World’s Top 25 Trains

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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE)
Region: Europe
Train Type: Luxury

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), with its restored, 1920s vintage cars, is the world’s most authentic luxury train. Made famous in the Agatha Christie story, the train still runs on the legendary route from Paris to Istanbul. Many other itineraries are also available. They include Istanbul to Venice, and many itineraries including Venice, Krakow, Dresden, Prague, Paris.

Special Offer: Enjoy two complimentary nights at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice when you book the April 4, 2012 departure from Venice to London or Venice to Paris.  This offer includes transfers from the hotel to the rail station and a champagne welcome. Hotel stay must be taken directly before your journey. Journey must be booked before March 31, 2012.

Rovos Rail Pride of Africa
Region: Africa
Train Type: Luxury

Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa offers an old-world elegance and luxury to a degree that was never equaled in the 1920s. Many seasoned IRT Society travelers consider it their favorite rail experience. Celebrated not only for its fabulous equipment, the train is rightfully proud of its stellar dining and on-board service. In short, the entire experience is an exciting luxury rail adventure.

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express
Region: Europe
Train Type: Luxury

No question about it: there is no better way to see Siberia. The all-ensuite Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express was launched in 2007 to much fanfare in Moscow. The UK operators of this train have made a huge push to up the ante on with a new Imperial Suite, as well as Gold and Silver Class accommodations, all with en-suite bathroom. The train also has two dining cars and a lounge car. It plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as special tours of the Silk Road, Russia’s Arctic and the Crimea.

New for 2012: One Imperial Suite available on all 2012 Golden Eagle departures. These new compartments are the most spacious—120 square feet—on the train and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dedicated dressing table and lounge area. Perhaps best of all is the upgraded service and the improved food and beverage service throughout the train.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog on what’s new for 2012 on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.

Maharajas’ Express
Region: Asia
Train Type: 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 control and full en-suite bathroom. 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 23 cars long, taking a maximum of 84 passengers, with a staff of 56. Just announced: The Maharajas’ Express is the newest in The Society of IRT’s World’s Top 25 Trains list!

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Indian Railways

Indian Railways, abbreviated as IR, is a departmental undertaking of Government of India, which owns and operates most of India’s rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.

Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometres (71,147 mi).[3] of total track over a route of 65,000 kilometres (40,389 mi) and 7,500 stations. It has the world’s fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China. The railways carry over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. It is the world’s second largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with more than 1.36 million employees As for rolling stock, IR owns over 240,000 (freight) wagons, 60,000 coaches and 9,000 locomotives.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India’s independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities.

Courtesy: Wikipedia