Friday, 17 May 2013

Day 137 : memories of steam travel

Arriving into Victoria I caught sight of the distinctive brown and cream livery. That has to be the British Pullman train, part of the Orient Express family and was worth a walk over to the relevant platform to see more. Just seeing the carriage in all their glory brings back fabulous memories. I have been lucky enough to ride on several VSOE trains; this was my first – from Victoria to Folkstone. On disembarking to the refrains of a lively jazz band, we boarded a coach to travel the Eurotunnel. Then arriving in France we boarded the blue and gold liveried Orient Express which was to be our truly stunning art deco home for the meandering and ever memorable journey over to Venice and back. Later that year, I organised a surprise trip from Manchester to Bath on the burgundy Northern Belle. Though not strictly the same company, the what was named American Orient Express, then the Grandluxe, transported us in some style from Albuquerque to Tacoma in the summer of 2008.

My last indulgence in these hallowed carriages was in early 2010, a late Christmas present of a luxury lunch in a round trip from London being pulled by an enormous steam train in the snow for some people I once knew. It was beautiful day, especially chuffing through the winter wonderland that was the surrounding environs. Sadly I haven’t seen my ‘guests’ since that weekend, so maybe they didn’t enjoy it as much as I did!

I think to complete the set I should peruse the Royal Scotsman itinerary, hmmmm that’s food for thought!


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