Train Travel Through the Years
Travel has evolved immensely since the days of the pioneers, who had to endure riding in the back of horse drawn carriages over rough terrain for weeks or months on end. With the invention and adaptation of the steam locomotive, that all changed, and travelers were offered a much more luxurious option to transport them across long distances. Train travel quickly became the luxury travel choice for those who did not wish to sacrifice comfort in order to embark on a long journey. After all, trains have a much larger capacity than what the wagons of old times afforded travelers back then. Gone were the days of being exposed to the natural elements, or worrying about whether you had brought along enough food to feed the horses, and yourself for that matter.
Once traveling by train took hold across the world, the levels of luxury available to passengers on this revolutionary method of transportation quickly advanced to the point where they would feel quite at home during their journeys. Because of powerful steam engines, which were fueled by burning coal, trains were able to pull multiple cars, which could be outfitted with seats for economy travelers, and much more luxurious configurations for the privileged few who could afford to travel in the higher classes. Additionally, various cars served a multitude of purposes to make the trip that much more enjoyable
The first two cars of the trains of old used to include the locomotive, which had a conductor’s compartment, as well as the steam engine. The next car was where the coal used to fuel the engine was stored, and crew members would transport and shovel that coal into the fire of the engine to keep things moving along in uninterrupted fashion. The following car would typically house the operations crew, and the next one after that would be reserved for staff accommodation. The remainder of the train’s cars were all dedicated to the passengers, and this is where the ambiance of the luxury travel experience became apparent.
From dining cars, to the cars with passenger seating, where you could be served drinks while reading your favorite book or chatting with fellow travelers as you were shuttled for hundreds of miles, it was worlds away from having to ride on horseback to go long distances. There was even a car dedicated to gaming, where passengers could partake in games of poker, gin rummy, or dominoes. And, there would be a car with a bar inside, where one could sip on a fine single malt scotch while puffing on their preference of cigar or tobacco pipe and enjoying live entertainment provided by onboard jazz musicians.
Even with all of these glamorous amenities, there were yet another set of cars that followed behind those which were made for the general population. These upper class luxury cars contained dedicated suites with full beds and private bathing rooms, private butlers, private dining rooms, and an overall more refined experience for the most discerning, affluent travelers. These passengers received the ultimate levels of personal attention and catering, and it was for good reason as they paid top dollar for the ability to feel as though they were not traveling on a train full of other people, but rather that they were in their own private world.