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Butterfields' Indian Railway Tours

Life on the bogieThis section contains itineraries, maps and photos of Butterfield tours. The texts are taken from Butterfield brochures, beginning with the introduction with its promise of delights and its warnings. The ones here might not match your tour exactly – circumstances (weather, problems with the bogie, political events) often meant changes at the last minute.

Butterfields ran bogie tours round India for 24 years, it said in the Itarsi exhibition. This put the final tour in 1998 BUT as usual this turned out not to be quite right as this bit from the May 1999 Newsletter shows: "If you believed that was really the final tour you were wrong - we managed two South Indian tours on an 'ordinary' first class sleeper coach in January, so the REAL final tour departs January 2000 – South India only. The REAL final Pakistan tour departs October 14th 1999".

In the beginning there was just the bogie on a single tour – the Great India – which lasted nearly 5 weeks and even gave the tour guides a six day rest while bogiewallahs went off to "do their own thing" in South India. This tour split into two in the 90's – the Great Indian Tour (Delhi-Kochi) and the South Indian (Kochi-Bombay).

The Pakistan Tour used Pakistani coaches and the Gujerat and Rajasthan Tour used the bogie on the new broad gauge tracks. There were several one-offs – the coracle trip on the Kaveri didn't use a railway carriage, while on the Mystery Tour after the Itarsi Reunion – who knew what we would travel or where we would go?

The Mystery Tour in November 2000 is the last to have taken place up to now, though not the last planned – that would have been Northeast India and Bangladesh….

[Original Great India] [Great India] [Pakistan] [South India] [Gujurat & Rajastan] [Cauvery]