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It was in the ides of the summer of 1978 - some 38 years ago - I engulfed into tourism as a profession. In all these years what has fascinated me most is the passion people have on different aspects of life.
Almost immediately we were asked to provide the ground logistics for a group of British travelers who, it seemed, came together because their bucket lists were very identical. Their interest was to travel on the famous steam train from Landi Kotal near Peshawar in Pakistan to the Khyber Pass. After all, the 52Kms track (ending 2Kms short of the border with Afghanistan) was the most difficult railway that the British had laid anywhere in their vast empire.
Track laying started in 1905 and was was finally completed in 1925. As part of the unofficial completion ceremony, ‘Missy Sahib’, the Chief Engineer’s 10 years old daughter, steered in with 3 hammer blows. Missy Sahib, now in her 60’s, was one of the participants in this group from the UK.
When the group planned their steam journey through the Khyber Pass came the train was non functional. We got it back running on the track. It was certainly no small task to put together the logistics and it was all worth it seeing the satisfaction and joy when the group steamed through 33 tunnels in almost as many Kms. Panoramic views of the historical Khyber Pass, the rifle carrying Pathans and the nostalgia from the British troubled era here was a dream come true for the tourists. The publicity that followed that led several steam enthusiast groups in the UK and elsewhere to organize “steam safaris” to ex British India. More importantly, it exposed us to the world of special interest travels, their demands and challenges.

Merging into this segment of travel we now operate several tours of varying interests to many different countries. More importantly, the wide array allows us to offer the private train journeys at budgets that make these experiences really affordable.
For train buffs, it is now a whole different experience in locomotive travel. From steam and now to private, luxury train experiences enjoying the majestic panorama along the Trans Siberian, combining Russia with Mongolia and China. Latest on the hot lists are Iran and in Africa, Namibia all in the comfort of a private train.
These are uniquely tailored journeys with even more unique experiences. They come with services par excellence with elegance coupled with interesting company of people from different parts of the world.
To get a glimpse of the array of our private train journeys click here.
Besides these luxury trains we try and include some train travel in many of our cultural tours. Train travel adds another flair to the local culture experience as we meet and chat with local folks on the train, hear stories about their villages and lifestyle whilst comfortably railing across the rural parts of the country.
Enjoy the world of train travel and your team at Bestway Tours & Safaris will be pleased to recommend the right journey for you.
Steam blow with rail hoots!.
Experience tours & safaris with your team at Bestway Tours & Safaris

 

Posted by
Mahmood Poonja
Chief Explorer

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