Saturday 25 February 2017

Firm with a track record to fit out Ireland's answer to Orient Express

Margaret Canning

Mivan's Grand Hibernian train
Mivan's Grand Hibernian train

Irish firm Mivan has won a €3.1m to fit out Ireland's answer to the Orient Express.

Around 40 of its craftsmen will be working on transforming Irish Rail carriages into luxurious cabins in a style said to reflect the Georgian architecture of Dublin.

The Belmond Grand Hibernian will launch on August 9, offering its well-heeled passengers two, four and six-night trips from Dublin around Ireland.

A three-day trip to the North, taking in Belfast, Bushmills and the Giant's Causeway, costs around €2,830pp.

Belmond operates some of the world's most famous trains, including the Venice- Simplon Orient Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman. The Irish model is its seventh train.

Mivan, based in Co Antrim, is one of Ireland's best-known fit-out companies, working on cruise ships, the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in the 1980s.

But it went into administration in 2014 and its assets, including the company name, were bought over by Newry-based rival MJM.

Gary Franklin, managing director of Belmond Train & Cruises, an international business speicalising in luxury travel, said: "We chose to work with Mivan not only for their extensive experience but they have also shared our passion and vision for Belmond Grand Hibernian from the outset."

Irish Independent

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