey ventures to fascinating parts of India not covered by other luxury trains, such as Gujurat, Nashik & Hyderabad.

Shangri-La Express

Asia
First-class

The private Shangri-La Express is not a luxury train, but it is at this writing the most modern hotel train in China. It far surpasses regular train service.

During our fall 2013 trip, we (Society of IRT co-owners Eleanor and Owen Hardy) were pleasantly surprised by the train’s comfort. The glass-like Chinese rails made for one of the smoothest rides we’ve had anywhere.

The train is modern and air-conditioned. It  has two cabin classes.

Diamond Class cabins are en-suite and have a large double bed. Heritage Class cabins have two lower twin beds and shared toilets and showers.

Kyushu Seven Stars

Asia
Luxury

Since its inception in 2013, the Kyushu Seven Stars, Japan’s very first luxury train, has been selling space based on a lottery system to account for the overwhelming demand for this exclusive and utterly unique rail travel experience.

This “Cruise Train” is a beautifully designed fusion of Japanese and Western elements, painstakingly thought-out with an eye to detail. Intricate woodwork and sumptuous textiles abound in the lounge and dining cars as well as in the fourteen all en-suite cabins.

On the Seven Stars, passengers can enjoy the beautiful Kyushu scenery as it flows by their windows. The courses on the Seven Stars are highlights of the best that Kyushu has to offer. The train does not just push through the journey. At certain points passengers will alight from the train to participate in excursions, making this train a new kind of travel experience.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog about his Japanese adventure on the Kyushu Seven Stars. Spoiler alert: He loved it!

Maharajas’ Express

Asia
Luxury

The Maharajas’ Express was custom-built to be the most luxurious train in India––and perhaps the world––offering state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. All cabins have large windows, LCD televisions, wi-fi access, individual temperature controls and full en-suite bathrooms. There is one Presidential Suite which comprises a full train car—the largest suite available on any train in the world. The two elegantly decorated dining cars serve a choice of multi-course Indian and continental cuisine. Two lounge cars provide cool drinks and comfortable seating. The train is 22 cars long, taking a maximum of 84 passengers.

The Sweet Train

Asia
Luxury

Japan’s diminutive Sweet Train — it comprises just 2 cars — proves that good things come in small packages.

Conceived by the fertile minds of railway company JR Kyushu, the Sweet Train is aptly named: it’s a four-course feast on wheels. Any trip to Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, should definitely include it.

The two-hour trip gives ample time for diners to enjoy an exquisite light lunch, followed by four “sweets” courses.

A dedicated, smiling staff fusses over passengers, who enjoy Kyushu’s natural beauty and the train’s gorgeous, naturalistic interior.

And while you’re traveling, be sure to ask about the Sweet Train’s “American Connection.”

(Can’t wait? Read about it here.)