'Dress smartly,' passengers told as world's poshest train set to steam into Doncaster

The owner of one of the world’s most luxurious trains – nicknamed “The Posh Pullman” – is appealing for champagne-sipping passengers to look smart when it visits Doncaster next week.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:05 pm

The Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express, was described by actor Bill Nighy last year as “the Grand Duchess of luxury travel”.

And tickets for a slap-up day out with brunch and then a five-course dinner on the 1930s Pullman-style train Express group can cost more than £400 each.

But Huddersfield businessman David Pitts, who bought the Belle several years ago, fears that sartorial standards have slipped since the Covid pandemic.

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The Northen Belle is steaming into Doncaster.

He said: “Travelling on our train has always been regarded as a ‘special occasion’ that people dressed up for. It was all part of the ambience.

“We do encourage gentlemen to wear a suit and tie, or at least a smart jacket, while the ladies invariably make a great effort.

“It’s not snobbery. It just harks back to the golden days of the railways when passengers would pay a premium to be pampered in a luxurious Pullman carriage.

“Nobody has ever turned up in jeans and a T-shirt but I do feel that dress standards have slipped a little since the pandemic.

“So I am hoping that passengers will set new heights of elegance next week.”

The Belle will call at Sheffield and Doncaster on Saturday April 30 to take passengers to Welsh seaside resort Llandudno and Conwy Castle.

Then the train will be back in Doncaster in July for a visit to spectacular Cardiff Castle.

This trip featured on Channel 5’s “The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys” programme last year.

As the train thundered through the Welsh countryside, Bill Nighy told viewers: “This is a railway experience that harks back to the halcyon days of travel.”

He said the passengers had been “lapping up all that this luxury train has to offer”.

There will also be a trip to Winchester in July, followed by a steam-hauled journey over the spectacular Settle-Carlisle line in August.

For further details about the Northern Belle, phone 01270 899681 or see www.northernbelle.co.uk.