Top 10 Most Interesting Train Journeys To Travel the World
Most train routes penetrate the vast landforms and embrace the wilderness as they run along the outskirts of cities, making for a fascinating journey. The trail winds through the woods far from any human habitation.
These train rides would give you the chills, put you in a dreamlike state, and give you a rare opportunity to see the world from a bird’s eye perspective.
Discover: Top 10 Most Beautiful Train Routes for Discovering in the World
The First Passage to the West is the most well-known train journey offered by the Rocky Mountaineer company. The routes depart from Vancouver and take travelers deep into the Canadian Rockies, across vast canyons, and through the wilderness of British Columbia. Into Alberta and onto Banff, you’ll see some of the most jaw-dropping scenery anywhere in the Americas.
Depending on your needs, we offer carefully compiled bundles. The standard journey from Vancouver to Banff takes two days, but with optional tours it can take as long as four or five days. Even more extensive is their Rainforest to Gold Rush route, which also begins in Vancouver but then heads north and east for three days, passing through Whistler and finally arriving in Jasper amid snow-capped alpine peaks.
Route : Zermatt – Brig – Andermatt – Chur-St. Moritz – Davos
Duration : 7 hours 30 minutes
The mountain towns of Zermatt and St. Moritz are connected by the Glacier Express. There are 91 tunnels and 291 bridges along the route. It takes approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes to travel the 290 kilometers.
One of the world’s most scenic train rides, with breathtaking views of mountain lakes and the Swiss Alps. The train crosses the Oberalp Pass at 6,706 feet high as ride starts. It’s one of the slowest trains, but it’ll get you to the most famous scenic train in the world.
The 371-kilometer route deserves its reputation as “one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys.” You can enjoy the tranquility of Norway’s mountains and plateaus on the train.
In northern Europe, the Bergen Railway from Oslo to Bergen is one of the highest railways. The most breathtaking scenery in Norway can be seen from this train.
Although overnight trains between Bergen and Oslo are convenient, most passengers prefer to travel between the two cities during the day. The trip takes 7 hours, includes 180 tunnels, and 22 stops along the way.
Expert traveler Michael Palin called this “one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world” — what more do you need to know? From Derry, the route to Benone Strand, one of CNN Travel’s favorite beaches, takes 38 minutes as it follows the Foyle River through the countryside. If you just can’t resist a stroll on the beach, you can hop off the train at Castlerock, which is conveniently located next to the beach.
After that, the train heads back inland toward Coleraine, this time following the Bann River. Mountsandel Fort, perched on the high bank of the Bann, is the oldest human settlement on the entire island of Ireland, so you’ll be treading in the footsteps of important people. The years 7600-7900 BCE saw settlement there.
The journey to Montserrat, the sawtoothed mountain range rising behind the seaside city and housing a Benedictine abbey since the 11th century (although the current building dates from the 1800s) begins at Barcelona’s grand Plaça d’Espanya. The 23-mile railway line rumbles through the Catalan countryside to the foot of the mountains, where the Cremallera rack railway has been heaving visitors up the mountainside since 1892 (with a break from 1957-2003).
Rack traction helps you gain 1,800 feet in elevation in the first 2.5 miles of this incredible ride. Once you reach the monastery, you can continue your ascent into the mountains via the Sant Joan funicular. Hiking in the mountains is possible from that location.
Kandy to Ella is part of a longer line that travels from Colombo to Badulla and takes anywhere from eight and a half to ten hours. The line was originally constructed by the colonial British to transport goods like tea, but it is now an essential transportation link for locals.
It’s dusty, it’s hot, it’s exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating as carriages fill with people singing songs, selling delicious home-made food and drinks, laughing and smiling. As the train winds its way through the hills, passengers can look out and see individuals in vibrant saris working on tea farms below. If you’re feeling extravagant, you can take a first-class carriage along this route, but why? There is at least one route where the prim and proper atmosphere of first class completely defeats the purpose of the trip.
Route : Mumbai (CST) – Roha – Veer – Khed – Chiplun – Ratnagiri – Rajapur – Kudal – Sawantwadi – Pernem – Vema – Madgaon – Cancona – Karwar – Ankola – Honnavar – Bhatkal – Kundapura – Udupi – Thokur – Mangalore
Duration : 8 Hours 30 Minutes
The Dudhsagar Falls, located on the Goa–Karnataka border, are 600 meters in length, making the train ride there one of the most breathtaking in the world. The waterfall, which resembles milk tumbling from a great height, will more than justify the cost of your vacation.
The breathtaking scenery of the Dudhsagar waterfalls is a major draw for those taking the train ride. Konkan railways definitely change the Indian railway’s reputation to the best and it is also pride train route for Indians.
The Serra Verde is a route that began in the 19th century when the Belgian-French company Chemin de Fer Bresilien was granted permission to construct a railway to open up trade routes from the city of Curitiba, almost a kilometer above sea level. It’s current incarnation is as a tourist train running the three hours to the town of Morretes.
It starts out in the Pico do Marumbi State Park, high up in the forested mountains. A tropical wilderness of crashing waterfalls and cloud forests, make sure you get a seat by an open window to experience the full sensation of the breeze, the smells of vegetation and water, and the thrill of flying over viaducts with seemingly nothing beneath you. Note that this requires purchasing a lower-priced ticket, as the only class with air conditioning (and thus sealed windows) is the most expensive Litorina de Luxo. On a trip like this, why would you want to be confined?
You came for the scenery, after all — breathtaking views of the glistening Mediterranean between some of the region’s loveliest towns. However, if you’re a travel nerd at heart, you’ll appreciate this 50-minute route that takes you through France, Monaco, and back into France before ending at the Italian border.
For most of the trip, starting out from Nice Riquier station, you’ll have beautiful views, clonking past Art Deco villas, and alternating between snatches of the Med between the trees, and rattling along entire bays, with towns stacked up the cliffsides. You’ll get fantastic views of Monte-Carlo and travel through some of the most famous coastal towns on the French Riviera, including ze (pictured above) and lemon-filled Menton. The scent of blooming bougainvillea is a sure sign that you’ve arrived in Italy.
If nothing else, “Harry Potter” will probably make you recognize the 1,250-foot-long Glenfinnan viaduct, which spans the Scottish Highlands and features trains thundering across the Finnan River at a height of 100 feet.
It makes sense that this is one of the most breathtaking train rides in the world given the breathtaking views along Scotland’s most well-known railway line, which transport you directly into the Highlands without ever leaving the carriage. It heads directly northwest out of Glasgow and ends at Mallaig, from where you can catch a ferry to the Isle of Skye.
The journey will take you past Ben Nevis, across Rannoch Moor, where the line “floats” above the peat bogs, and through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (yes, you chug alongside the loch). Red deer and stags are frequently your closest neighbors for miles.
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