Ten train journeys that will take you through the most scenic corners of the world
Posted on 20/11/2020

TransportUnited Kingdom

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There is no doubt that air travel is the fastest method of transportation, but it might not be the most fulfilling. In order to explore the countries you're visiting, you've got to hit the road - or better yet, hop on a train that will give you a real, local experience. The next time you're planning a trip, skip the air travel and check out one of these world renowned train journeys instead!

West Highland Line, Scotland

West Highland Line, Scotland
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People all over the world rave about the gorgeous Scottish countryside and the perfect way to experience its splendors is by taking a train ride on the West Highland Line. These world class railways connect the capital, Glasgow, to the West Highlands and it will take you through major stops like Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. If you've watched Harry Potter, then you're in for a treat with this journey. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is the very bridge that the Hogwarts Express traverses in the Chamber of Secrets! The highlight of this trip will be seeing the untouched natural beauty of Scotland, so make sure to bag yourself a window seat.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe

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The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the epitome of luxe with its shiny, exquisite interiors, to the stunning locations it passes by. This train was designed by Belmond in the hopes of recreating the legendary Orient Express and they have definitely surpassed all the expectations. As soon as you enter the carriage, you will be transported back to the Golden Era of the 1920s and it'll make you feel like absolute royalty. You'll be sleeping in elegant private compartments and dining in extravagance. This express will take you to fine European cities like London, Paris and Verona through the most gorgeous routes that can only be accessed by rail.

Rovos Rail's Namibia Safari, South Africa

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This railway adventure is packed to the brim with loads of extraordinary things to see and we can guarantee that this will be an memorable experience. The Rovos Rail will take you on a nine day trip across the countries of South Africa and Namibia. You will depart from Pretoria in South Africa and ride through one the world's most famous diamond rushes. The train will traverse across the second largest canyon in the world and into great African deserts like Kalahari and Namib. The whole journey is 3,400 kilometers long and every second is filled with exciting, unique spectacles.

Death Railway, Thailand

Death Railway, Thailand
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This may sound like a terrifying roller coaster ride in an amusement park but in reality it is one of the most pleasant train rides you will ever take. This railway actually got its name from the tragic history behind the construction of the lines. It is said that for every sleeper that was built, one man had to sacrifice his life because the construction crew was plagued with many diseases. You will quickly learn to disassociate from the name because the experience is the complete opposite. The train passes through serene routes surrounded by the dense jungles of Thailand and this has become one of the most relished train journeys of the world.

Sunset Limited, United States of America

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If you want the ultimate American experience, then you must book a ride on the Sunset Limited. This Amtrak passenger train will take you through blazing hot deserts, towering Californian mountains and slow moving bayous. The train travels between Los Angeles and New Orleans three times a week and it stops in five states along the way: Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Now, this is a rather short trip and you will reach the final destination within 24 hours but there is an immense assortment of landscapes to see on the way so be prepared to see it all!

First Passage To The West, Canada

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Let's head up north and explore one of the finest railway journeys in Canada. Rocky Mountaineer's train takes you all the way from the East of Canada to the West - past snow capped mountains, vast blue lakes and lush green forests. This is a sight for sore eyes and anyone who loves to travel will enjoy this epic train journey. This exceptional railway route will take you around the greatest spots of Southern British Columbia like Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies. What's amazing is that this is the only passenger train that has access to this unique route so you definitely won't get this experience anywhere else!

Trans Siberian Railway, Russia

Trans Siberian Railway, Russia
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The Trans Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world and it's special because it connects the West to the East. You will start your journey in the heart of Russia, Moscow and travel over 9000 kilometers to the East. This route takes you through the expansive lands of Russia, Mongolia and China, and this is your chance to see terrains that have been unaltered for centuries. It takes a full week to reach the very last destination and we strongly recommend you stay onboard for the whole journey. You'll be travelling across three countries, seven time zones and multiple wonders of the world like The Great Wall of China and Lake Baikal.

Palace on Wheels, India

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Here is another train journey that will make you feel elite, and that's because it was used only by kings and queens before the 1980s. It was transformed into a high class tourist experience in 1982 and is known to be among the top ten luxury trains in the world. Palace on Wheels will take you around the beautiful state of Rajasthan and in this journey you'll get a closer look into India's cultural heritage. Your trip will start in the Indian capital of New Delhi and you'll make stops in the most popular cities of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer. Keep an eye outside the window because there are many wonderful sights to see.

Reunification Express, Vietnam

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Travelling around Vietnam does not cost a fortune, even the airfare is relatively cheap. However, the most preferred mode of transportation for tourists is travelling by train because it immerses you into the core of Vietnamese culture. The trains going through the Reunification Express line will take you between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but remember, the journey is way better than the destination. This 30 hour train ride will take you through vibrant green rice fields, quiet little villages, busy towns and bustling Vietnamese cities. Don't be surprised if you find yourself in the middle of a market, or someone's backyard either.

Tokaido Shinkansen, Japan

Tokaido Shinkansen, Japan
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This train ride is not about the scenic views, it's more about the experience because who wouldn't want to ride one of the world's fastest trains? This train can cover more than 500 kilometers in just two and a half hours. You'll most likely be speeding past Japanese metropolitan areas and everything outside will look hazy. What's interesting about this train journey is how it reflects Japanese culture. You'll see straight, orderly queues, trains that arrive exactly on time, and there is pin drop silence aboard the wagon. It seems unusual to most foreigners but it's an experience they never forget.