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Old Vietnamese steam locomotives back on rails
Jenna Duong 15:56, 2024/05/31
With a new look but still retaining the image of the old train, Vietnam's vintage steam locomotives from the 1960s promise to provide an exciting travel experience through the heritage region of Central Vietnam.

A steam-powered Revolution Express tourist train is expected to operate in late 2024 or early 2025 under the partnership between Indochina Rail Tourist Service and Wafaifo Optimisers.

The Revolution Express will operate a daily round trip between Danang and Hue, the UNESCO-recognized imperial citadel. Traveling through the stunning Hai Van coastal mountain range, the train will stop at Lang Co, adjacent to a beautiful lagoon and beach.

Once refurbished, these two vintage steam locomotives from the 1960s will be back on the rails, helping to enrich the country's tourism offering.

The new train promises to make traveling to Vietnam a great experience. Photo: Danangfantasticity.com

A journey back to the past

Two original steam locomotives from the 1960s have been painstakingly restored to working order. These locomotives will pull two retro-style carriages, each seating up to 57 passengers, as well as a bespoke kitchen and baggage car.

These locomotives are the last remaining working pre-independence steam engines in Vietnam, built locally to the French Mikado design. Their restoration has been a labor of love over several years, using original parts and the expertise of the last remaining steam engineers from Vietnam Railways.

Once operational, the train will take passengers across the central region to explore the beautiful beaches of Danang and the mysterious tombs and palaces of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam.

"The trains are almost ready, with the first trips expected in late 2024 or early 2025," Wafaifo Optimisers said in a press release.

Tickets for this fancy trip aren't on sale yet and there are no details on pricing, but booking information will be available in the coming months.

 Representatives of Indochina Railway Travel Service Joint Stock Company and Wafaifo Optimisers teamed up to operate the "Revolution Express" steam train, which has a history dating back to the 1960s.

"We are proud to bring these old ladies of the railways back to life and to showcase important periods of Vietnamese history from imperial to colonial rule and finally the struggle for independence," said Michael Gebbie - Chairman of Indochina Rail Tourist Service, the train operator.

He hopes the tour will offer visitors an interactive sense of Vietnam's history and future. "Whether you want to learn about history or railways, or just want to ride on an authentic heritage steam train over the famously scenic Hai Van Pass, the Revolution Express will provide a magical experience."

Unparalleled services

According to Wafaifo Optimizers, the renovated train will offer visitors a completely new riding experience, featuring vibrant natural scenery outside, amenities inside, and exceptional food and beverage service.

Surrounded by old-world splendor and served by staff in period costumes, passengers enjoy light food and drink as they take in one of the most picturesque coastlines and mountain passes in Southeast Asia.

Travelers will also be able to experience different themed meals at three stops along the journey, including Kim Lien in the central coastal city of Danang, Lang Co Beach, and Hue Imperial Citadel in Thua Thien Hue Province.

In Hue, the old train maintenance depot has been exquisitely refurbished as the Station Restaurant, with an imperial theme befitting the city's historical significance as the last bastion of Vietnam's dynastic era.

In Lang Co, the on-board restaurant will serve homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed fruit juices, Vietnamese coffee and freshly pressed sugar cane.

A third restaurant is planned for the station on the outskirts of Danang, with a colonial theme.

When the Revolution Express arrives at each station, a brass band in full military regalia will greet passengers as they disembark.

 The Revolution Express will travel along the coastal mountains adjacent to the Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam.

The Revolution Express train, which will run from Danang to Hue, promises to provide visitors with an interesting journey along the coastal mountains adjacent to the Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam.

It is said that any true traveler to central Vietnam will fall in love with the picturesque railway along the pass.

In 2022, the tourist attraction was listed by thetravel.com as one of the “Top 10 the most thrilling scenic drives in Asia”.

Hai Van Pass is a road located in the central part that moves along the coast. It is a route through a mountain range in central Vietnam that runs along the coast. However, the excitement lies in its meandering nature, the abundant vegetation all around, the amazing views of the ocean on the other side, and the various destinations it passes through.

TAG: Old Vietnamese steam locomotives Indochina Rail Tourist Service and Wafaifo Optimisers Cooperation Revolution Express Vietnam
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