Data from GRJ Independent has revealed a 100 per cent surge in passenger numbers for its 2018 tailor-made rail holidays, with demand greatest from people under 50, indicating a new trend. This is in contrast to the escorted group touring sister brands Great Rail Journeys and Rail Discoveries, whose niche is the 50-plus demographic.

Alex Roberts, group sales and marketing director for Great Rail Journeys Ltd, says: “we’re hugely excited about the continued surge in demand for our independent rail holidays. We’ve invested heavily in technology and people to provide the best product at the fastest turnaround. Backed by Great Rail Journeys Ltd, means we have access to the best inventory and deals available in the market.”

Operating for 40 years, Great Rail Journeys Ltd is the world’s largest rail holiday company, and specialises in trips tailored to families, young professionals and seniors.

Sample rail holidays include:

Golden Triangle of India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and the Amber Fort)

A ten-day tour including return flights from London to New Delhi, and seven nights in a hotel on B&B basis. Selected transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours with English-speaking guides are also provided, along with entrance fees to monuments and air conditioned seats on the Shatabdi Express to Agra. Prices from £1,735 per person based on twin-share.

Eastern and Oriental Express (Thailand and Singapore)

This rail holiday includes return flights from London, a four-night stay in a four-star hotel on a B&B basis, and three nights on board the Eastern and Oriental Express train in a Pullman Cabin. Highlights will be seeing Bangkok, the Grand Palace, a cruise on the River Kwai, Georgetown, Singapore and the Sri Mariamman Temple. Prices start from £3,310 per person based on twin share.

Lake Garda (Italy and Switzerland)

This eight-day trip includes return standard class rail travel (or flights) from London to Desenzano del Garda, and seven nights in the Sirmione hotel on a B&B basis. Prices start from £645 per person.

If Globetrender were to book a rail holiday, we might opt for the 11-day Chicago, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe and Los Angeles adventure (£2,305 per person). Other companies that sell tailor-made rail holidays include Expressions, Planet Rail, Holidays by Rail, Railbookers, Rail Trail and, of course, the Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

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