Steam in Slovakia and Hungary

Thursday 7th May to Friday 15th May 2020
9 - Days


Prices from: £2295


Travel behind some of the largest and most impressive main line steam locomotives in Central Europe against a backdrop of historic cities and outstanding landscapes on this exciting one-off tour.


Departure Date: 07-May-2020
Book Now
  • Enjoy an eclectic line-up of large and powerful main line steam locomotives, including the 4-8-2 ‘Albatros’ 498.104 in Slovakia and the recently overhauled 4-8-0 424.009 in Hungary.
  • Discover the majesty and elegance of the popular Swedish-built NOHAB diesel locomotives on a private charter train with luxury coaches from Budapest via the Tokaj wine region to Kosice, Slovakia, including rare border crossing at Slovenske Nove Mesto.
  • Experience narrow-gauge steam with private charters at the Budapest and Kosice Children Railways and be among the first to ride behind the Slovak 2-8-0 tender locomotive 434.2338 following its return to service after decades out of use.
  • The emphasis is on comfort and convenience on this highlight-packed tour, with stays in excellent hotels, travel on splendid rolling stock and well-conceived daily itineraries making for a refined and relaxing holiday.

Thursday 7th May
Arrive to Bratislava
After a direct morning flight from London to Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, you arrive mid-day and have lunch at your hotel. Here you’ll receive a complimentary public transport rover ticket so you can explore the city’s wonderful Old Town and River Danube waterfront at leisure. (L)

Friday 8th May
Main line steam with ‘Albatros’ 498.104 in Western Slovakia and Eastern Moravia
Today you are hauled by 4-8-2 express steam locomotive 498.104 from the 1954’s on a high-speed run from Bratislava north-west. You cross over into the Czech Republic and Eastern Moravia at the town of Skalica, before continuing to Veseli nad Moravou and Louka. Covering ‘rare track’ you steam over a remote secondary route through landscape that is marked by gentle hills and orchards. A lunch will be served in the dining car on-board the train. You cross back over into Slovakia at Vrbovce and continue through the hilly landscape of the Lesser Carpathians on a meandering line. After passing through Myjava you reach the busy main railway corridor at Nove Mesto nad Vahom, before a fast sprint to Bratislava with the powerful ‘Albatros’ at high speed. You reach Bratislava in the early evening, capping a fabulous day out with one of Europe’s premier preserved locomotives. (B L)

Saturday 9th May
Through the Tatra Mountains to Kosice
After breakfast you travel First Class on a Slovak Railways Intercity and make the scenic journey straight across the country and through the heart of the High Tatra Mountains to Kosice. This gem of a place is a ‘best kept secret’ and often referred to as a ‘Little Krakow’. The Old Town Square is a treasure trove of amazing historical architecture, with the impressive St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral and Opera House, built in the best of Viennese traditions. There will be free time to explore Kosice and its compact tram system at your own pace. In the evening, a dinner will be served at your centrally located quality hotel. (B D)

Sunday 10th May
Steam at the Kosice Children’s Railway
After a relaxing morning and time at leisure in the city, a historic bus transfers you to the metre gauge Kosice Children’s Railway. Experience the benefit of a private steam charter with numerous run pasts staged by a locally based tank engine. Dinner is served again at the hotel. (B D)

Monday 11th May
Steam on the Slovak main line from Kosice to Stakcin with 434.2338
The 103-year-old steam locomotive 434.2338 provides another rare highlight to your landmark steam tour. Enjoy a private charter train with elegant compartment and dining cars through the scenery east of Kosice to the mountains of remote north-eastern Slovakia. Travelling via Trebisov and Humenne, your train traverses the rural branch line to Stakcin. From there your locomotive reverses and returns back to Kosice on more ‘rare track’ via Trebisov and Michalany. The powerful tender locomotive is fitted with a Giesl ejector and will be one of its first runs, since its return to service. Lunch will be served on the train and dinner will be served back at your hotel. (B L D)

Tuesday 12th May
With a NOHAB through the Tokaj Region and Hungarian Puszta to Budapest
Today you travel south to Hungary for the rest of the tour, where another impressive locomotive is in store. Experience one of the iconic GM-designed, NOHAB-built 6-axle diesel locomotives delivered from Sweden to Hungary in the early 1960s. Your NOHAB will pull luxurious Swiss Schlieren coaches and posh dining cars on an exclusive charter trip. Travelling through the Tokaj wine-growing region and onto the great Hungarian plain, you experience the vast prairie of the Puszta. You cross from Slovakia into Hungary at the rare border crossing from Slovenske Nove Mesto to Satoraljaujhely, before continuing via Tokaj to Debrecen, where you pause to see the local landmarks. Later you continue via Tiszafüred and Hatvan to Budapest by evening. Both lunch and dinner will be served in the dining car of your private train. You will be based here for the next three nights at a centrally-located quality hotel near the Opera House. (B L D)

Wednesday 13th May
Sightseeing of Budapest by Vintage Bus, Buda Castle Funicular, Dinner on the Danube
In the late morning a vintage open-top bus takes you on a sightseeing tour around the historic city centre and to the top of the Buda Castle Hill. You then ascend to Buda Castle on the historic funicular dating from 1870 and are rewarded with one of the finest urban views anywhere in Europe. After a visit to the Castle Hill Fisherman’s Bastion, you can enjoy the rest of the day by making use of your complimentary public transport rover ticket. In the evening you re-join your group for dinner aboard an elegant old steamer docked on the river, next to the famed Gresham Palace. (B D)

Thursday 14th May
Main line steam with 424.009; Hungarian Folklore and Horseshow at Lajosmizse
Today the impressive 4-8-0 locomotive 424.009 hauls you on a private charter train of luxurious First-Class coaches from the Austro-Hungarian era. This coal-fired main line locomotive has just returned to service and is the only operational variant of this formidable class. Running out of Budapest’s landmark Keleti station the train runs via Cegled to Kecskemet. After visiting the town centre and Art Nouveau buildings, your private charter continues to Lajosmizse. Here you experience traditional Hungarian folklore, witnessing one of the famous horse-riding shows featuring the Hungarian ‘Puszta Cowboys’. Afterwards you complete a large circular journey and return to Budapest Keleti. Lunch will be served on-board. (B L)

Friday 15th May
Budapest Children’s Railway, Buda Rack Railway, New York Palace, Return to London
After breakfast, you take the tramway to the Hüvösvölgy terminus and then board the 12 km long Children’s Railway, the longest in the world! Should one of the two steam locomotives have been repaired in time the private charter journey will be steam-hauled with photo stops along the way, otherwise traction will be provided by a vintage diesel locomotive. After arriving at the railway’s western terminus, you take the rack railway back to Buda and transfer to the New York Palace in Pest, one of the most opulent coffee houses and historic grand cafes in the world. Lunch will be served there, before you enjoy the last of your free time in Budapest. In the early evening you make a direct transfer to Budapest airport, for a direct flight back to London. (B L)


Details

Price

  • Tour price £2395
  • Single supplement £295
  • Ground only (Bratislava – Budapest) £2295

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • Flights from London Luton to Bratislava and Budapest to London Luton
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • 6 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All specially chartered steam trains as detailed in the itinerary
  • Complimentary public transport tickets in Bratislava, Kosice and Budapest
  • All train and road coach travel as detailed in the itinerary
  • All transfers and visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!