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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Stobart’s luxury train

CUMBRIA’S answer to the Orient Express was launched this week.

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On the right lines: Left to right: managing director of DRS Neil McNicholas, Stobart Group’s rail director Guy Myddelton, DRS operations director Jeff Marshall, commercial director of DRS Chris Connelly, and Tony Brush the fleet director at DRS

The Stobart Pullman service – run by Cumbrian haulage giant Eddie Stobart and Carlisle-based Direct Rail Services (DRS) – took 200 guests on a non-stop ‘Wessex Circular’ route – from London Euston, via Basingstoke, Andover and Fareham – on Tuesday.

Tours are scheduled throughout 2008, and have so far included the Valentine’s Day ‘Chocolate Paradise’ tour from London’s Finsbury Park to Cadbury's World at Bourneville in Birmingham.

A trip to Chatsworth House from London Kings Cross is planned for Saturday May 10 and Royal Ascot’s Ladies Day on Thursday June 19 from London Victoria.

The tours will include silver service fine dining, and a selection of wines, spirits and beers from the on-board bar.

It is thought it could be a pre-cursor to Stobart bidding for a franchise to run a passenger rail franchise.

Guy Myddelton, rail director of Stobart Group, said: “This is an exciting time for us. Stobart is one of the most recognised brands in the UK and we are delighted to be extending the brand’s reputation for quality and customer service to the UK railway network.

“We aim to provide luxury journeys by rail throughout the UK to cities, castles, country houses and major sporting and cultural events, offering our passengers a unique and memorable experience.”

DRS already operates Stobart’s hugely successful Tesco freight train service.

Chris Connelly, commercial director of the Etterby-based firm, said: “DRS is pleased with the success of the working partnership with the Stobart Group on the rail traffic for Tesco and now we are working on another exciting new passenger venture which will yet again showcase the successful formula.”

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