The British Pullman


Image by Peter Burnage

The British Pullman was a luxury train service comprising of Pullman coaches dating from the 1920s to 1950s. Today it operates around Britain and connects passengers to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) for European destinations.

It was regarded as a Palace on Wheels and became famous for it’s luxury and decadence. No expense was spared and each rail car was fitted to include only the best interior design and incorporated Art Deco art, furnishings and mosaic flooring. Some train carriages were used by members of the Royal family and dignitaries for short journeys.

In the late 1970s, British Pullman carriages were acquired from museums and private owners from around the world and were brought together and restored to their original condition to offer a luxury train service once again. Many of the carriges were from the former Brighton Belle, which was operated by Southern Railway. The American owner James Sherwood finally launched the British Pullman trains of the Orient Express service in 1982. The trains have since continued their unrivalled service to the present day under the name, “Belmond British Bullman”.

The Orient Express was the name of a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). Now operating as VSOE there is still a traditional route from London to Venice and from Paris to Istanbul. There are now world services running via the Trans-Siberia railway in Russia, the Andes in Peru and Myanmar, previously known as Burma in South East Asia.

While Belmond British Pullman operates in the south it has a sister train called the Belmond Northern Belle which operates mainly in north. It started service in 2002 to offer the same high-class travel experience. It has six dining cars, saloon, bar cars and cabins that can convert from a sitting room during the day to a luxurious bedroom at night.

The Belmond British Pullman journeys leave from locations around the UK and take passengers to places of interest from country houses, castles and cities to sporting events like the Grand National. The trains present meals while on journeys, day tours, Saturday breaks, majestic tours and special events with departures from the main UK cities, which include Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, York and Glasgow.

The Pullman coaches enable passengers the same experience as the Orient Express with the same romance and elegance of traveling concepts during the 1930's.

To Agatha Christie, the trains offered an unusual world that brought together landscapes and countryside scenery with panoramic views. So when you’re looking for your next adventure with pampering and extravagance you might want to try a Pullman service.

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