How we helped

Great Rail Journeys is the UK’s market leading operator of escorted holidays by rail. With over forty-five years’ experience, it offers a fantastic choice of holidays with popular itineraries including a tour of India’s “Golden Triangle”, exploring the Swiss Alps on the Glacier Express or an iconic journey across Africa from Dar es Salaam to Cape Town.

People & culture:

  • During ECI’s investment we strengthened the senior management team with the recruitment of Peter Liney as CEO, as well as a new Head of Operations.
  • GRJ group employees grew by 30% to 150+ employees during our investment, and these full time GRJ employees were supplemented by 320 experienced tour managers who take charge of logistical arrangements for the holidays, working with local guides to provide expert insights to GRJ customers.


  • We worked closely with Peter and the team on the business’ intenationalisation strategy, tapping into new source markets for its rail tours including Australia and the US following the establishment of a New York office in 2017.
  • Successful penetration of international source markets led to circa 10% of FY 2018 group revenues coming from international source markets (principally Australia and the US). This was achieved in less than three years and provided a key part of GRJ’s future growth.

Sales & marketing:

  • We helped the senior team on a pricing project, and the addition of new product lines such as the development of GRJ’s river cruise operation.

In 2018 we sold Great Rail Journeys to Duke Street achieving a multiple of 3.6x and an IRR of 29%.