Archive for the ‘rail travel’ Category

Vacations By Rail Introduces New Train Vacations in Alaska

May 11, 2013
A train trip through Alaska's Denali National Park  © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A train trip through Alaska’s Denali National Park © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail has added five new Alaska train vacations to its product line: Alaska Rails and Trails, Alaska Wilderness Tour, Deluxe Alaska Sampler, Alaska By Daylight, and Glacier Cruise & Interior Alaska.

Vacations range from 6 to 10 days and include visits to the state’s popular cities and sights including Seward, Talkeetna, Kenai Fjords National Park, Spencer Glacier, Prince William Sound, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park. Best of all, each package includes travel aboard one or more of the Alaska Railroad’s iconic trains including the Glacier Discovery Train, Denali Star Train, and Coastal Classic Train, traveling scenic routes throughout the state.

Train vacations depart daily from May/June to August/September 2013 and start at $1,299 land-only, per person based on double occupancy.

Visit Vacations By Rail’s web site at www.vacationsbyrail.com for detailed itineraries, departure dates and pricing for new Alaska rail vacations as well as the company’s complete collection of train vacations to destinations around the globe. To book an Alaska train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245 or book online.

Vacations By Rail is a leading North American seller of rail travel and tours. Travelers can choose from a large selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world. Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 1-877-929-7245.

See also: Royal Caribbean’s ‘cruisetour’ brings passengers into heart of Alaska – Denali

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Free Timetable App Launched for European Rail Travel

February 14, 2013

 

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders.

Rail Planner App is free and offers everything pass holders need to successfully plan and execute their rail journey by providing offline timetable information for international European trains and connections. As an offline app, an internet connection is no longer necessary once it’s been downloaded, with the exception of accessing some of the special features. This ensures that travelers will always have timetable information at hand, avoiding expensive roaming costs.

Besides timetable information, Rail Planner helps travelers to find their closest train station with the inbuilt augmented reality function, and there is also a feature which specifically benefits pass holders; rail pass holders are entitled to a whole host of extra benefits, offering free and discounted boat and ferry trips, discounts in hotels, museums and more. Information about these discounts is featured on the app, as well as city maps and country facts for all participating countries.

This free and offline app is already available from the App Store or Google Play. Rail Planner has been developed by HaCon, the leading European player in planning, scheduling and information solutions; who has also provided mobile applications to the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn), the Austrian Railways (ÖBB), and the Railteam Alliance among other major railways and transportation companies.

Eurail Group is the organization dedicated to the management of the Eurail and InterRail Passes on behalf of its members; a large number of participating European railways and shipping lines. Eurail Passes are available for non-Europeans through a network of authorized sales agents, and InterRail Passes are available for European residents via the participating railways and InterRail.eu.

Visit www.eurailgroup.org for more information about Rail Planner App and the Eurail Group.

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Tickets on Sale for 3rd Annual Durango Blues Train May 31-June 1

February 1, 2013
After selling out in record time in 2012, the 3rd Annual Durango Blues Train, which is presented by the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, expands to two days in 2013.

After selling out in record time in 2012, the 3rd Annual Durango Blues Train, which is presented by the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, expands to two days in 2013.

Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual Durango Blues Train May 31st and June 1, 2013 on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR).  After selling out in record time for tickets in 2012, this exclusive musical event, which is presented by the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, expands to two days in 2013.

This ‘moving’ experience features six live Blues and Zydeco acts, while passengers travel aboard The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive through the spectacular and breathtaking canyons of Colorado’s San Juan National Forest.

“We are very excited to return for a third year and excited to extend to two-days, giving more people a chance to ride the Blues Train,” said Steve Gumble, founder of the Durango Blues Train. “Something magical happens when you combine blues with a steam fired train.”

The 2013 Blues Train lineup brings award-winning musical artists Peter Karp and Sue Foley, Lil’ Brian & The Zydeco Travelers, Lionel Young, Kirk James, Todd & The Fox, and Low Volts. Each artist performs in their own vintage coach car, as passengers are to free to dance, move and sample all the musical acts while traveling from one vintage rail car to next. Entertainment and favorite libations are peppered with the scenery of the famous train featured in the Hollywood production, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” among others.

The Blues train experience begins at the historic train depot where the steam engine fires up and it’s all aboard for an experience of a lifetime. Passengers aboard will experience spectacular and breathtaking canyon views of Colorado’s San Juan National Forest as the train winds onto the “Highline,” a world famous section of railroad crawling along cliffs high above the Animas River, for an unforgettable musical journey.

Guests can enjoy live Blues and Zydeco with a beer and wine cash bar, and light snacks while riding the rails. Tickets are $95 per person, plus a 6% Historic Train Preservation fee. Tickets are extremely limited and purchasers must be 21 years old to participate.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit durangobluestrain.com or call toll free at 877-872-4607.

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Vacations By Rail Adds New Independent and Escorted Train Tours Across North America for 2013

January 31, 2013

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail kicks is adding 29 new rail tours across North America to its collection of train vacations for 2013. New tours range from 3 to 21 days and visit popular destinations and take in must-experience annual events.

The fiery reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows of New England’s fall foliage are the backdrop of the new 8-day Autumn in New England escorted tour, taking travelers through the region’s autumn scenery to quintessential New England sights and attractions like the Farnsworth Museum of Art, L.L. Bean, Franconia Notch State Park, Mystic Seaport, and the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. Highlights include scenic rail excursions aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, and Cape Cod Central Railroad.

Discover America’s musical heritage on the 7-day Sights & Sounds rail vacation featuring two nights each in Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans, the cities that played important roles in the jazz, blues and rock ‘n roll scenes and America’s cultural development.

Experience the flavor of the southwest on the 10-day Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta escorted train tour. Traveling roundtrip from Chicago, travel to Colorado aboard the legendary California Zephyr for visits to Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and an excursion aboard the iconic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. Continuing into New Mexico, visit Taos; Santa Fe, the cultural and artistic capital of the southwest; and, Albuquerque for a visit to one of the nation’s best-loved events—the annual International Balloon Fiesta—before returning to Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief.

Visit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Mt. Rushmore on the re-mastered America’s Parks and Monuments with Mt. Rushmore 11-day escorted tour. Highlights include one-way travel from Chicago aboard the California Zephyr; visits to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Badlands National Parks as well as Little Bighorn Battlefield, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial; and a scenic rail excursion aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad.

Other new programs feature locally-hosted and escorted US vacations along the west coast, tours to national parks, and exciting rail-cruise vacations.

New and noteworthy in Canada is the addition of the new Churchill Town and Tundra Experience, a 7-day adventure roundtrip from Winnipeg to Churchill. Combine days on the tundra in a Tundra Buggy viewing polar bears in their natural environment with classically Canadian activities in and around town.

Further west, connect the Canadian Rockies and Seattle with new Coastal Passage packages. Select from two: Western Explorer & Coastal Passage and Canadian Rockies & Coastal Passage. Both include travel aboard Rocky Mountaineer trains in GoldLeaf service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies.

All of Vacations By Rail’s new train tours include outstanding rail experiences, hotel accommodations, select meals and comprehensive sightseeing. Detailed itineraries for new tours as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.

To book a Vacations By Rail train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

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Vacations By Rail Introduces New Independent Itineraries in Europe

February 7, 2012

Vacations By Rail is adding five new independent rail vacations, including Vienna-Salzburg-Munich. Here, a train at the Munich terminal © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail’s European product line grows this year with the addition of five new independent rail vacations to some of Europe’s most popular cities. New packages include the following city combinations: Berlin-Prague-Vienna, Paris-French Riviera, Prague-Vienna-Budapest, Rome-Florence-Venice, and Vienna-Salzburg-Munich.

Each European rail package includes centrally-located hotels with daily breakfast, city orientation tours, and first-class rail travel and seat reservations connecting each city.

“These packages are a great fit for any vacationer, whether they’re a first-time visitor to Europe or a seasoned traveler,” said Todd Powell, president of Vacations By Rail. “Our well-planned itineraries provide a great overview of some of Europe’s most impressive cities with ample time at leisure, and travelers can tailor any of our independent European rail vacations to better meet their needs.”

New European rail vacations start at $1,215 land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Detailed itineraries for these new packages as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com. Custom European rail vacations are also available upon request.

To book a Vacations By Rail European train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

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Travel Like Royalty through India aboard the Opulent Maharajas’ Express with Vacations By Rail

July 22, 2011

Vacations By Rail is intorducing three rail journeys aboard India’s newest luxury train, the Maharajas’ Express, to its global product line. New itineraries take travelers along two popular routes—New Delhi to Mumbai (and reverse) and a circle journey of northeastern India beginning and ending in New Delhi.

The 8-day Princely India and Royal India itineraries showcase India’s colorful culture—and include an opportunity to meet royalty. Highlights of these two rail journeys include visits to the country’s most popular areas from Vadodar and Udaipur to the royal state of Rajasthan and its popular cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur as well as a visit to the acclaimed Ranthambore National Park to catch a glimpse of the elusive tigers. The 7-day Classical India tour highlights India’s rich history with visits to the royal city of Gwalior, Varanasi and the sacred River Ganges, the temples of Khajuraho, and the imperial splendor of Lucknow. All itineraries include a visit to Agra and the renowned Taj Mahal.

“All of our Maharajas’ Express itineraries offer a unique way to see a great deal of India in a short period of time without feeling rushed,” said Todd Powell, president of specialty travel company Vacations By Rail. “The train is a veritable rolling hotel on wheels caring for a traveler’s every need.”

Built in 2010, the Maharajas’ Express is India’s newest luxury train featuring 23 well-appointed carriages including two dining rooms serving Indian and continental cuisines, a lounge car and bar car. The train travels approximately 2,000 kilometers through the duration of each trip. Each rail journey includes accommodations aboard the train in deluxe cabins with en suite bathrooms, all meals, house wine, beer, spirits and soft beverages and all off-train excursions.

Luxury rail journeys aboard the Maharajas’ Express start at $6,265 land-only per person based on double occupancy. Departures are available October 2011 through April 2012.

To book your luxury rail journey aboard the Maharajas’ Express, contact a Vacations By Rail travel specialist at 877-929-7245.

For detailed itineraries and additional information about the Maharajas’ Express or any of Vacations By Rail’s luxury rail vacations, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com.

About Vacations by Rail:
Vacations By Rail is a leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and around the world. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world. Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

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www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

KIDS RIDE FREE AS PART OF AMTRAK 40TH ANNIVERSARY

April 27, 2011

Amtrak's passenger trains offer a unique travel experience; to celebrate its 40th anniveresary, Amtrak is letting kids ride for free, from May 1 - June 9 but you must book by May 6 (© 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

In celebration of Amtrak’s 40th anniversary on May 1, America’s Railroadsm is offering several ways the public can join in on the fun, including a special fare promotion, an anniversary website, and a commemorative book and documentary DVD. In addition, the initial schedule of the Exhibit Train is posted online so that those interested can plan a visit to experience this unique travelling display showcasing the railroad’s history.

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Kids Ride Free Fare Promotion

As part of the Amtrak 40th anniversary celebration, children, ages 2 to 15, can ride free of charge for 40 days between May 1 and June 9, when traveling on the same itinerary with an adult who purchased a regular adult rail fare.

Families must make reservations in advance between now and May 6, and a minimum of three (3) days prior to travel in order to take advantage of the Kids Ride Free promotion. This offer is valid for sleeping car accommodations upon payment of a full accommodation charge.

To make reservations, visit Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL and use the discount code H859. The discount is not valid in conjunction with any other offers. Some blackout dates and seat restrictions may apply. This offer is valid on all Amtrak service except: Acela Express, Downeaster, Capitol Corridor, and Thruway bus series 7000-8999.

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train and Initial Schedule

The Amtrak Exhibit Train will be touring the country after making its debut at the National Train Day event in Washington, D.C., on May 7. The free exhibit showcases Amtrak

history over the decades, displaying memorabilia like vintage advertising, past menus and

dinnerware, and period uniforms. Most locations also will feature train-themed kids’ activities at Chuggington Kids Depot. In addition, commemorative 40th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase onboard the train.

The initial three-month schedule of the Exhibit Train for May through July is as follows. Information about each stop can be found on the official website at Amtrak40th.com where upcoming locations and dates also will be posted.

May 7 Washington Union Station*

May 14 – 15 Lorton Auto Train Terminal

May 21 – 22 Baltimore Penn Station

May 28 – 29 Philadelphia 30th Street Station

June 4 – 5 Perryville MARC Station

June 11 – 12 Harrisburg Amtrak Station

June 18 – 19 Strasburg Rail Road*

June 25 – 26 Strasburg Rail Road*

July 9 – 10 Springfield Amtrak Station

July 16 – 17 New Haven Union Station

July 23 – 24 New London Union Station

July 30 – 31 Providence Amtrak Station

*Chuggington Depot is not available at Washington Union Station or Strasburg Rail Road events.

Official Amtrak 40th Anniversary Website and Merchandise

The official website at Amtrak40th.com provides details of the anniversary celebration and tells the Amtrak story by allowing users to explore 40 years of historic photographs and other materials in an extensive and dynamic archive. The site also hosts a blog, provides a link to an online store where a variety of 40th anniversary merchandise can be purchased, and allows individuals to sign up to receive an email alert when the Exhibit Train is coming near their town.

Official Amtrak 40th Anniversary Book and DVD

The 144-page commemorative book, Amtrak: An American Story, chronicles the history of the railroad with archival photographs, a historical timeline and personal narratives for each decade. Chapter introductions are written by former company leaders and the book contains an employee-generated photo essay of 24-hours in the life of the railroad.

The documentary DVD, Amtrak: The First 40 Years, provides an exclusive look inside America’s Railroadsm with hard-to-find photographs and video footage as well as interviews with past and present leaders who have shaped the railroad’s history. A preview of the DVD can be seen here. Both items will be available for purchase online and onboard the Exhibit Train.

 

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Cachet and United States Postal Service Postmark

To mark the 40th anniversary of Amtrak, a commemorative cachet (envelope) was produced featuring an Amtrak train and a silk appliqué of the Amtrak 40th logo. In addition, the envelope bears a special pictorial postmark authorized by the United States Postal Service. This pictorial postmark was created just for this historic event and can be a treasured collectible for years to come.

 

Amtrak Locomotives with Historic Paint Schemes

The first sign of the Amtrak 40th anniversary celebration occurred when the first of four P-42 diesel-electric locomotives with one of four historic Amtrak paint schemes entered regular revenue service in January. The four locomotives represent each of the paint schemes that were introduced in 1973, 1975, 1979 and 1993.

Each of the historically painted locomotives is now in operation helping to move passengers across the Amtrak national network. Photos of these locomotives are available on the Photos tab on the Amtrak Facebook page at facebook.com/Amtrak.

Celebrating 40 years of dedicated service as America’s Railroadsm, Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator. A record 28.7 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2010 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates trains in partnership with 15 states and four commuter rail agencies. Amtrak also is a strong financial performer achieving an 85 percent cost-recovery ratio in FY 2010. Enjoy the journeysm at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us at twitter.com/Amtrak.

See our story: Amtrak’s AutoTrain is unique way to travel to Florida – old-style of travel gains new appreciation

Eco-Friendly Rail Vacations For Earth Day–And Every Other Day

April 20, 2011

Traveling by rail isn't just good for the environment and the wallet, it also is a unique adventure, giving a special perspective of scenery. Here, Alaska's train, from Denali National Park to Talkeetna © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Go “green” and save with vacations that are kind to the environment and the pocket book

Chicago, Illinois – April 18, 2011 –

With Earth Day around the corner, the environment—and our role in protecting it—is top of mind as we’re reminded of our social responsibility be it in every day activities or in coordinating the annual family vacation. Travelers interested in planning an eco-friendly getaway need not look further than a train package from Vacations By Rail. The Chicago-based travel company specializes in train vacations to popular destinations throughout the world that decrease one’s carbon footprint and the impact of travel on the environment while offering a unique vacation experience.

Within the United States, Vacations By Rail incorporates travel aboard some of Amtrak’s most iconic trains including the legendary California Zephyr, historic Empire Builder, and stunning Coast Starlight. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, domestic travel by train is 20% more efficient than air travel and 28% more efficient than travel by car on a per-passenger-mile basis.

Similarly, train travel within Canada has been made even more environmentally-friendly with the use of greener locomotives along VIA Rail’s transcontinental rail routes as well as eco-friendly maintenance practices among other green innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Train travel is also more energy efficient, using less fuel per passenger mile than cars or airplanes. With the price of gasoline expected to reach unprecedented rates per gallon this summer, it is also an affordable mode of transportation for upcoming vacations. Handing over driving and navigation duties to the railroad, travelers can experience parts of the country accessible by no other means of transportation when riding the rails, enjoying a unique perspective of nature and its unspoiled beauty.

Go green with Vacations By Rail. Select from hundreds of vacations that include historic rail routes, eco-friendly trains, breathtaking scenery, unique sightseeing, and National Parks. Visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or speak with a rail specialist at 877-929-7245.

About Vacations by Rail:
Vacations By Rail is the leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and the trusted authority on rail vacations. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world.  Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

Vacations By Rail Offers Upgrade to New Silverleaf Service on Select Rocky Mountaineer Rail Trips

April 1, 2011

Vacations By Rail is one of the providers of new Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf rail service, available on select routes and vacation dates in 2011. To entice travelers to experience this new class of service, Vacations By Rail is offering customers a $50 per person savings when upgrading from RedLeaf to SilverLeaf service from April 1-30, 2011.

Travelers in the SilverLeaf class of service enjoy panoramic views of Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies through oversized windows in a single-level dome coach, choice of entrees served at their seat, complimentary beverages including a morning toast and wine and beer at lunch, service and commentary from onboard attendants, and GoldLeaf-equivalent accommodations in Kamloops with luggage service.

SilverLeaf service is available on select departure dates through October 2011 on all First Passage to the West rail vacations between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta as well as two-day rail journeys along the same route.

To book a Rocky Mountaineer rail vacation and save $50 when upgrading to SilverLeaf service, contact a Vacations By Rail travel specialist at 877-929-7245. For more information about Vacations By Rail’s train vacations aboard the all-daylight Rocky Mountaineer train, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com.

Vacations By Rail is a leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and an authority on rail vacations. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world.  Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

See our story on riding Amtrak’s Autotrain, the world’s largest passenger train and the only one where passengers and vehicles ride the same train, AMTRAK’S AUTOTRAIN IS UNIQUE WAY TO TRAVEL TO FLORIDA

BRITRAIL PASSES ARE 20% OFF FOR LOW SEASON TRAVEL

October 15, 2010

BritRail’s Low Season Passes offer 20% off retail prices and unlimited travel on the national rail network throughout Great Britain – England, Scotland and Wales – for travel during low season, when savvy travelers can also take advantage of low rates on lodgings and no crowds at major sites.

Low Season fares start at approximately $43 USD per day (based on a Low Season 3 Day BritRail England Consecutive Pass in standard class at 2010 prices) and are valid for travel between November 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011.  Take advantage of this great discount by purchasing a BritRail Flexi or Consecutive Pass or BritRail England Flexi or Consecutive Pass anytime before February 15, 2011.

Passengers appreciate the flexibility that only a BritRail Pass can provide, by hopping on and off the trains and enjoying a number of unforgettable scenic routes that roll by outside the window. What is more, BritRail is the most economical and convenient way for independent travelers to explore Britain, thanks to its fast and frequent service and environmentally friendly advantages. (To browse the full range of rail passes and tickets offered by ACP Rail visit http://www.ACPRail.com.)

Traveling during the low season has other benefits, as well, from big savings on flights and hotel accommodations, to fewer crowds at top tourist attractions.  Loads of cultural and historic highlights of Great Britain are along the route: be sure to visit Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, the Roman Baths, Leeds Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral and countless other museums, castles, gardens, and more.

The Great British Heritage Pass is the perfect BritRail Pass companion, offering entry to these sights, plus nearly 600 other UK heritage properties – just another way to realize great savings during the low season!

Interested in reading other exciting travel stories? Visit http://www.acprail.com/blog to browse what’s new in Great Britain and other top rail destinations.

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