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What the Big Rail Travel Companies Have in Store for You in 2021

After a year of little or no rail travel, Europe’s big rail travel companies are determined to make your rail holiday one to remember in 2021. From first-class trips in the UK on vintage locomotives, handy European mobile rail passes and a free door-to-door luggage service, here’s what they’re planning…

Railbookers – first-class trips to the Scottish Highlands

‘During the pandemic we have launched a wealth of new itineraries and holidays for 2021 including many to the Scottish Highlands,’ says Anna Davies, Sales and Marketing Manager at Railbookers. Our customers have told us that they enjoy travelled by rail around the UK so we will continue to offer trips nearer home.’

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Planet Rail – taking you to Sicily by rail

‘We’ll be putting an even greater focus on customer service and personalising holidays with authentic, local experiences,’ says Guy Saunders, Managing Director of Planet Rail. ‘We’ve got a new range of holidays to celebrate the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, combining the luxury vintage train with additional destinations. We’ll also be taking customers a little further by train, such as Sicily by Rail.’  

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GRJ – smaller group trips and a free door-to-door luggage service

‘In 2021, we will be introducing a premium small group offering, ensuring 25 people maximum on each UK and European tour,’ says Julian Appleyard, Commercial Director at Great Rail Journeys. ‘Each tour will also be accompanied by one of our highly experienced tour managers so that guests can completely relax and enjoy their holiday. Another new offering for travellers, is a free door-to-door luggage service, removing the need for customers to carry their own bags – this will help to create a stress-free holiday from start to finish.

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Eurail – a new handy mobile pass for 2021

‘In 2020 we launched the mobile Eurail and Interrail Passes. The mobile solution is available via Eurail’s Rail Planner app and allows for even more flexibility as compared to our paper passes,’ says Nienke Geudeker, Communications Manager at Eurail. ‘All our global passes and the majority of our one country passes are now available as a mobile pass. The last one country passes will follow in 2021. The mobile passes are currently only available via our webshops Eurail.com and Interrail.eu but will be available from our partners, including Rail Europe and Trainline, from 2021.’

Northern Belle – fun trips on Britain’s famous locomotives

 ‘We are looking at running more steam-hauled trains in 2021,’ reveals David Pitts, owner of Northern Belle. ‘Our trips over the last couple of years with famous heritage locomotives like Flying Scotsman and Princess Elizabeth proved incredibly popular. We are also hoping to do more sporting events like Glorious Goodwood and Royal Ascot. What better way to arrive at such places than in style aboard the Northern Belle?’

Ffestiniog Travel – a bigger focus on family-friendly rail holidays

‘Our customers have always loved travelling by rail with their families so in 2021 we will be introducing a new range of “family friendly” rail holidays, says Maria Scott, General Manager at Ffestiniog Travel.

Tailor Made Rail – more flight-free train holidays

‘In 2021 we’ll be focusing on more flight-free holidays,’ says Simon Hodge, Managing Director at Tailor Made Rail. ‘We’ve listened to our customers and removed all unnecessary flights from the holiday suggestions on our site.’