Heritage Train Tour Leaders Q&A with Rob Clark

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in the industrial midlands of England – my home area is known as the ‘Black Country’ because of all the smoke from factories 100 or so years ago. In my 20s I moved to the county of Dorset on the south coast. I spent 25 years as a teacher in Primary and Middle schools before becoming a Tour Manager for a UK company that runs rail holidays around Europe.

I love travelling – one of the big advantages of living in Europe is that you can be on a plane for 2-3 hours and experience any number of different cultures.

Despite having no playing ability whatsoever, I have always been a keen follower of sport 

especially football (soccer) and cricket.

  1. What attracted you to the love of train travel?

My father was a huge railway enthusiast so I grew up around railways. He was involved in the Severn Valley steam railway in the UK (where I ended up working during my University holidays) and we would often go on trips by train. Living in Britain we are lucky to have a huge rail network in continental Europe to explore just a few hours away, which means we can experience different cultures and lifestyles easily using rail.

  1. Favourite country in the world, and why?

I would have to say probably New Zealand. I spent some time there following the England cricket team and could not find anyone who was not incredibly friendly and sociable. I made some lasting friendships on that trip. In terms of things to see and do, Australia would be right up there – I have spent many weeks in Sydney for example and still have things I haven’t got around to doing there. Taking the Indian Pacific across to Perth is one of the top experiences of my lifetime. In Europe, the former Soviet and Yugoslav nations are really interesting and generally very good value for money. In terms of rail travel, it would have to be Switzerland.

The views from some of their trains are simply awe-inspiring.

  1. Where haven’t you visited but is on the bucket list?

The Ghan. Having crossed Australia from east to west I would love to do it from south to north. I would also love to experience the Trans-Siberian railway, although that will have to wait a while now.

India and Japan would be the two countries I have never been to and would really like to go. Asia is largely missing from my travel CV. I have to decide whether to do India on a cricket tour or rail tour, or try to combine both.

  1. How long have you worked leading rail tours ?

I started in the Autumn of 2017, luckily with a tour to the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland that I knew well. Since then I have led tours in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic.

  1. Your Favourite Tour?

My favourite tour is probably one I have done a few times to the Rhine Valley in Germany. We stayed at a lovely little hotel where the owner used to accompany us on some trips with bottles of wine in his backpack! There is plenty to see and do on and away from the Rhine both for people with an interest in railways and for those who don’t. Germany has a comprehensive and cheap travel system (although don’t believe that all their trains are on time – they most certainly aren’t!).

  1. Your most memorable Tour?

Probably one I did last year to the Jungfau area of Switzerland, We had bright sunshine every single day and the views in the Alps were absolutely breathtaking. In post-Covid times there was a lot of on-the-hoof organising, planning and last-minute emails to the office, but it was most definitely worth it.

  1. What is your favourite international cuisine?

The area I come from is famous for Indian food, especially the Balti. However, my favourite cuisine is Chinese. I cook a lot of Chinese food at home as it is (a) very tasty and (b) very quick to cook!

I did also find the cuisine in Lithuania interesting – potato pancakes, cold beetroot soup and roasted goose was a particularly memorable meal.

  1. What are your top 5 packing essentials?

The first rule of packing for me is don’t take too much!

Secondly, also pack plenty of good humour and patience! Plans can often go awry and there is

no point in getting frustrated and annoyed when you can’t do anything about it. A list of ‘Plan-B’ trains in case I miss a connection is always in my bag too.

A couple of electrical adaptors that will work where I am going to.

Finally, always pack a smile. It often makes a big difference to how you are treated.

  1. Tell us why you love your job!

You can’t beat getting paid to do something you enjoy. Even on tours where there are delays or something goes wrong I can honestly say that there is nothing I would rather do. Travelling through the Alps last week I thought to myself ‘what a view to have from your office window!’ The other bonus is meeting so many interesting people.

Rob Clark will be co-tour leading the Icons of England & Wales tour in 2023 and also the Swiss Alpine Adventure by Rail in 2024.


Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures tour is more than just a holiday, it is a unique way to experience the world. By train you are completely immersed in culture and adventure, exploring the most scenic corners of the world in the comfort of a luxury train. Whether you are an experienced traveller or just beginning to explore this wonderful world, Railway Adventures has something for everyone. Transform your holiday into the most unforgettable adventure of a lifetime with Railway Adventures.

Call 1300 800 977 or email us at info@railwayadventures.com to request a brochure on our tours in 2023 and 2024 or visit our website to view all our tours.

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