On these delightfully nostalgic steam train dining experiences you will be welcomed aboard the dining car of a beautifully restored steam train, where you can relax, enjoy the scenery and a rather special meal. Steam train day trips where a delicious onboard luncheon or dinner is served at your table are perfect for families and friends alike. We’ve got steam train dining packages to suit all budgets, from Sunday lunch on a heritage railway, to a full day out on the Belmond British Pullman, the sister train to the Venice-Simpson Orient-Express. Read moreabout our collection of steam train dining voyages...
• A 3 course steam train lunch for two to enjoy • Watch the world pass on a scenic 22 mile route • Free travel on the railway for the remainder of the day • Full waitress service and luxury dining coaches
• Enjoy all day travel at a heritage steam railway • Afternoon Tea including English Tea and sandwiches • Home made fruit scones with clotted cream and jam • A selection of miniature mouth watering cakes
There’s no denying it; steam train dining is one of our most popular days out. Age seems to be irrelevant, as everyone from grandparents to little kids love a stream train. With views and great food too, you certainly don’t have to fall into the train spotter category of passenger to appreciate these steam-hauled trips.
Who it’s not for:
We’re not sure who actually wouldn’t appreciate a trip on a lovely steam train to eat a nice meal! It’s worth noting though, that some heritage railways don’t accept children under the age of five in their dining cars and access for wheelchair users can be difficult on some train lines too. See our FAQs below for more information on whether dining out on a steam train is for you.
The rules vary amongst steam train operators, but in general, dogs (assistance dogs excepted) are not allowed in the dining cars of trains. They are, however, often allowed in the standard class carriages for normal train journeys, so you can still enjoy a day out with the steam trains in many cases, just not a specific steam train lunch or dinner trip.
Are dining carriages wheelchair accessible?
Access for wheelchair users very much depends on the heritage railway’s facilities and capacity. Some do have lifts and ramps to facilitate access, but others (due to the age of the rolling stock and their design) require passengers to climb steps to get on the train. Once onboard in the special dining carriages, there may not be seating provisions for wheelchairs. If you’re in any doubt, please contact our customer service team directly before booking on 01959 578100.
Can toddlers and babies come along?
Access with pushchairs and buggies can be tricky at some stations. For steam train dining car experiences, some train operators have a minimum age of five years old, as it’s not possible to install high chairs in the carriages. See each individual page for full details on minimum ages.
What’s the dress code for these steam train dining experiences?
Smart casual is the order of the day on evening dinner trains, with a more relaxed feel for lunches, but most people like to get dressed up as it’s often a meal for a special occasion. If you’re booked onto the Belmond Pullman services the dress code is smart, as it really is the ‘creme de la creme’ of steam train dining!
Are vegetarians and passengers with other dietary requirements catered for?
Yes. Many train operators have veggie dishes as standard on their menus and it’s recommended to contact the railway directly to advise them of any other dietary requirements. Depending on the service offered, all passengers may be asked to make their menu choices in advance.
Is alcohol served on board the steam trains?
Yes. A bar service offering beers, spirits and wines to accompany your meal is all part of the wonderful standard of onboard service harking back to bygone age of rail travel! Some of the packages even include welcome cocktails and many offer wine as part of the meal. Of course, there are non-alcoholic drinks and hot drinks served onboard too.
Will we have to share a table in the dining cars?
Most dining cars are ‘Pullman’ style, with a 2 x 1 formation. That’s to say, tables of four and tables of two. So if you book for two, you will be allocated a table for two, but on some occasions you may be required to share a table for four. Bookings for four mean you will all be sitting around the same table. Parties of five and more will be seated over two or more tables in the same part of the carriage.
Do I have to catch a particular train?
Dining trains run at specific times on the timetable, with the rake of coaches usually made up of the first class Pullman dining carriages, the restaurant car and other carriages for standard class passengers too. So yes, you will be booked onto a specific train and your seat will be reserved for you.
How long does the train journey take?
That all depends on how long the railway line is! All voyages are round trips and the pace is very much leisurely, giving you time to enjoy a meal made up of several courses before you disembark at your original departure point. See each page for the details of the journey, what you can see during your voyage and what sort of locomotives will be pulling your Pullman coaches.
Can I get off at any point of the journey?
In general, on dining experiences you’ll be too busy enjoying your sit-down meal to get off at any intermediate stations you may pass through on your journey. At the end of the outward voyage, there’s usually time to get out and stretch your legs before the return journey departs, as the loco has to ‘run around’ to the other end of the train to take you back. It’s also really fun to watch this bit!
Please note itineraries on Belmond British Pullman trips are different, as they run on mainline tracks from mainline stations. Trips often include entrance to a tourist attraction before your return journey, for a full day out with breakfast and dinner included onboard.
Can I stay around after the dining trip?
Yes! You are welcome to arrive earlier to explore the station and watch the trains and stay afterwards too. Some even offer ‘rover’ day tickets in with your package, so you can travel on other services during the day of your steam train dining experience. This may not be applicable on evening dining trains. Belmond British Pullman experiences are usually full day trips and don’t operate in the same way
Where can I go on a steam train dining experience?
There are literally hundreds of heritage railways around the UK and we’ve selected those with the most scenic routes and the tastiest food for these steam train dining experiences, including: