Pleasure trips by train to places close to — or even some distance from — Vienna, or perhaps by steamship to faraway destinations such as Constantinople, Cairo or even further into the Orient, became extremely popular in the second half of the nineteenth century. And so in the winter of 1863–4 Johann Strauss II composed the quick polka with the title Vergnügungszug, even including in the instrumentation a ‘conductor’s horn’, which was used to sound the signal for a train to depart. The various railway companies, at that time competing with one another, regularly offered their passengers so-called ‘excursion trains’ to attractive destinations.
Johann Strauss II. : Pleasure Train / Polka schnell op. 281
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