Since the very first days of railway travel epicureans have revelled in the royal splendour of luxurious trains such as India’s Maharajas’ Express, Scotland’s Royal Scotsman and Russia’s Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. Railway-technology.com lists some of the world’s most expensive trains based on fares per night in March 2013.
Maharajas' Express, India - $3,385 per night
The Maharajas' Express, which travels across North-West and Central India costs an average of $3,385 a night per passenger travelling in its Presidential Suite. Operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the train features 23 coaches and accommodates up to 88 guests. The train has won the WTA World's leading Luxury Train Award twice in a row in 2012 and 2013.
The Maharajas' Express offers five itineraries: Heritage of India (7 Nights / 8 Days), Treasures of India (3 Nights / 4 Days), Gems of India (3 Nights / 4 Days), The Indian Panorama (7 Nights / 8 Days) and The Indian Splendour (7 Nights / 8 Days).
Accommodation options aboard the Indian luxury train include one Presidential Suite, 18 Junior Suites, 20 Deluxe Cabins, and four Suites. The Presidential Suites feature a living cum dining room and two bedrooms with attached baths, and are extravagantly furnished with twin/double bed, mini bar, LCD television, lavish interiors, climate control system and safe and direct dial telephone. Dedicated cars are provided for restaurant, bar, lounge, and kitchen.
Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia - $2,142 per night
The Trans-Siberian Express charges as much as $2,140 per night for single occupancy in its Gold Class or Imperial Suites. The luxury train which travels across Russia from east to west is operated by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains.
The Trans-Siberian Express is operated between Moscow and Vladivostok on 15 day/14 night voyages. The train offers accommodation in three categories of cabins including Imperial Suites, Gold Class, and Silver Class. The suites are furnished with a King Size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table, and large power shower.
All accommodation classes feature air-conditioning, wardrobe, and audio and video entertainment. Dedicated Bar/Lounge Cars and Dining Cars with onboard cabin attendants cater to the food and beverage needs of the passengers.
Royal Scotsman - $2,126 per night
The Scottish luxury train Royal Scotsman collects an average fare of $2,126 a night per individual for its 8 days/7 nights Grand Tour of Great Britain. Operated by Orient-Express Hotels, the train carries just 36 guests.
The Royal Scotsman features five state-room cars, two dining cars, one observation car, and a crew car. The sleeping cars are divided into 14 twin cabins, and two double and four single State Cabins. All rooms are furnished with lower beds, a dressing table, a full-length wardrobe, climate control, ceiling fans, opening windows as well as a private bathroom with shower, high-quality toiletries and amenities.
The open-deck observation carriage is furnished with comfortable sofa or armchair seating for passengers to relax and enjoy the spectacular sceneries of countryside and coast.
Rovos Rail Pride of Africa, South Africa - $2,075 per night
The Cape to Cairo trip on Rovos Rail Pride of Africa costs as high as $2,075 per night for single occupancy in the Royal Suites. The train offers weekly voyages between Pretoria and Cape Town and can carry maximum of 72 guests.
The luxury train constitutes sleeper coaches, a lounge car which can accommodate 26 guests, two 42-seat dining cars, a kitchen car, smoking lounge, an observation car, a staff car, and a generator car powered by a locomotive. Accommodation is provided in three categories - Royal Suites, Deluxe Suites and Pullman Suites.
All the suites are air-conditioned and feature twin or spacious double beds, and en-suite bathrooms furnished with elegant toiletries and hot showers.
Venice Simplon Orient Express, Europe - $1,900 per night
The Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) luxury train operating across major European destinations is owned by Orient-Express Hotels. The train charges an average of $1,900 a night per person for its 6-day/5-night voyages between Paris-Istanbul and Istanbul- Venice making it one of the world's most expensive trains.
The VSOE has 17 elegantly styled first-class carriages for catering to 188 passengers onboard. Accommodation is provided in Cabin Suites and Double Cabins. Each Cabin Suite includes two interconnecting cabins which can be furnished with single beds or a lounge.
The Double Cabin is modified as lounge during day and can be converted into a bedroom during night time. The train's dedicated restaurant cars and the Bar Car offer set-menus, as well as drinks and à la carte menus at additional cost.
Eastern & Oriental Express, Asia - $1,583 per night
The Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train operating through Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos charges an average of $1,583 per night for its 7-day/6-night voyages. It is a sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
The luxury train's accommodations are categorised into Pullman Cabins, State Cabins and Presidential Cabins. The wood-panelled cabins with exquisite marquetry are furnished with beds, banquette-style sofa, en-suite shower and lavatory, and large observation windows.
The two Restaurant Cars onboard serve lunch and dinner, while breakfast, fruits, coffee, tea and juices are supplied to cabins daily. Cocktails, aperitifs and liquors are served by piano bar and a bar within the Observation Car. The train also features a saloon car and boutique.
Danube Express - $1,535 per night
The Danube Express is one of the expensive private luxury trains operating in Europe. The over-night stay in Deluxe Single En Suite of Danube Express costs as high as $1,535 per person. Also dubbed as "Hotel on Wheels, the train offers voyages for some of the most enticing destinations in the continent.
The Danube Express is made of four deluxe sleeping cars, a classic sleeping car, lounge car, a restaurant car, and staff car. The train carries 50 passengers in a variety of accommodation categories.
Each refurbished Deluxe sleeping coach incorporates five spacious air-conditioned en suite compartments featuring two comfortable lower beds, armchairs, cupboards, and a private bathroom with a shower, washbasin and water closet.
Royal Canadian Pacific - $1,442 per night
The average per person price for a single night of a Royal Canadian Pacific's six day/five night luxury rail cruise is $1,442 making it one of the world's most expensive journeys. The luxury train is operated by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
The Royal Canadian Pacific accommodates passengers in luxurious private staterooms. The train has three executive business cars and two sleeper cars offering 18 On-board Staterooms to accommodate 30 guests.
Each stateroom is furnished with three-piece private en-suite, single or double beds, Aveda amenities, bathrobes, in-room safe, and internal telephone.
Blue Train - $1,217 per night
The Blue Train collects a fare of $1,217 per day/night from a person for a luxurious two-day train journey between Pretoria and Cape Town. The expensive luxury train is operated by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).
The Blue Train offers four voyages between popular destinations - Pretoria - Cape Town, Pretoria - Victoria Falls, Port Elizabeth - Cape Town, and Pretoria - Nelspruit. The train is composed of two lounge cars, dining car, an observation car/conference car, and passenger carriages.
Accommodation is offered in two luxury coaches and nine deluxe coaches. Each suite served by a butler is incorporated with custom-designed beds, an en-suite bathroom with bathtub or shower, a telephone, television, and air condition system. The dining car serves local cuisine, while the Elegant bar offers a collection of beverages.
Indian Pacific - $1,198 per night
Indian Pacific is an expensive luxury train operated by Great Southern Rail of Australia. The average per night fare for a person embarking on 4-day/3-night Sydney - Adelaide - Perth voyage costs $1,198.
The Indian Pacific covers a distance of 4,352km between Sydney and Perth. The train offers accommodation in three classes namely Platinum Service, Gold Service, and Red Service. It accommodates 88 guests in first class and 64 in economy class berths.
The private lounge style cabins of Platinum Service are furnished with twin or double bed, a shower, vanity with ample cupboard space, mirror, toilet facilities, and an in-cabin safe. All onboard meals and beverages are served by personalised cabin steward service.
Prices accurate as of March 2013 are subject to change.