No matter what mode of transport you choose for your travels around the world, nothing can beat the old school charm of train journeys. Hot steam blowing, engines chugging, endless vistas outside the window and amazing company inside. Who would not want a comfortable and relaxing journey like this one? This time explore places by going on a long distance train journey. Get a new perspective of the world around you from the window of a train.
Here are some of the best train journeys you should go at least once in your lifetime.
1. Trans-Siberian Railway
Think of train journeys and the first one which pops up in the head is the Trans-Siberian Railways. If there are bucket lists then none is complete without the mention of Trans-Siberian railways. The longest journey on a single train, spanning 9,258 kms for 7 days. The main line runs from Moscow to Vladivostok with connecting branches to China, Mongolia and North Korea.
There are many trains which have some interesting itineraries for this route. Do you want to explore the interiors of Siberia or the beauty of Lake Baikal or want to explore Beijing via Mongolia? It's on you to choose what kind of adventure you want to go on.
Source: Valery Chernodedov, Flickr.com
2. Venice Simplon Orient Express
Long train journeys are all about sitting back and having a restful atmosphere. Add a little overlay of luxury to this and have one of the most lavish experience of a train journey from London to Venice. Yes it’s the train from the ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, but there has never been any murder on the train. This private express train is all about luxury, glamour and above all, intrigue. Admire the landscapes from the cabins with plush banquette, travel back in time with the historical carriages restored from the 1920s and 1950s. The Orient Express takes you to the classic route from London to Venice. Travel through the French farmlands, Swiss Alpine Valleys, further ahead to Paris, Budapest, Bucharest and then enter into soulful Istanbul.
Source: Simon Pielow, Flickr.com
3. Arctic Circle Train
If you are a winter person, someone who loves snow, bone chilling nights and snuggling up in a blanket, then this train journey is for you. As the name suggests the Arctic Circle Train takes you through from Stockholm in Sweden to Narvik in Norway. You have an option of an overnight journey but the best way to experience this journey is through the 3 day Arctic Circle Pass. This pass allows you to hop on and hop off to as many stops in the route. You can catch the spectacular show by the northern lights in Abisko, see the midnight sun in Lapland depending on the season and many more beautiful landscapes on Sweden’s most scenic route. Of all the Scandinavian train journeys, the Arctic Circle Train is the best one to go on to.
4. Qinghai-Tibet Railway
If the Trans-Siberian Railways have the longest rail route then the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has the highest rail route in the world. It is 4000m above the sea level with more than half of the rail tracks built on permafrost. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is an engineering miracle. It starts from Xinning, capital of Qinghai province, and ends in Lhasa, capital of Tibet. It takes you through some enchanting high altitude lakes, mountains passes and plains. As this is a high altitude travel, make sure you are fit enough for it and have the prescribed medication in case of High Altitude Sickness. There can be no other adventurous way than this rail journey for you to reach Tibet, the roof of the world.
5. The Rocky Mountaineer
Always dreamt of visiting the Canadian Rockies? Why not do it in style? Welcome aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Explore the hidden world of the Canadian Rockies through the cabins of your train. Move along the rocky mountains and steep canyons without worrying if you have the right kind of shoe, all because you are inside a cozy cabin in the train. The unparalleled beauty of the Rockies is worth the 2 day journey. There a 4 spectacular routes and you can choose which to go on through oceans and untamed wilderness on the way. The destinations covered are Seattle - Vancouver - Banff - Lake Louise - Jasper - Calgary.
Source: Steve Boyko, traingeek.ca
6. Palace on Wheels
Absorb yourself into so royal luxury onboard the Palace on Wheels. True to its name, this train does give you the feeling of living in a palace as you pass through the deserts of Rajasthan. The train takes you through the famed ‘Golden Triangle’ route and it is nothing short of pomp and style. Make yourself comfortable in the wagons style cabins of Prince and Princesses. Indulge in some lip smacking traditional cuisine, take a relaxing spa session and feel all the stress going away.
7. The Glacier Express
The list of train journeys around the world cannot be complete without at least one train going to the Swiss Alps. The Glacier Express rightly offers the journey of the senses. The train has an open roof view of the mountains which will transport you to another universe altogether. The journey starts from Zermatt in the canton of Valais to St. Moritz in the canton of Graubünden, and vice versa. As you start the journey from Zermatt you come across the breathtaking view of the Matterhorn. The train also takes you through the Rhine Gorge, which is famously known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Switzerland’.
8. The Train to the Clouds
Explore Argentina like never before through a journey of the Train to the clouds. ‘Tren a las Nubes’ or The Train to the Clouds starts from the Salta region in north-west Argentina. Salta is where you get the magnificent view of the Andes and the train journey takes you through the same. The round trip from Salta, Argentina to Antofagasta in Chile and back takes approximately 16 hours but is worth every penny.
Venture on an experience of a lifetime. Take a train journey through the world and get a different world view.