Luxury train rides on Northern Belle from Durham and Darlington

ONE of the world’s most luxurious trains will be come to the North-East in May – but it will be half empty.

Covid-19 social distancing rules mean Northern Belle can carry about 200 passengers on champagne trips instead of the usual 400.

The 1930s-style Pullman train – described by actor Bill Nighy as “the Grand Duchess of Luxury Trains” – has a strict dress code so T-shirts, jeans and trainers are banned.

The Northern Echo:

A spokesman said: “Our passengers do like to dress up for the occasion. It all adds to the magic of a special day.

“We know people are desperate to get away after the Covid lockdown.

“But we take the safety of our guests and staff very seriously which is why we have decided to run the train with a greatly-reduced number of passengers.”

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express group, featured on Channel 5’s World’s Most Scenic Railways in January.

Bill Nighy said after a steam-hauled trip over the scenic Settle-Carlisle line: “Our plush grand tour has been the experience of a lifetime.”

The Northern Echo:

On Friday, May 28 The Northern Belle will run champagne trips, with seven course lunch or afternoon tea options, starting at Newcastle at 10.45am, before picking up more passengers in Durham at 11am, Darlington at 11.30am and York at 1.15pm.

Fares start at £210 with a choice of a seven-course Spirit of Travel lunch or a relaxing afternoon tea menu.

For details and to book visit northernbelle.co.uk

The Northern Echo | Durham