Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Spirit of Chartwell - Thames riverboat, already an icon

Transport Charter supplies multi-modal passenger charter options.
Why is planning transport so often the last item on the planning agenda?  Is this why 'problems with transport' are generally top of the de-briefing agenda?

The Spirit of Chartwell is probably the most exciting riverboat launch in recent years, at a stroke raising the benchmark for London riverboats on the Thames.

Onboard similarities with luxury trains are both unavoidable and indeed sought;

"Combining the fact that on the Thames there is always something to be seen (quite unlike other rivers) and the space presented was more akin to a luxury train - the luxury train was the principal design referenced to be used throughout.
To this end and with the assistance of a French railway journalist, original 1928 Pullman Fleche d’Or and Cote d’Azure restaurant carriages (available for charter from Train Chartering) were located in a railway siding in the south of Paris and later in Normandy a treasure trove of original and iconic Pullman restaurant chairs. The ‘Spirit of Chartwell’ public spaces thus also come complete with marquetry motifs and lalique crystal panels whilst the external livery is resplendent in British Pullman colours of cream and umber, and State cabins though having a nautical feel are very much that of a top end London hotel. The vessel is designed for up to 38 passengers in over-night cruise mode and 100 guests for special occasions/events.

The central design reference for the public spaces on board ‘Spirit of Chartwell’ was the Rene Lalique 1929 Pullman railway carriage ‘Cote d’Azure’. Although some original pieces from this railway carriage can be found on board, this is supplemented by original fixtures and fittings from some of the great ocean liners as the Union Castle’s – Windsor Castle & Kenya Castle, the SS France and MS Sneafel. The vessel’s walls are adorned with original Lalique glass panels and especially commissioned marquetry.
1929 ‘Riviera’ Cote d’Azure armchairs.
Only 612 of these famous dining armchairs were ever made and only a small number still survive. Some 33 of these armchairs were sourced from derelict Wagon Lits railway carriages in Normandy, France and refurbished and reupholstered in Southampton and can now be found on board ‘Spirit of Chartwell’.

The Côte d'Azur Pullman Express was a French de luxe train which ran from 9 December 1929 until May 1939. The service was operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits and the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (known as the PLM).
Dunn and Sons have produced marquetry panels for some of the world’s most famous trains and Ocean Liners including the Titanic, Lusitania. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and carriages from the famed Wagon Lits company. On board the ‘Spirit of Chartwell’ two representations of their work can be found in lounge. 

Model Locomotives
There are two large working model locomotives in the lounge bought at auction in 1979 but thought to have been built in the 1950’s by ex- British Railway Locomotive drivers; tThe ‘Gladstone’ & the ‘Hussar’
Locomotive ‘Gladstone’.
It is one of Class D1 0-4-2 of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, of which 125 were built by its engineer William Stroudley between 1873 and 1887 for suburban passenger trains.
Locomotive ‘Hussar’
No. 6154 of the LMS (London Midland and Scottish Railway) is one of a total of 71 express passenger 4-6-0 locomotives of the Royal Scot class (Royal Scot carriages make up a train available from Train Chartering)Bradshaw’s World’s First Railway Timetable
The first Bradshaw timetable is generally accepted as that which appeared on October 19th – 1839. Bradshaw was the undoubted source and inspiration for Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty days commemorated here as the name of the lounge deck.  An original is displayed in the lounge.
In the re-construction of the vessel and the thought processes that went into it, it is clear that the ‘Spirit of Chartwell’ turns out to be not just another cruise vessel - but rather, because there’s so much to see, more akin to a Pullman Fleche d’Or experience on the water, where suitably attired stewards attentively attend guests whilst all the while the scenery is brought effortlessly to their table.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

360cities Panorama of the Dome of a Private Rail Car

Wikipedia: "The Grand Canyon Railway, is a passenger railroad which operates between Williams, Arizona, and Grand Canyon National Park South Rim."

About 250000 visitors to the Grand Canyon travel on the Grand Canyon Railway every year to the Visitor Park at  the Grand Canyon Park's South Rim.

This is a panorama of the dome of a car on this private railroad.

Private Rail Cars , part of Train Chartering, supplies dome cars across the Amtrak rail network.  Here are some photos.

Prvate Rail Cars offers tailored journeys that take in many of the US National Parks.

The Route of the Grand Canyon Railway

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Private Conference Cars on Trains in Europe

Delegate travel with private conference carriages

                                                                 Conference Car in Germany

It is possible to hire conference cars in several European countries, such as France, Germany and Switzerland.

Conference Car in Switzerland

Meetings during the journey are an efficient use of time; equally the cars can be for private dining or other hospitality.

Train Chartering

Monday, November 8, 2010

Touring Train in New Zealand

Carriage on Tourist Train in New Zealand

New Zealand has some modern trains on scenic routes that are ideal for touring.

Private Rail Cars offers private carriages on these routes:

The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth – a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers.

The TranzCoastal train journey travels between the delightful port of Picton and Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Along the way you pass though the village of Kaikoura, where, if you're touring New Zealand, you can break your journey to take in the whale watching or dare to get closer and swim with the dolphins. 

The Overlander is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city and home of the Sky Tower, to Wellington - New Zealand's arts and culture capital.
Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune, popular with young and old alike. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from our panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Silk Road by Private Train

Luxury Trans-Siberian Train Travel from Luxury Train Club






Crossing both Russia and China as well as some of the remotest former Soviet Republics - Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. This epic 21 day, 11,000 kms journey by private train travels through an ever-changing landscape and takes in some of the most magnificent, yet little visited, sights and oasis cities from the ancient world.   

 2011 Silk Road Tour Dates 

September 20 - October 10 (Moscow - Beijing)


2011 Silk Road Sector Tour Dates 

September 20 - October 2 (Moscow - Almaty)

October 2 - October 10 (Urumchi - Beijing)

Silk Road Tour Inclusions

Services of an Experienced Tour Manager

 Five-Star Hotel Accommodation in Moscow (2 nights) and Beijing (3 nights)

 On Board Private Train Accommodation (15 nights)

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Daily

Generous Allowance of Drinks with Lunch & Dinner at all times

Full Off-Train Excursion Programme

24 Hour Cabin Service

Complimentary Tea, Coffee & Bottled Water

Tour Doctor

All Gratuities



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

1/3 of a million views of our Flickr photo stream

Our Flickr photo stream is possibly the largest web resource of views of passengers rail carriages, both internal and external, as well as carriage plans.