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Six of the best video rail adverts from around the world.

Posted by Dave Songer on Nov 17, 2017

Six of the best rail video adverts from around the world.pngFor train operating companies, keeping the general public up to speed on changes to their networks – whether that be new fleets of trains, changes of ownership or just reminding everyone about their services – is an important consideration if they are to compete with other transport modes vying for their business. To truly prosper it’s vital they appeal to not just commuters but also to those wanting to use it outside of working hours.

This week, SmartRail World is focusing on rail operators doing just that, with six adverts that use aspirational, nostalgic and funny approaches to remind viewers of just how essential, exciting and luxurious rail travel can be.

Virgin Trains.

Kicking off with a message to its business customers, Virgin Trains takes a very sideways look at what a trip to a job interview could look like if one were to choose the car over the train. It uses a storytelling technique adopted by the film Sliding Doors to show the tale of two journeys: one of a woman who chose to drive being physically ejected from an office after an incredibly stressful journey, versus the same woman who is a picture of calm after a serene train ride.


Great Western Railway.

Great Western Railway (GWR) underwent a rebrand in 2015 that was heavily influenced by the original livery from the days of the Great Western Main Line’s creator, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. As a nod to that heritage and the spirit of rail, GWR has created a superb animated campaign featuring the intrepid child adventurers, The Famous Five.



Showing off the ingenuity and cutting-edge cool of the subterranean train service, Eurostar has created and produced some pretty slick adverts over the years. This one shows a man on a platform through the train window who is frame by frame whisked away into a Wes Craven-inspired film set.



Announcing the arrival of a new fleet of more efficient, faster and safer trains for 2021, Amtrak’s 3.5 minute film uses a computer-generated scene to announce the upcoming Alstom partnership that will roll out improved services across the state of New York.


Kiwi Rail.

Set against a backdrop of New Zealand’s staggeringly beautiful countryside, KiwiRail Scenic (now The Great Journeys of New Zealand) does an amazing job of promoting the suitability of rail for relaxing long-distance rail travel with this epic HD film.



Canada’s VIA Rail has put together a comedy sketch-style series that reflects the country’s off-beat humour, using the strapline “What don’t you take the train’ as an amusing and clever device in every one of its 11 adverts.


Why not let us know which rail advert, past or present, is your favourite or which we’ve missed ( and we’ll add them in!

You may also be interested in these stories from SmartRail World…

Amtrak to get 300+ train diesel fleet PTC-ready for 2018 deadline.

Luxurious Eurostar business lounge will “transform the travellers’ journey.”

Behind the liveries: Who owns what on the UK rail network? (Part Two).

Virgin, Stagecoach and SNCF join forces to create “a powerful world class partnership” in an attempt to win the HS2 bid.


Topics: quirky, VideoOfTheWeek

Dave Songer

Written by Dave Songer

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