Fans of train travel will be delighted to know that the UK now has two new regular steam train journeys. They’re called the Sunset Steam Express and the Royal Windsor Express. They feature a B1 class steam locomotive called the Mayflower, which pulls various classes of vintage carriages behind it.
Travelers will be able to step aboard Steam Express’ Royal Windsor train at London Victoria on Tuesdays during the summer and enjoy the train ride as they make their way to the historic town of Windsor, famous for the castle, riverside and Royal weddings. Passengers can either enjoy a Champagne Brunch on board or bring along their own picnic.
Some of the famous landmarks seen along the way include Chelsea Bridge, The Royal Hospital and Battersea Power Station. As the train heads towards the leafy suburbs, crossing the Thames at least once, reservoirs and lakes before reaching Windsor & Eton Riverside Station, designed by William Tite for the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) as a royal station.
The Sunset Steam Express offers travelers an evening tour through the Surrey Hills, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Travelers may opt for a sumptuous three course meal on board, or they could bring along their own snacks to enjoy while admiring the stunning views of the rolling Surrey Hills, bathed in the golden glow of evening sunshine.
The train departs from London Victoria on Tuesday evenings between 10th May and 23rd August 2022. It first heads south, through the suburbs of London, past Guildford, followed by a steep climb through the Surrey Hills, before descending through the Vale of Holmesdale, at the foot of the North Downs. It then passes through the market towns of Dorking and Reigate before heading back to the capital.
Born out of a passion for steam trains, Steam Dreams is the brainchild of steam train enthusiast Marcus Robertson, whose mother wrote The Wombles. His ambition to evoke the era of luxury steam travel was realized on Thursday, 16th December 1999, when over 150 passengers boarded a train at Waterloo station for a day out to Salisbury. Since its inception in that year, Steam Dreams Rail Co has gone from strength to strength and now welcomes over 20,000 passengers on board each year on over 50 trips and stops at 60 stations across the UK.
In December 2018, The Steam Dreams Rail Co. was acquired by locomotive owner David Buck. With a passion for steam travel and as the owner of one of the UK’s most recognizable locomotives, David bought a new energy to the business along with exciting plans including regular summer itineraries. These new summer steam train itineraries, under their ‘Steam Express’ brand, were launched in 2019 with one-way trips to Windsor and evening dining trains from London.
In addition to the popular day trips, Steam Dreams also offers a number of UK Holidays by steam including journeys to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and short breaks to Edinburgh, Wales, The Lake District and Cornwall. In the past they have also offered holidays to Europe to Ireland and Mainland Europe. In 2024, the company is also planning on embarking on the most adventurous steam hauled trip of modern times with a journey by steam across the North and South Islands of New Zealand.