Commuters enjoy a surprise vintage train journey


Something for the weekend: Common sights when travelling into work usually include sardine-packed train carriages, with rushed and flustered commuters generally sporting disgruntled expressions. However, this morning (Thursday 17 November 2016), luxury travel organisation Belmond decided to surprise harried employees by taking them to work on the antique day train, the Belmond British Pullman.

Picking up around 180 commuters from Ashford International train station in Kent at 7.35am, the vintage train arrived in London Victoria just after 9am, taking in scenic views of Charing, Maidstone East, Otford and Swanley along the way.

Boosting employee wellbeing with a more relaxed journey, lucky commuters were welcomed aboard by liveried stewards, and were settled comfortably in armchairs next to linen-covered tables laid with silverware and crystal. Commuters were served a Bellini three-course breakfast during the journey while being serenaded by singers the Spitfire Sisters.

Gary Franklin, managing director, trains and cruises at Belmond, said: “We felt commuters have had a rough ride recently, so we wanted to sprinkle some magic on the rails and do something that reminded people just how wonderful train travel can be.

“We are fortunate to own such a special train as Belmond British Pullman and it was lovely to be able to spread some goodwill in the lead up to Christmas and watch the reaction of people as they entered into the spirit of things. Passengers seemed to love the experience, and so you never know, this may be the start of a tradition for Belmond!”

Here at Employee Benefits, we would gladly swap the frustration-laden Central line for the Belmond British Pullman, and a Bellini breakfast would certainly set us up for a productive working day!