“Reads like an extravagant time travel through Britain’s opulence era where train travel was just as stylish and fanciful as the elite class themselves.” —Manhattan with a Twist
Martyn Pring has carried out considerable research tracing the evolution of British luxury train travel weaving railway, social and travel history threads around a number of Britain’s mainline routes traditionally associated with glamorous trains. Drawing on contemporary coverage, he chronicles the luxury products and services shaped by railway companies and hospitality businesses for Britain’s burgeoning upper and middle classes and wealthy overseas visitors, particularly Americans, who demanded more civilized and comfortable rail travel.
By Edwardian times, a pleasure-palace industry emerged as entrepreneurs, hotel proprietors, local authorities and railway companies all collaborated developing upscale destinations, building civic amenities, creating sightseeing and leisure pursuits and in place-making initiatives to attract prosperous patrons. Luxury named trains delivered sophisticated and fashionable settings encouraging a golden age of civilized business and leisure travel. Harkening back to the inter-war years, modern luxury train operators now redefine and capture the allure and excitement of dining and train travel experiences.
“Martyn’s extraordinarily beautiful book is more than a collection of classic railway posters—it describes a way of life that’s now lost in the mists of the twentieth century … As a piece of social history, this book is faultless, and a precious reminder of luxury and class distinction . . . [a] fabulous book. Exceptional.” —Books Monthly
“A comprehensive account of luxury ‘hotel trains,’ dining trains and the presentations of heritage railways brings the story to its unexpected conclusion . . . this is a lively take on a neglected topic.” —BackTrack