DINERS got a taste of 1930s railway luxury as a set of Pullman-style carriages pulled into Swindon station.

Hauled by two diesel 57s locomotives, the Northern Belle took a leisurely four hour trip around Wiltshire, with passengers forking out at least £305 each for tickets treated to a seven-course Sunday lunch.

Samantha Wilson, 46, and her family, had travelled from Oxford for the swanky trip - a birthday present for her mother. She said: "I think it's a bit of old school glamour. It's quite nice to get dressed up on a Sunday afternoon and come out for lunch."

Old school glamour was exactly the impression bosses at the Northern Belle were hoping to convey. Indeed, the train's name was a deliberate nod to services like the Brighton Belle, which took travellers between south coast and London Victoria in the mid 20th century.

Jeanette Snape, managing director of the train firm, said the trip recreated the excitement of the golden age of rail travel.

She added: “Travelling on the Northern Belle transports you back to the time when the journey was as important as the destination.

“Nothing is too good for our pampered passengers.”

Ahead of the trip, Northern Belle promised passengers they would be welcomed aboard the train with a glass of champagne.

They would then get to tuck into a seven-course meal as the train meandered through the Wiltshire countryside.

The Northern Belle also stopped off at Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa.

Strolling musicians would entertain passengers and top chef Matthew Green promised a“traditional menu with a modern twist”.

The train's seven Pullman-style carriages, each bearing the name of a British castle or stately home, drew plenty of envious looks from train passengers waiting for GWR services on Sunday lunchtime.

And despite the rain, a small cadre of train spotters had turned up to take a look at the unusual visitor to Swindon railway station.

One of the youngest, 12-year-old Isaac Wells, pointed to the unusual coats of arms emblazoned on the carriage doors and the 57 locomotives.

"They're interesting," he said, asked about his interest in trains. "They're smelly, fun to ride in, and good and fast."