Leading article: On the right track

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The Independent Online

One of the many welcome consequences of the reunion of Western and Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War has been the revival of transcontinental express trains and, indeed, the creation of new services.

The Danube Express, dreamchild of the son of a Durham ticket inspector, which will roll out of Budapest for Warsaw for the first time this week, is a welcome addition to the line.

Some may cavil at the elitist nature of Howard Trinder's project. Certainly, these avowedly luxurious navy blue and cream sleeping cars,designed to evoke memories of the grand, old,pre-war Orient Express, will not, to use a favourite modern buzz word, be especially "accessible" to most members of the public. These are, simply, luxury hotels on rails.

However, they are a relatively carbon-free form of travel and, as the popularity of similar luxury train services a round the world shows, Mr Trinder is tapping into a growing fashion. He deserves congratulations for his contribution to the continuing renaissance of the train.