One of world's most luxurious trains still heading to Scarborough, despite rail strikes

The owner of one of the world’s most luxurious trains has praised Network Rail bosses for rescuing a slap-up champagne trip to Scarborough in the middle of next week’s rail strike.

By News Reporter
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:27 pm
Luxury carriage on the Northern Belle.
Luxury carriage on the Northern Belle.

David Pitts, who bought the heritage Northern Belle from the iconic Orient Express group, said: “We and more than 200 passengers owe them a massive thank you.

"They have worked miracles!”

Industrial action taking place on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25 threatened to make it impossible for the Belle and its crew to reach the Coventry starting point by 8.15am on Friday June 24.

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Northern Belle.

Then the 1930s-style Pullman train – once described by actor Bill Nighy as “the Grand Duchess of luxury travel” – faced being stranded in the Midlands at night, unable to get back to its base at Carnforth, Lancs, before Saturday’s strike started.

Mr Pitts, who lives near Huddersfield, said: “I don’t want to get involved in the politics, but a rail strike is the last thing we need after all the disruption caused by Covid over the past couple of years.

“We were forced to cancel scores of trains during lockdown and now people are keen to start enjoying themselves again this summer.

“So we are very grateful than Network Rail have found a way of routing the train so we can make next week’s trip happen.”

Passengers will pay up to £370 to travel on the Northern Belle.

But the fare includes a champagne reception, brunch on the outward journey and a three-course dinner with wine on the way home.

Northern Trains, which operates out of Bridlington, Scarborough and Whitby stations, is asking customers not to travel on its services between June 21 and June 26 due to the industrial action by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.