22 new reasons to get excited about train travel in 2022

From a new Italian luxury train to Brad Pitt on a bullet train and the TV return of Michael Portillo, Vicky Mayer discover 22 new reasons to get excited about train travel in 2022

Travel with Belmond and Wes Anderson

Celebrated Film Director Wes Anderson has teamed up with Belmond to recreate the Cygnus carriage aboard the British Pullman. The American Director is known for his love of trains and vintage architecture, which is apparent in his quirky films including The Darjeeling Limited and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The redesigned carriage is instantly recognisable as a Wes Anderson design with symmetrical lines, unique colour palettes and art nouveau style. Even better, guests can enjoy a truly luxurious experience with two new private coupés in the carriage.

Paris to Vienna by night train

Look out for a new night train journey from Paris to Vienna in 2022. OBB has added a new Nightjet train to its existing network and now guests can travel from Paris Gare de l’Est in the early evening, arriving just after 10am in Vienna. The journey takes between 14 to 15 hours, running from Paris on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It returns from Vienna on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. One-way fares in a couchette start from €59.50 or in a sleeper from €94.90.

Michael Portillo back on TV

Watch out for a new series of Great British Railway Journeys in 2022. At the end of 2021 the show’s popular host Michael Portillo was spotted filming in Rothbury, Amble, Morpeth, Bedlington Station and Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall. He will also be taking a look at Cragside, the National Trust property created by Victorian industrialist Lord Armstrong.

Brad Pitt & Sandra Bullock ride the Bullet Train

Bullet Train, the eagerly awaited new action film starring Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, will be released in July 2022. The film follows five assassins who find themselves on a fast-moving bullet train. Bit by bit, they realise their individual assignments are connected to each other. And so begins the adventure…

Northern Belle heads to Llandudno

2021 was a tough year for luxury British train operator Northern Belle. But bookings for 2022 are promising and we love the look of a new day journey, the Llandudno & Victorian Experience. Departing from York, Doncaster and Sheffield stations, guests will get to enjoy a round-trip trip to this popular North Wales seaside town. Tickets from £325 pp included a lavish five-course lunch.

Secrets of the Underground is back

Great news for London Underground fans – Secrets of the London Underground is set to return in 2022 for a second series. The first series, presented by Tim Dunn and Siddy Holloway, launched with a record-breaking 659k audience. And the second series, which will be shown again on the Yesterday channel, promises to explore unseen areas of London’s Underground network.

Rail Heaven in the UAE

2022 looks set to be an exciting year for the UAE Rail Programme. This impressive project aims to create a new system for transporting passengers and goods across the UAE in the coming years. The rail network will link the emirates and the key cities of the country. The first phase of the Etihad Rail has been fully operational since 2016 and progress is being made fast on a new cross-country rail network.

The return of the Railway Children

It won’t be long now before we get to see the sequel to the famous Railway Children. Set for a spring launch, The Railway Children Return has been written by acclaimed children’s author Jacqueline Wilson. The film stars Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith, Tom Courtenay and John Bradley.

Fast trains heading to the US

The USA has famously been slow to run high-speed trains. But the good news is that in 2022 Amtrak will be running a new set of hgh-speed Acela trains in the Northwest Corridor. As well as faster journey times, these trains boast 25% more seats, free WiFi, USB ports and great onboard food and drink.

The Orient Express Heads for Italy

Luxury train lovers will be able to book a cabin on the new Orient Express La Dolce Vita route. The first journeys on 6 new trains will begin in 2023 with various iconic itineraries through Italy. Guests will enjoy travelling in beautifully designed trains from Northern to Southern Italy, across 14 regions.

The journeys will also take them on to 3 international destinations from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split. Look out too for the first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva in Rome. This is scheduled to open in 2024.

Enjoy the sights from Stuttgart to Vienna

If you’ve got the time, OBB‘s new Railjet service from Stuttgart to Vienna looks great. On a leisurely journey, you’ll get to see Lake Constance, Innsbruck, Bavaria and Salzburg. The journey takes 9 hours, 45 minutes so it’s worth treating yourself to a €15 upgrade to business class and enjoying a long leisurely lunch on board. Fares start from €37.90 second class; €56.90 first class; €71.90 business class.

Griff heads to Canada

Popular British TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones has a new C4 travel series airing in 2022. In his new documentary, Rhys explores the culture and traditions of Canada. As well as travelling by train, he will also use seaplane, cargo boat, dogsled and monster truck.

Go interrailing in style

Interrailing in 2022 looks set to be a glam affair. Cool hotel chain, Hoxton Hotels, is promoting its ‘Travel Pledge’. For £2,000 this gives interrailing guests the chance to stay in 10 Hoxton hotels anywhere in Europe. You’ll find hip Hoxton hotels in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Rome and more. Interrailing passes start at £139 pp.

Spain’s trains get faster

Spain’s high speed continues a pace in 2022. From January you will be able to travel by high-speed train from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela in only 3 hours 20 minutes. The new trains travel from Madrid Chamartin to Santiago de Compostela. Remembering this journey used to take seven hours a decade ago, this is a major achievement.  And even better, the fares are very reasonably priced too from €20.65 standard class, €36.60 comfort class. See more at

Amtrak goes upmarket

Great news for US citizens and those visiting the US too. In 2022 Amtrak‘s interstate trains will be more upmarket so expect fresh meals served on linen tablecloths with local wines. There will also be dedicated lounges for premium passengers at major city stations.

Sightseeing in Japan in style

Launching on 9th April 2022, new luxury sightseeing train the Kintetsu Aoniyoshi express will run between Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. The elegant 4-carriage train will have comfortable lounge seats, picture windows and a stylish restaurant and bar.

The Aoniyoshi train will have 84 seats (all of which require prior reservation) and run as a limited express from Osaka Namba Station to Kyoto via Kintetsu Nara Station. Tickets are expected to cost ¥2,000 per person and the journey will take 80 minutes. See more at

All you need to know about the Trans-Siberian

Want to know more about the world’s longest railway, the Trans-Siberian? Then head to Yorkshire’s National Railway Museum this year where you’ll discover some amazing facts about the railway that spans 5,772 miles and covers seven time zones.

As well as the history of the train, look out for exhibits including a famous Great Siberian Railway Fabergé Easter egg plus model carriages of a Trans-Siberian Express train.

Order before you board with Lumo

Passengers using the new Lumo service between London’s King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley will be able to order meals for their journey before they travel.

Using Lumo’s website to access the LumoEats option, a digital menu allows passengers to pre-order meals for their journey. You can order from brands including The Pasty Shop and Upper Crust, with more brands on their way. You can also buy drinks and food on board from the trolley service.

Prague to Brussels by overnight train

Netherlands-based train company European Sleeper will be launching a new night service in 2022. You’ll be able to leave Brussels at 7pm, stop off in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Dresden before arriving in Prague at 10am. The plan is for the trains to run every other day, moving to daily if there’s demand. Included in the fare is free wi-fi, coffee and breakfast. Tickets for summer 2022 will go on sale in April 2022.

Ski resort visits in Switzerland

Hopping between ski resorts in 2022 will be easier thanks to new service the Goldenpass Express. With new trains with impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, you can now travel easily between Montreux, Gstaad, and Interlaken. And even if you’re not a skier the promise of dramatic views of the Bernese Alps is worth the train fare alone.

Rockies to the Red Rocks

From summer 2022, you can see the vast canyons of the American Southwest from the comfort of a custom-designed glass-domed rail coach. The famous Rocky Mountaineer company is launching a new two-day Rockies to the Red Rocks route that will connect The two-day Rockies to the Red journey will connect Moab, Utah and Denver. You’ll also get to stay overnight in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  Whisper it, this could be the start of the return of the great American railroad trip.

Travel fast from Genoa to Naples

Jump on one of the new NTV Italo trains from Genoa to Naples and in 6 hours, 40 minutes you’ll be there. The new service offers traveller lots to see on the way of the 590-mile journey including Milan, Florence and Rome. Fares start from €59.90 in Smart; €66.90 in Prima; €116.90 in Club Executive.

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