A new luxury train that runs from Hungary’s capital of Budapest to Iran’s capital of Tehran made its first trip on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The first branch of the route, connecting Budapest to Istanbul, follows the path of the world famous Orient Express, the early-20th century trip that used to carry Europe’s aristocracy to Turkey.
The new luxury train cars ride on existing railways, leaving from Budapest, heading east toward Turkish Kurdistan and dumping passengers in Iran. A ticket for the two-week trip costs more than $US14,000, according to Reuters.
The route is operated by the private travel agency Golden Eagle, a British company that offers trips on luxury trains across Europe, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. The first train left on Oct. 15, the next one is scheduled for March next year.
The train left Budapest on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Everything from staffs' uniforms to the design of the cars harkens back to the beginning of the 20th century.
The basic ticket costs $14,333, but if you want extras like a private bathrooms and concierge service, the price can shoot up to $40,000, according to Reuters.
Despite the hefty price, the founder of Golden Eagle, Tim Littler, told Reuters that tickets sold out in 10 days.
The company had to set up an Australian affiliate in order to apply and obtain travel permits in five different countries, including Iran.
The trip is the vision of two English businessmen: Littler and Howard Trinder, who bought four rail cars from a Hungarian postal service, Reuters said. Refurbishing each car cost $1 million.
The dining car is furnished with intimate two-seats tables. Outstanding scenery from the windows is a plus.
The piano bar is where passengers can enjoy the vintage atmosphere over a drink while listening to music.
For an authentic experience, the train is still powered by a coal engine. It doesn't move very fast.
Luxury train travel normally costs between $1,000 and $2,000 a day according to Reuters, meaning the Golden Eagle train is actually sold at an average price. Any interest?
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