Revolution Express logo

The Train

Revolution Express will offer guests a breathtaking journey from Da Nang City to the beachside village of Lang Co via the Hai Van Pass, one of the world’s most famous coastal routes. Set to become an ‘Icon of the Rail’, Revolution Express will capture the hearts and imagination of both local and International travelers.

Ride the Revolution

Adorned with flags and hissing steam, Revolution Express, in all its glory, waits on the track beside the platform terrace cafe. White gloved staff in French colonial uniforms are on hand to offer assistance. A string quartet plays as guests step aboard the historic carriages into an interactive theatre-like setting ready to tell the story of Vietnam’s journey to independence. The more adventurous are invited to climb aboard the drivers cabin to pull the steam whistle and help stoke the boiler.

A loud whistle announces departure. Guests take their seats and Revolution Express starts its slow steam toward Lang Co. Delicious Vietnamese selections are served throughout the journey, with the onboard chef taking inspiration from seasonal and local produce, using ingredients handpicked from the central provinces.


As Revolution Express approaches its destination, guests are welcomed by a brass band and communist-style platform parade, marching to battle songs which were sung by the female army engineer corps who repaired the rail line each day under heavy bombardment during the Vietnam War. Guests step off the train into a Vietnamese socialist world of military music, communist-era hammer and sickle banners and propaganda posters that depict the Vietnamese struggle and ultimate victory. Staff dressed in communist uniform help set the scene and a stand-alone museum will display Vietnam’s rail history, offering a nostalgic experience for train enthusiasts.

Indochina Rail Limited

Mike Gebbie, Founder & CEO

A Kiwi entrepreneur with degrees in law and commerce, Mike’s early days started with a banking career in Hong Kong. When Vietnam reopened to the world in 1989, Mike moved to Saigon where he founded a leading inbound tour business.

Recognizing a lack of authentic local travel experiences and drawing from his extensive knowledge of the industry. Mike had a vision to create an iconic steam train service that would run between Da Nang and Lang Co, with an eventual extension to Hue. This offering would include historic themed railway stations as a place for visitors to experience Vietnam’s vibrant culture and history.

With this dream well underway to becoming a reality, Mike's future plan is to continue building on this heritage brand by developing more routes for train travel, as well as a trackside railway hotel in Da Nang, designed to offer guests a fun and interactive experience.

Umbrellas on a beachUmbrellas on a beach

The Story of the Revolution Express

In 2012, determined to bring his vision to life and accompanied by a passion to showcase Vietnam’s history, Mike purchased three dilapidated steam locomotives from the Vietnam Railway Corporation in Hanoi. These locomotives were broken down and shipped to Saigon in thousands of pieces via rail tank transporters. On arrival, Mike engaged leading experts, including the ex-chief engineer of the famous Flying Scotsman, as well as the last remaining retired Vietnamese engineer with steam experience, and together they began the painstaking process of returning these ‘Grand Dames of the Vietnamese Rail’ to their former glory.

With no surviving vintage rolling stock, the team set about building new carriages based on original French colonial design consisting of wood and steel exteriors, with interiors of teak and French tile. Following years of careful construction, these iconic army green and burgundy-colored passenger carriages will roll onto the rails mid-2021, ready to take guests on the adventure of a lifetime.

In preparation of this, Indochina Rail has commenced restoration on the Revolution Express Da Nang railway station and are in the early stages of a new build of the majestic French-colonial Lang Co station.

After negotiating with the Vietnamese Government for 8 years, revisions to the law made Indochina Rail the first foreign-owned venture authorized to own and operate a for-profit tourist train in Vietnam.

The Revolution Express on a viaduct

From Da Nang to Lang Co

The route connects two of Vietnam’s most beguiling provinces, offering a two-hour journey of a lifetime.

Revolution Express begins its daily one way and return service slow-steaming through the old quarter of Da Nang City, within touching distance of shops, houses and schools where locals go about their daily lives, moving their market stalls from the tracks as the train approaches.

Passing over French colonial-era bridges and through single track tunnels carved deep into the mountains, Revolution Express skirts the edge of Da Nang Bay before beginning a leisurely climb up and over the spectacular Hai Van Pass where guests are treated to 360 degree views of bush-clad mountains, shimmering blue seas and golden bays, all hidden from the outside world. Descending the northern slopes on the cliff-edge railway line, passengers enjoy spectacular vistas of Lang Co’s 10km white sand beach as the train enters the historic northern province of Hue.

Finally back at sea level, Revolution Express approaches the picturesque village of Lang Co with its narrow sea channel opening onto a vast and scenic inland lagoon, ringed by high forested mountains which form part of the Bach Ma National Park. On final approach the train pulls into the private Lang Co station, which also houses the refueling area and locomotive turntable, enabling it to start the return journey home.

Revolution Express on a viaduct


Revolution Economy Class Carriage

Upon launch, Revolution Express will offer three elegantly designed revolution themed carriages. Fully air-conditioned throughout, and boasting a french-tiled bathroom with brass taps, each carriage will seat up to 57 guests in comfort. All seats will enjoy commanding window views.

Up to 7 additional passenger carriages (not including the kitchen and observation carriages) will be added to the steam locomotive at later intervals.

Colonial First Class Carriage

With a design that offers individual luxurious swivel couch seating and full butler service, these beautifully appointed carriages can seat up to 34 guests.

Observation Carriage

Finally back at sea level, Revolution Express approaches the picturesque village of Lang Co with its narrow sea channel opening onto a vast and scenic inland lagoon, ringed by high forested mountains which form part of the Bach Ma National Park. On final approach the train pulls into the private Lang Co station, which also houses the refueling area and locomotive turntable, enabling it to start the return journey home.

Kitchen Carriage

The kitchen carriage has been specifically designed for food preparation and cold storage. A separate secure area has been allocated for passenger luggage, and an insulated silent generator sits hidden at the rear, along with staff bathrooms.

Revolution Express Observation Carraige InteriorRevolution Express VIP Carraige Interior

Da Nang

Known as the tourist capital of Central Vietnam, Da Nang marks the halfway point between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. A vibrant city and home to some of the most iconic cultural and historical sites, including the nearby World Heritage towns of Hoi An and My Son, Da Nang’s stunning coastal location also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

With a reputation for hospitality and a relaxed outlook on life, Da Nang is considered one the friendliest and most peaceful cities in Vietnam, complete with gentle ocean breezes and year-round sunshine.

Revolution Express Da Nang Station

A full restoration of the Da Nang station is underway with an emphasis on preserving the structure as an historical site through careful design and renovation. The station will be open daily and into the evening, catering to additional walk-ins and non-train guests.

A Walk Through The Restoration

The exterior and interior architecture is based on French colonial Indochina design. A rich tapestry of historic Vietnam railway photographs and exhibits will adorn the walls. The Rail Side cafe will overflow onto a beautiful terrace covered by a stylish awning. A first floor lounge, complete with bar and balcony seating will overlook the track, enjoying views of the Revolution Express and other trains as they come and go.

The sound of a string quartet will waft through the station and a range of fresh, locally sourced, organic French and Vietnamese cuisine, with a wide range of beverages, will be on offer in several cafe settings. Passengers and their wares from all walks of life will ebb and flow through the station and its surrounds.

Cafe at Da Nang Revolution Express StationTrack view from Da Nang Revolution Express Station

Lang Co

Lang Co sits at the crossroads of Central Vietnam’s renowned World Heritage Route, with the Imperial City of Hue to the north and Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Cham temples to the south.

Central Vietnam is a land rich in culture and heritage waiting to be explored, from the lush paddy fields and charming fishing villages such as Lang Co, to the surrounding ancient towns of centuries past.

Revolution Express Lang Co Station

A new-build to capture the essence of ‘old world’ charm is being undertaken to recreate the majestic Lang Co station. A beautifully appointed air-conditioned restaurant will be open daily and into the evening, catering to Revolution Express passengers as well as walk-in guests on the road between Da Nang and Hue.

A Walk Through The Build

A beautifully designed French-colonial main building with rail-side terraces will be a stand out attraction. Interior communist themed propaganda posters and revolutionary exhibits will be sure to captivate. An air-conditioned station restaurant and bar will overflow onto a spacious outdoor terrace. A stand-alone museum will display Vietnam’s rail history and a thoughtfully curated Revolution Express gift shop will offer quality branded souvenirs.

Traditional music will play in the background and delicious Vietnamese cuisine, with a wide range of beverages, will be on offer in a relaxed restaurant setting.

For those in a rush to board, traditional wheeled rail-side food carts offering famous Hue noodles, Banh Mi and fresh cane juice will be available at all times.

Revolution Express Lang Co Station exterior renderingRevolution Express Lang Co Station interior rendering
Revolution Express logo

The Offering

Owning a steam train in Vietnam

This one-of-a-kind experience is a unique investment opportunity.

Revolution Express offers a distinct historical journey in an interactive theatre-like setting highlighting the story of Vietnam’s journey to independence.

This is a chance to become an owner in one the most exciting and profitable tourism projects yet to be developed in Vietnam.

Step aboard. You will own a slice of history.

Capital Raise and Timeline

TOTAL INVESTMENT: USD 5.1M (including working capital)

In a one time offer, Indochina Rail, is opening their last 10% of equity to select investors, raising USD1M of new capital to assist with final completion of the project.

With remarkable profitability and an expected ROI of less than 18 months, Indochina Rail will put a dividend policy in place that pays out up to 90% of profits annually.

This USD 1M equity injection will be invested into the following assets:

  • Restoration and renovation of the Revolution Express Da Nang station
  • Revolution Express Lang Co station build to completion
  • Two passenger carriages fit-out to completion
  • Lease on turntable land


Projected timeline to completion is 12 months.

Trumpet player in Vietnamese brass band

Current Capital Assets

Rolling Stock

Three 100 ton ‘Mikado 141’ steam locomotives:

  • Two fully restored and operational
  • One pre-owned (kitchen carriage)
  • Two new build passenger carriages, exterior complete and operational

Rolling stock carriages remaining to build and fit out (with design and shop drawings complete):

  • An additional First Class/Economy Class passenger carriage
  • An observation carriage and bar/café
  • The kitchen/luggage generator carriage internal fit out

Railway Stations

Revolution Express Da Nang Station

  • Existing building and land transferred (designs and shop drawings complete)

Revolution Express Lang Co Station

  • Land under long term government lease (designs and shop drawings complete)
  • Construction permits approved and construction deposits advanced
  • Turntable national line control systems design complete and approved Land reserved with local government
Steam train on a viaduct


We have used conservative modeling as the basis of our business plan. The below summary is our projected P&L expected to return investors. Important to note that in Y3 schedules increase to two daily return services.

USD 000’sYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
Revenue5,427 9,07813,63317,94723,294
Net Profit2,4805,3569,21412,26316,863
Capacity Utilised75%85%75%80%90%

Qualified investors will be approved for access to confidential and detailed 10 year bank financial projections, including P&L, balance sheet and cash flow forecasts and capital contracts registry.

Umbrellas on a beach

Dividend Policy

We target very high levels of dividends to shareholders:

Y1: 25% equating to 6.2% dividend yield
Y2: 60% equating to 32.1% dividend yield
Y3: 75% equating to 65.3% dividend yield
Y4: 80% equating to 94.4% dividend yield
Y5: 90% equating to 132.2% dividend yield

As we are a cash flow business with low future additional capital investment costs ie. A new carriage is just USD2,600 per additional seat, we will run large positive cash flows thus allowing the vast majority of profits to be distributed to owners.

Umbrellas on a beach

Financial Assumptions

Our financial modeling takes a realistic approach

A one way ticket representing a half day excursion can be purchased directly online for as little as USD45. This price compares very favorably against any existing competitor activities and represents excellent value for money.

Substantial discounts are included to channel partners including DMCs, domestic ground operators, overseas agents, hotels and resorts.

We require less than 1% of the 8M visitors to Da Nang alone to turn a profit.

In 2019 our closest competitor, Ba Na Hills cable car and golden bridge were receiving 8,000 visitors per day. Revolution Express only requires an average of 149 passengers each way, per day, for the first 12 months at similar retail pricing.

Our major operating costs are variable, with track rental tied to passenger revenues.

Further investment in carriages is low cost and requires few additional staff.

Umbrellas on a beach

Our Assumptions Are Conservative

F&B Sales (budgeted $8)

We have our customer’s attention for half a day, from pre-departure cafe to onboard F&B services through to the arrival station restaurant and activities.

Souvenir Gift Shop (budgeted $5)

We are developing unique rail related Revolution Express items for all ages which will be targeted at our prime markets - short haul domestic and regional Asian travelers.

The following revenue streams have not been taken into account in our financial projections:

Non-Train Visitors

We expect to capture many non-train visitors to our station restaurants and history museum in Lang Co. A constant flow of private vehicles and tourist buses pass through Lang Co on a daily basis and we will be the only international standard restaurant in the area, which is certain to be a major drawcard.

Add-on Tours and Hotel Partnerships

We will continually develop a large number of unique add-on tours and hotel partnerships, sources of substantial revenue opportunities and a focus of our website and online booking platform.

Expansion of Train Service to Hue

The planned expansion of service to Hue on the Royal Imperial Line, which will result in substantial revenues for very little additional capital investment.

Revolution Express Carriage View

Confirmed Licenses

All approvals from the Ministry of Transport (Deputy Minister special license) to own and operate a private tourist train business on the main rail line between Da Nang and Hue City (and points between).

A contract with Vietnam Railway Corporation (VRC) to own and operate a commercial passenger service including use of station sidings, platforms and signals systems.

Approval from VRC to hire and train private steam train drivers, engineers and maintenance staff with VRC certification.

Agreement with VRC to conduct regular warrant of fitness and registration of all rolling stock.

Agreement with VRC to provide Revolution Express with emergency support in the event of accident or breakdown, including replacement shunting locomotive.

A full International tourism license to offer tickets and additional tours and hotel booking services as well as full F&B and retail services.

Government liscense for Revolution Express

Key Management

Revolution Express has a highly experienced management team supported by:

Chairman: Michael Gebbie
Vietnam resident for 30 years. Founder Vidotour Vietnam Inbound Travel Company. Co-founder Infrasol Ltd (infrastructure construction); Founder Vietserve Technology Ltd (industrial dealerships). Co-founder Indochina Rail Ltd

General Director: Hoang Quoc Hoi
Relationship with VRC built on 20 years of trading rail equipment. Founder Thien Ky Ltd (trading and service). Co-founder Infrasol Ltd. Co-founder Indochina Rail Ltd

Project Manager: Thao Pham
Experienced PM. Background in interior design and production. Managing local government relationships. Coordinating design and construction teams

Rolling Stock Manager: Nguyen Van Hien
Retired steam engineer with VRC. Team Leader locomotive restoration. Head trainer for driver and engineer certification. Managing maintenance plan and resources

Relationship Manager: Tran Quoc Minh
Retired Planning and Investment Senior Manager, VRC Hanoi. Responsible for licenses, VRC and government relationships

General Manager: Shane Lewis
Australian with 25 years experience in hotel/F&B management, Director Aman Resorts Group

Revolution Express Senior Management Team

Integrated Sustainability

Indochina Rail has adopted a strategy of integrated sustainability, covering social, economic, environmental and cultural.

Sustainability initiatives include:

Local and Surrounding Areas

  • Collaborating with Carbon for Forest Eco Systems Services, bringing carbon offset initiatives to the table, including support for local forest communities and land owners to protect and expand surrounding forests and national parks.
  • A Revolution Express education charity, where a percentage of profits will be allocated towards creating work opportunities for neighboring village children.
  • Commissioning local artisans to display their wares for sale in a daily farmers market setting at our Lang Co station.

On Board

  • Food served in eco-friendly bamboo bowls and trays.
  • Wooden cutlery and paper straws.
  • Local sourcing: purchasing and procurement of food, ingredients and other consumable products.
Umbrellas on a beach
Revolution Express logo

A Tourism Growth Story

Pivotal Tourism Growth Numbers

Vietnam is a perfect combination of friendly people, world heritage history, visual architecture, delicious cuisine, spectacular mountain ranges and stunning beaches.

Last year there were a region-leading 85 million domestic tourists, who made up more than 80% of all holiday-makers within Vietnam.

Da Nang arrivals topped 8M in 2019, with air arrivals up 55%.

Vietnam’s international tourists rose over 2M to 18M in 2019.

An expected 25% growth in foreign arrivals was projected in 2020, which has now been pushed to 2021.

Tourists in Da Nang, Vietnam

Vietnamese People Travel Within Vietnam

Vietnam’s success in containing the coronavirus epidemic means domestic travel has already restarted. With lockdown lasting barely a month, holiday-makers are back, and exclusively local.

Last year there were 85 million Vietnamese domestic tourists. Statistics show that 30% of them traveled multiple times. Since COVID, observations suggest local travelers are favoring shorter breaks closer to home, at the beach or in a natural setting. Da Nang sits no more than an hours flight from both Hanoi and Saigon and in 2019 there were more than 300 domestic flights a week in and out of Da Nang alone.

In addition to this, our train journey allows for low commitment, shorter, safer travel. This means it will be an appealing experience for both domestic and regional tourists in the wake of COVID-19.

Two Unique Provinces. One Fascinating Route

With our locations in the heart of Vietnam’s central coast traditional holiday hotspots of Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue, we are perfectly placed to reap the financial rewards brought about by continued growth in local tourism to favored destinations. International airports catering to domestic and foreign tourists are located in both Da Nang and Hue (Lang Co sits within Hue Province), making the Revolution Express a unique link between these neighboring provinces.

Scenic View from Revolution Express

The Return of Foreign Visitors

Vietnam has been praised by international health experts for implementing one of the world’s best-organized epidemic control measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic with no deaths recorded and no community transmission since April.

Even with these measures taken, we expect the effects of COVID-19 to change International travel at some level to Vietnam over the next year, however, given our project launch date in 2021, we believe the impact on our business to be minimal.

Based on the current state of the world, we believe that there is no better time to be building, hiring, and training in this new, lower-cost environment, with our pick of very experienced hospitality staff available for hire.

Revolution Express Dining Car Meal

Business Growth Areas

Below we outline our current projects and future goals for growth:


Working towards a total of seven passenger carriages, including private hire VIP carriages offering interchangeable layout options; from business to a casual lounge setting with piano.

Adding an extension from Lang Co to Hue City. This will open opportunities to develop a second Royal Imperial Line, showcasing the ancient royal city of Hue and providing more options for guests to experience additional historic experiences, as well as developing repeat business.


To develop a day activity resort centre in Lang Co. 5ha Lagoon - fronting land is already reserved.

We are in advanced discussions with Vietnam Rail Company to lease long term the narrow gauge 7km railway line and the French ethnic designed colonial station in the beautiful French hill retreat of Da Lat, just a three-hour drive from Saigon.

We have the option to take over, renovate and operate the 94 room Faifo Railway Hotel in downtown Da Nang, which sits adjacent to the Revolution Express Da Nang Station. The Faifo which sits on 7,000m2 of prime land is already held by our sister company Dong Duong (Indochina Rail).

Fishing in a Vietnamese river

Additional Adventures and Events

The Indochina Rail website and online booking platform will offer a host of exciting day trips, easily accessible from both Da Nang and Lang Co stations.

A Taste of Adventure Offerings

For the outdoor adventurers

Kayaking, rafting, hiking, biking and tree climb adventures are on offer individually, or combined as a full day excursion.

For the ocean lovers

Half day cruises to explore the local coast, or venture a little further to experience some of the snorkeling and diving sites.

For the motorbike junkies

Off-road tours encompassing breathtaking landscapes, mountain passes, valleys and remote villages.

For the romantics

Take a magical Lang Co Lagoon Sunset boat ride.


School trips
Corporate events
Themed dinners and weekend events

Small boat on a river in Vietnam

Additional Experiences

Holiday-makers of all ages are visiting Vietnam’s fastest growing destination, and they are looking for interesting experiences and adventures.

A Taste of Experiential Offerings

A Mindful and Cultural journey that combines local Vietnameseart, architecture and historical sites.

A ‘Pho Discovery’ tour where guests get to visit local markets to select their ingredients, culminating in a traditional Vietnamese home-style cooking class run by leading local chefs in our station kitchen.

A Vietnamese Spa Journey where guests can experience massages and facials using traditional ‘beauty secret’ ingredients, body wraps made with mineral rich locally sourced mud and rice body scrubs made up of a rice, ginger, saffron and sweet almond oil.

A ‘Day in the Life’ homestay enables guests to experience a night with a Vietnamese family from the area.

Glamping Vietnamese Style encompasses an overnight stay on the edge of the stunning Lang Co lagoon.

Revolution Express Lang Co Tourism and Language Training Centre for Disadvantaged local Children where guests are welcome to visit and participate in activities.

Umbrellas on a beach
Revolution Express logo

Want to know more?

For further details use the form below to contact us.