“I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I was on it,” said the travel writer Paul Theroux and am pretty sure most of us concur with him. Train journeys are the most comfortable and relaxing means of long-distance travel.
While a flight may help you reach the destination within a short span of time, nothing quite beats the scenic views, window side sightseeing opportunity and the romance of a train ride.
Here is a list of some of the most amazing train journeys in the world which are a must do with your travel buddies.
1. Oslo- Bergen Railway, Norway:
The Oslo to Bergen route is one of the most scenic and famous routes in the whole of Europe. This is one of the best train journeys. It’s the highest major rail route in Europe and the most spectacular one, passing through mountain terrains at 4000ft. Picture radiant, winding fjords cutting through mountain ranges of Norway with nature in its most serene and artistic setting is something you’ll get to experience on this exhilarating trip and train journey. There are four trains departing from Oslo to Bergen each day and takes almost 6-7 hours.
It’s advisable to take a one-two day halt at the fjord-side village of Flam which is one of the top attractions of Norway.
2. Trans-Siberian Railway – Russia:
The Trans-Siberian Railway is among the world’s longest rail routes covering 5772 miles. Spanning across eight time zones, the Trans-Siberian Railway takes eight days to complete the journey. The main route begins in Moscow, crosses over the Ural Mountains, through dense Siberian forests and connects the capital with Vladivostok in the East.
3. Belmond Hiram Bingham – Peru:
If you’ve got no time to hike the Inca trail to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu or did not get a permit for the same, then the Belmond Hiram Bingham is a once-in-a-lifetime luxury train journey starting from Cusco and ending at Machu Picchu. It traverses through some of Peru’s most romantic scenery turning a magical journey into an unforgettable travel experience. This luxury train runs every day except last Sunday of each month.
4. Reunification Express, Vietnam:
There is no single train which is called the Reunification Express but any train running on the North-South Railway line is called so. The Reunification Express is an integral part of the country’s history and is the best way to explore Vietnam. This is one of the best train journeys. The train runs from Hanoi right down to Ho Chi Minh city and is almost 30 hours long train journey. This train is a fascinating experience which rumbles through endless fields of rice quaint dusty towns and several other beautiful tourist places. The Railway was battered and bruised by American bombs during the Vietnam war but resurrected itself and resumed services after the country’s reunification in 1976.
5. Danube Express, Europe:
The Golden Eagle Danube Express is a luxurious private hotel train with comfortable coaches, private suites and fine dining, hosting just 65 passengers. Crossing an incredible eight countries, it is the best way to see Europe in style. This train traverses a 2000mile passage starting from Istanbul, Turkey to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. On the way, it travels through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Poland before ending the journey at Prague.
6. TranzAlpine, New Zealand:
The TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 kilometers one way taking just less than 5 hours. This journey will take you through South Island’s stunning natural landscape between Christchurch and Greymouth. You’ll also get to see magnanimous snow-capped mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park, ice fed Waimakariri river, majestic Canterbury Plains as well as the Southern Alps. This is truly once in a lifetime journey and a must do. Plan a trip soon!