A steam engine day trip to Bath will be stopping off at East Croydon in September, where for £700 for a pair of tickets, passengers can step back in time and enjoy a luxury Pullman carriage dining experience.
The Steam Dreams Rail Co is offering the trip. It will set off from Victoria early on Wednesday, September 27, making the stop at East Croydon at 8.30am before heading for Redhill and Guildford on its way through the Surrey Hills and on to the Roman spa city of Bath.
The operators hope to use the 7000 Britannia locomotive for the journey, a 75-year steam engine that was among the first built to order for British Rail.
“Guests will be transported to a bygone era aboard meticulously restored vintage carriages with period details whilst enjoying the passing scenery of the breathtaking Surrey Hills and Kennet Valley.
“The train will then pass Newbury and meander on to Wiltshire, with views of the Pewsey and the Westbury White Horses before reaching the historic city of Bath.”
The day-long junket will arrive back in London not long before 10pm.
“Our day trips to Bath are always extremely popular as it is such an interesting city to explore. We are delighted to be offering pick-ups en route from a number of local stations including East Croydon, giving passengers the opportunity to join this wonderful trip without having to head to London,” said Juliet Soley of Steam Dreams.
There is a choice of three classes of travel, with First Class (£185 for one “non-dining”, bring-your-own-sarnies return ticket) and Premium Standard (£165 per person) as well as the top-of-the-range Pullman Style Dining “an elevated dining experience led by executive chef, Nicholas Allen”, where tickets are a steamy £350 each.
“Pullman Style Dining offers the epitome of vintage steam travel… the highest level of service and comfort… an unforgettable experience… enhanced by original windows and elegant armchair seating, laid with crisp linen, and embellished with fine crockery, fresh flowers and glassware” goes the sales spiel.
What they mean is that Pullman passengers will get a day’s excursion including “traditional breakfast on the outward leg, late morning coffee and pastries as well as canapés and a four-course meal on the return journey”.
First Class passengers will at least receive a glass of bucks fizz on arrival “followed by a selection of snack items… Tea and coffee will be served, and guests are welcome to bring their own picnics on-board or visit the Buffet Car for more drinks and nibbles.”
The locomotive due to haul the train in September is the 70000 Britannia, the first of 55 Standard class 7 engines to be built in Crewe by British Railways. The locomotive was built for express passenger services between London and Norwich.
It originally had a top speed of 100mph, although these days it is limited to 75mph.
“For many years Britannia’s cab roof was painted white to commemorate her pulling the funeral train of King George VI from Sandringham to London in 1952,” the operators say.
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