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Train travel: 10 of the world’s greatest train routes for train travel

Thanks to the plane routes that wrap the world like a spider web, we can go from one place to another in the fastest way, and we have the chance to have breakfast at the other end of Europe. Speed is necessary for the modern world, but sometimes slowing down and choosing scenic roads can leave unforgettable memories. Aside from its nostalgia, the train can give a good reason not to rush from one place to another thanks to the natural wonders that its tracks pass through.

Here are the 10 most spectacular train track views.

The Ghan, Australia

The Australian outback offers some of the most exciting and inspiring nature adventures in the world. Traveling by train with The Ghan, you will have a chance to experience the most impressive sights of the country from the comfort of a luxurious upholstered seat. This 3,000-kilometer journey passes through the red area of the Australian desert with stops for some non-train activities. Highlights of these activities include a visit to the stunning Catherine Valley in Nitmiluk National Park and the famous provincial town of Alice Springs. Enjoy a private coupe while walking in the heart of Australia and taste all the food.

Glacier Express, Switzerland

Curving through the Swiss Alps, the Glacier Express passes deep valleys, narrow curves and 91 tunnels and 291 bridges on its journey, which may explain why it is one of the slowest expressways in the world. There’s no need to rush anyway. Zermatt and St. Moritz offers the perfect opportunity to see the Swiss Alps. Although regular trains also serve in this region, only the Glacier Express has a direct route, and with its large windows extending to the roof, it allows you to comfortably watch the view outside. Starting from an altitude of 1605 meters, the train soon reaches the majestic Matterhorn Mountain just outside Zermatt. The pinnacle of the journey is the 2044-metre-high Oberalp Pass, where the Rhine also originates. Another unforgettable sight is the Rhine Valley, also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon, located between Ilanz and Reichenau.

Trans-Siberian Express, Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most famous train journeys in the world, starting from Moscow and continuing through all of Russia to the eastern port town of Vladivostok. The route has an astonishing 9,289km length and spans seven time zones. Along the way, you’ll pass the Obi River next to the city of Novosibirsk and see the most remote and beautiful areas of Siberia, including Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume. With an average speed of just 60 km/h, this train journey is an example of slow travel, but still takes only seven days to complete. Trans-Siberia is one of the world’s most iconic voyages and was once lauded as “the most beautiful jewel in the crown of tsars.”

Flåm Railway, Norway

One of the world’s greatest train journeys, the Flåm Railway is only 20km long but offers some of Western Norway’s most stunning mountain scenery. It starts from the town of Flåm at the tip of the Aurlandsfjord, one of the most beautiful fjords in the world, and ends at Myrdal mountain station. It is one of the steepest railways in Europe with a climb of 863 meters in just 50 minutes. You’ll pass Rallar Road, Norway’s most popular bike route worthy of postcards, and travel across a lush mountain landscape filled with bubbling waterfalls, wild rivers and deep valleys. After about 20 tunnels you will reach Myrdal station, but from there you can expand your adventure and travel on the Bergen Railway (also known as the Bergen Line) to Bergen on Norway’s southwest coast or to Hønefoss outside Oslo.

TranzAlpine, New Zealand

The TranzAlpine journey will allow you to see some of New Zealand’s most impressive landscapes up close. In under five hours, TranzAlpine travels from the vibrant capital of Christchurch, the South Island, to the former coal and gold mining town of Greymouth. Hop on the train and drive through meadows, misty mountain landscapes and tropical rainforests. You will follow the Waimakariri River to the Southern Alps and have the chance to see the famous Arthur Pass on the way. The Otira railway tunnel is also among the places you will pass through. There is no doubt that TranzAlpine is one of the most beautiful railway lines in the world.

The Jacobite, Scotland, UK

Even if the name doesn’t conjure anything up, you might know the Jacobite – and probably even better than you think. You ask why? This marvelous Scottish steam train had an important role in the famous Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express. Departing from Fort William, The Jacobite travels 66km through dazzling Scottish nature. It crosses several scenic freshwater lakes, stops at the village of Glenfinnan, and then sails back to its final stop, Mallaig harbour. Along the way you will enjoy awe-inspiring views of the majestic Scottish mountains, sparkling lakes and the Glenfinnan monument.

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Following the Rocky Mountaineer’s initial route from the cosmopolitan port city of Vancouver to the mountain town of Banff, you’ll take a two-day train ride through the majestic Canadian Rockies. Rocky Mountaineer operates four different routes, of which the historic one follows the “First Passage to the West” route, which connects Canada from east to west. On this cruise, you’ll have the chance to enjoy world-class views of majestic snow-capped mountains from your luxury cabin. As the windows reach all the way to the ceiling, you will have no trouble enjoying the impressive views of the Rocky Mountains.

Grand Canyon Railway, USA

You’ll enjoy a world-class train journey on the Grand Canyon Railway, ending in the magnificent Grand Canyon. Hop on the 1950s streamline train from Williams, located in the South Rim section of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and get ready for a comfortable 2.5-hour journey accompanied by excellent shuttle service. Uniformed wagon attendants place great emphasis on creating an old-fashioned atmosphere, and you will encounter impeccable service while watching the world’s most extraordinary nature. You will travel through dense pine forests and high desert plains and you will have the chance to see the impressive rock peaks and plains of the Grand Canyon from your soft and nostalgic seat.

Royal Scotsman, Scotland, United Kingdom

To recapture the romance of travel, you can take a private train ride with the Royal Scotsman, himself a Scottish wonder. It cannot be said to be cheap, but after all, it is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world. The Royal Scotsman has several routes, all starting in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, to the highlands of Scotland. Depending on the route you choose, your ticket includes various non-train excursions to some of Scotland’s best-known attractions and of course to some of the country’s whiskey breweries. After exploring the highlands like a true noble, you can return to your mahogany-lined wagon or unwind at the Bamford Haybarn Spa on the train.

Bergen Railway, Norway

The Bergen Railway (also known as the Bergen Line), which runs for 371 km in the magnificent Norwegian nature, is another train journey in Norway that you should not miss, and fortunately it has a connection with the Flåm Railway, which we mentioned earlier. The line runs from Bergen to Hønefoss and also passes through Finse, Norway’s highest railway station at 1,222 metres. You pass through the Hallingdal Valley and the Hardangervidda National Park on the Bergen Line, and in the winter months a snowplow is mounted in front of the train so that it can travel through the snow-covered terrain. The train passes over 200 tunnels and over 300 bridges in just seven hours, and you have the opportunity to stop in various Norwegian towns during the journey.


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