One can usually find train rides to be exhausting and often boring, but a window seat with the perfect view can definitely make your journey as good as any other. Imagine your coach running through breathtaking landscapes like desserts, over a river or lake, mountains, etc. Sound beautiful and exciting right? There are a lot of train rides that not only connect major cities and towns but even offer their passengers with some excellent views. Hence, we decided to compile a list of 11 must-try train rides that will leave you spellbound. If you happen to take the same route, we recommend these trains for both luxury and scenery. Bon, voyage!
TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY, RUSSIA
Being the longest train ride running across Russia, as it covers 9300 km and has 120 halts, the Trans-Siberian Railway is going to leave you in awe. As the train moves through some beautiful spots in Russia like Lake Baikal the world’s largest freshwater lake (by volume), as it crosses 8 time-zones in its eight-day journey. The train passes through the dense Siberian forests and the Ural Mountains. The best attraction would be the 3227-foot-long bridge that the train takes to cross River Ob as it connects Moscow and Vladivostok
ROCKY MOUNTAINEER, CANADA
One of the most scenic train rides, the Rocky Mountaineer covers the beautiful landscape of Western Canada as it runs through difficult terrains and exhilarating heights. Running from Vancouver to Banff, the train ride covers certain prominent points like Seattle, Calgary, Jasper, and Lake Louise. Canada is considered to be a dream destination for those who love nature and this ride proves that as it treats its passengers throughout some marveling sites – like steep tracks along the banks of Thompson River and the snow-capped mountains as you arrive at Banff.
GLACIER EXPRESS, SWITZERLAND
Zermatt and St Moritz are the two most scenic mountain resorts of Switzerland and the Glacier Express happens to connect these two towns as it takes you through the Swiss Alps. The one day trip will give the passengers to view some picture-perfect moments as the train crosse through villages, alpine meadows, and mountain lakes. With the highest point of the train ride being 6706 feet the train also happens to pass through 91 tunnels and 291 bridges with the most famous being the Landwasser Viaduct that is a brilliant six-arch 200 feet tall structure that plunges into a tunnel that is cut straight through the mountainside.
KONKAN RAILWAY, INDIA
As you travel from Southern India to Goa, the Konkan Railway crosses the Goa-Karnataka border only to give you a glimpse of nature in its most beautiful form. The train ride consists of crossing a bridge built on the Dudhsagar Waterfalls leaving each passenger in awe of its beauty. The Dudhsagar Waterfalls is a 600-meter waterfall that flows down the hills in a manner that resembles milk flowing down in streams. As the train crosses the bridge the passengers feel the cool breeze along with water droplets against their skin as a mystical aura forms around it.
GRAND CANYON RAILWAY, USA
A 105 km long train ride that will surely feel like dreamland while it gives you the best views of the Grand Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon Railway runs from Williams, Arizona to Grand Canyon. The train runs through the Southern stretch of the National Park the journey offers the passengers many sights of interest that include pine forests, open prairies set against the mountainous San Francisco Peaks. The lucky ones may even get to spot some native wildlife as you see the USA’s greatest natural phenomena.
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SOUTHERN RAILWAY, INDIA
Connecting a place with religious significance – Rameswaram and the Pamban Islands to Mandapam in mainland India, this train ride will you with twinkling eyes as you cross the Pamban Bridge. A 2.3 km long bridge that runs across the Palk Strait is one of the five sea bridges of India and was the longest bridge until Bandra-Worli Sea Link came into operation. This ride is the sole medium connectivity to mainland India from Pamban Islands along with a road bridge that runs parallel to this one.
BELMOND HIRAM BINGHAM, PERU
As you take a ride to Machu Picchu in the luxury train of Belmond Hiram Bingham in Peru, you shall travel through some of the most romantic and photo-worthy landscapes. The journey starts from Cusco – the ancient capital city, taking you through a stunning valley – the Sacred Valley of the Incas – formed by the twists and turns of Urubamba River and also tiny village named Ollantaytambo. Even though the journey will you in awe, the cherry on the cake is the final destination of Machu Picchu – an ancient Inca citadel nestled among the Andes Mountains which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
GOLDEN EAGLE DANUBE EXPRESS, CENTRAL EUROPE, AND TRANSYLVANIA
As you board the Golden Eagle Express to travel on its Central Europe and Transylvania route you will find the ride to be not only awe-inspiring but also exhilarating. In the 14-day long journey, the train passes through eight countries as it reached its final destination – Prague – the capital of the Czech Republic. The ride is the best way to catch a glimpse of some of the most beautiful cities of Europe taking a halt in a few of them allowing you to go savor the European style and culture. To name a few landmarks, the train travels through Istanbul, then via the Carpathian Mountains and into Transylvania moving past the Bran Castle or ‘Dracula’s Castle’.
TRANZALPINE, NEW ZEALAND
Those aboard the TranzAlpine shall witness New Zealand’s most dramatic landscape as the ride starts off from Christchurch traveling northwest to reach its final destination Greymouth – a former historic gold mining town. The train traverses through a beautiful landscape that is the fertile fields of Canterbury Plains that move alongside the river Waimakariri, the mighty Staircase Viaduct, the breathtaking snow-capped mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park, and the subtropical forests of the west coast. As you travel, you witness almost all kinds of terrain leave you in awe of how just how beautiful New Zealand is.
THE GHAN, AUSTRALIA
The train ride offers the travelers to behold the vast and awe-inspiring landscape of Australia’s Outback in utmost luxury. The Ghan covers about 2000 miles starting off in the north from Darwin to Adelaide as its cuts right through the fiery red center of Australia. From the lush and green tropical coast of Northern Territory onto South Australia’s fertile plains traversing through the MacDonnell Ranges in between the ride seems to offer a lot to see. The train also happens to have many off-train trips that include a visit to Alice Springs – a desert town and a boat tour of Nitmiluk Gorge.
ROVOS RAIL’S NAMIBIA SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA
With luxury interiors, the train gives travelers a beautiful and breathtaking sight of the best in South Africa. Rovos Rail’s Namibia Safari covers a 2000 mile journey starting from Pretoria in South Africa. The train passes Kimberley which is a former diamond rush town and also home to Big Hole (one of the world’s largest hand-dug mines). The journey will also give you views of the landscape of the Northern Cape, Fish River Canyon, Kalahari Desert, and the Namib Desert as the train reaches its endpoint at Swakopmund – preserved German Hansa town that lies along the coast of Namibia.
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