Monday, November 28, 2011

Ten Best Railway Journeys of the World

guest post by Paul of Look Trains

Trains are one of the most romantic ways to travel, because they offer not only comfort and, some of them, even luxury, but also the opportunity to enjoy amazing landscapes as no other means of transportation. Thus, the beauty of the sights, the charm of the restless, diverse train stations and comfort combined make these railways the best in the world.

1. Glacier Express

One of the most appreciated railways in the world and one of the most celebrated trains of all time, is the one connecting the train stations of Zermatt and St. Moritz resorts,. This unforgettable journey through the Swiss Alps ranks first in many people’s preferences. The panoramic windows, which are placed even in the roof and the multitude of modern conveniences, make the trip worth its price.

2. Centovalli

The 105 minutes journey from Domossola, in Italy to Locarno, Switzerland, is justly named Centovalli as the travelers pass through 100 side valleys of a natural splendor. The charm of the little carriages, the spectacular views as well as the picturesque train stations are worth the price of the ticket!

3. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

This historical line was once used for gold-ore mining and the steam locomotives that were built in the 1920s give an extra charm to this trip. The main attraction of the line is nevertheless the majestic mountain landscape which becomes particularly beautiful in the Animas River gorge area.

4. Indian Pacific

This is the train (top photo) that makes the connection between the western and eastern Australia and is famous for being the railway with the longest straight section of track in the entire world, 478 km across the infertile plain of Bullarbor.

5. Trans-Siberian

The longest railway in the world links Moscow to the Far East Russia and the Sea of Japan. A branch line also takes travelers to China and Mongolia. Today, the new railway called “Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian” is privately owned and offers great comfort to the passengers, which is quite necessary if you think that the entire journey could last for more than a week! Not to worry though, the modern trains include showers with floor heating and many other facilities and there are also long stops in the train stations to make use of ATMs, for example.

6. Eurostar

This is a delightful journey which will benefit travelers with time to spare and a taste for luxury. One of the most amazing train stations in the world, St Pancras, in London, is especially designed to host the high-speed Eurostar. Traveling from London to Paris and Brussels was never more appealing than with this world famous railway.

7. Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Famous all over the world is the historical Orient Express which stopped running in 2009. However, the private Venice Simplon Orient Express took over the original routs – including the famous Paris-Istanbul line, but also acquired the vintage trains, with carriages dating from the 20s. Thus, a journey with the Orient Express remains as enjoyable as it was for decades.

8. The Canadian

The most beautiful way to travel between Toronto and Vancouver is by means of the VIA (Via Rail Canada) railway which allows you to discover the wonderful sights of endlessly green forests, of the colossal snowy mountains and of the comfortable silver carriages that come right from the 50s.

9. New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling

One of the World Heritage sites, the toy train to Darjeeling offers its travelers amazing views of the Himalayas and of the Kanchenjunga. The beauty of this journey is incontestable, though it is more for the adventurous souls, as India, with its colors, scents and wilderness is not for everybody. Connecting the plain train stations to hill ones, the 88 km long journey will offer you 8 hours of enchantment.

10. Settle and Carlisle

This is most amazing railway in the entire England, especially for those who appreciate the overwhelming beauty of mountain landscapes. At north of Settle there is the Yorkshire Dales National Park; the entire line bursts with life and color, as the trains “attack” Yorkshire’s three peaks: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Leaving from one of the most picturesque train stations in the world, the Victorian Settle Station, this railway will offer travelers the journey of their lives.

Look Travel Network is the practical guide that will inform you on trains and train stations, parks, bridges, airports, fun guide and landmarks . Go and enjoy your trips and journeys.

Photo Credits: Indian Pacific, Glacier Express, Centovalli, Durango, Trans-Siberian, Eurostar, Orient Express, Canadian, Darjeeling, Settle


Bowling Towels said...

Thank you. This is a great article, not only for travelers but also for train buffs. My only experience is with the Durango Railroad while in Colorado. I definitely look forward to seeing some of the others.

Mark H said...

@bowling towels: The journeys are all over the world so it will take some time to travel on the full list.

Siberian Wanderer said...

I've been on the Trans-Siberian a few years ago, but not on the luxury definitely wasn't the most comfortable trip I ever took, but the scenery was wonderful and I got to meet a lot of interesting people.

Niki London said...

I hate to travel with busses and plains but trains are my favourite indeed, I think that this is the best way to travel and I plan to try Orient Express journey, hope it will be nice!

Mark H said...

@siberian wanderer: The more down market the more interesting the other folks on the train. I've had great experiences on a rickety old local Indian train and a train in Ecuador.

Mark H said...

@niki: I'm with you - there is something more romantic and exciting about trains...

Sherry said...

The Centovalli looks stunning! May have to look that up when I'm next in Italy! I love train rides!

Singapore Employment Pass said...

Awesome!! what an adventurous train trip. I love such train trips climbing on mountains.

Mark H said...

@sherry: I love the mountain trains too - it is incredible where some rail lines have been built given the terrain and conditions.

Mark H said...

@singapore: I adore the mountain trains too. One of my first ever long trips was ther Bernina Express from Switzerland to Italy in March and the snow still lay everywhere. Spectacular.

Heather on her travels said...

The last fantastic train trip I took was the Mont Blanc Express - amazing they have carved the track through the mountain

PWT Harbal Products said...

Lovely article and beautiful pics

stay in Bangkok said...

The most beautiful way to travel between Toronto and Vancouver is by means of the VIA

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