The Scottish landscape is a magnet attracting crowds of tourists. In 1985 the Great Scottish & Western Railway Co. launched a train for sightseeing in Scotland in sophisticated luxury. The train was composed of historic rail carriages built from teakwood at the beginning of the 20th century. It was called the “Queen of Scots”. Its successor, the “Royal Scotsman” in 2005 was bought by “Orient-Express Hotels”, the owner of the equally luxury “Venice-Simplon Orient Express” and “Northern Belle” trains. The new rail carriages that replaced the previous (nine) Pullman carriages built (except the dining carriage) in 1960 by Metro-Camwell were completely renovated and modernised.
At present, the train consists of two kitchen and dining carriages - one lounge carriage with a porch outside, four carriages with compartments for 2, 3 or 4 people and two carriages for service staff where power generators are also located. The train can accommodate 36 passengers on board. The compartments are designed with splendour, in a rustic style. The Edwardian design is perfectly complemented by varnished mosaics, details from polished brass and delicate fabrics. Single or double beds, bathrooms with showers and toilets, individually controlled air conditioning and staff call buttons are conveniences even to very demanding passengers.
Different guidebooks report that they can sleep soundly as the train stops on calm side tracks for the night. The staff prepare regional meals, serve seafood and the best wines.
The Royal Scotsman sets out on the route around Scotland from May to October from Edinburgh Waverley station. Three route combinations are available: Classic - 720 miles to the Kyle of Lochalsh (four nights on the train); West - 660 miles travelled to Mallaig and back (two nights); and Highland - 540 miles, a two-day circular route from and to Edinburgh through Aberdeen and Inverness. The passengers visit castles, whisky distilleries, museums, and interesting natural sites.
The train passes across the world’s first steel bridge and the wonders of Victorian engineering can be seen through the windows. Travellers have an opportunity to talk to experts on salmon fishing and whisky production and socialise at parties. Every passenger is greeted by the staff and treated like an aristocrat. Tickets for such a luxury journey are very expensive, but one you will knn=ow it was worth the money.