Antrim firm Mivan has announced it has been awarded the £2.5m contract to fit out Ireland’s first luxury sleeper train.
Belmond Grand Hibernian will launch later this year, offering 2, 4 and 6 night itineraries from Dublin through some of the most scenic parts of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Belmond operates some of the world’s most famous trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman.
It purchased the 10 carriages and locomotive for the Grand Hibernian from Irish Rail last year.
Mivan was chosen to transform the carriages into 20 stylish en-suite cabins, two dining cars and an observation car at its world-class production facility in Antrim.
The interior design of the carriages will reflect Dublin’s Georgian Architecture, with inspiration taken from the Irish landscape.
A team of 40 craftsmen from Mivan will undertake 35,000 hours of work to prepare the train for its inaugural journey from Dublin on August 9, 2016.
Belmond said that building the company’s 7th luxury train to exacting standards required cutting edge technology mixed with traditional skills.
Neil Ward, CEO at Mivan said: “Mivan was awarded this contract because of our expertise and experience working with the maritime and hospitality industries, however the build of a luxury train is a historic first for both the company and Northern Ireland.
“Belmond Grand Hibernian will offer a wonderful experience, a way to see Ireland that rivals the great train journeys of Europe, so the fit out of the carriages must be delivered to the highest quality specifications. Mivan has a strong track record of delivering high end projects and we are delighted to be working on this prestigious contract.”
Brian McConville acquired Mivan in early 2014 and with support from Invest NI over the past two years the business has grown its workforce to 110 people.
Over £1m has been invested in the business since the new team took ownership of Mivan.