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Great Rail Journeys unveils United States acquisition

Great Rail Journeys unveils United States acquisition

York-based Great Rail Journeys is to acquire Vacations By Rail, an independent US provider of escorted and independent rail holidays.

Great Rail Journeys hopes the deal will position the company as a leading escorted rail company.

It is also a key part of its plans to expand both internationally and into new product areas, such as its newly launched rail river cruise range.

The combined business will offer customers an unrivalled global portfolio of escorted rail itineraries as well as an expanded collection of independent rail holidays to customers in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

It will also provide the UK market with exclusive access to unique VBR products in North America’s breath-taking National Parks and Alaska.


Over the last five years Great Rail Journeys has performed strongly, tapping into new source markets for its rail tours including Australia and more recently the US. 

Furthermore, 2018 saw the launch of a new river cruise offering and its Summer 2020 programme has been extended to include exclusive small group tours.

Established in 2004, Vacations By Rail employs a team of 30 and offers North American customers the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, luxury rail journeys and custom train vacations to destinations in North America. 

Peter Liney, chief executive of Great Rail Journeys, said: “This acquisition is the first step of many as we look to enhance our position as the world’s leading rail holiday company.

“At a time of market uncertainty, it signifies our scale and ambition within the market and at one stroke makes us market leader for escorted rail holidays in the USA.”