Trains have played a key role in the development of our planet. The invention of the steam engine heralded the industrial age and shaped the modern world with its new inventions and scientific advancements. Railways became the catalyst for development in the world by connecting far away cities and bridging the continents together. Today, though steam engines have been replaced my more powerful and cost-effective diesel and electric engines, trains continue to form an essential mode of transportation in the world.
In recent times, the look and feel of railways have changed a lot since its introduction. Trains have become faster, safer and more comfortable. However, images of old trains powered by steam-puffing engines, still evoke strong feelings of nostalgia. Even today, there are some trains that offer an unmatched experience of travelling while savouring the stunning scenic beauty and admiring some of the best engineering works of mankind. Check out the top 10 train journeys in the world that will induce nostalgic feelings in every traveller.
Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Trans-Siberian Railway line, a mammoth network of train lines that connects the Russian cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg with its easternmost city of Vladivostok. The same line also takes detours and enters Mongolia and China to connect Ulaanbaatar, Beijing and Shanghai. The One-way journey takes around 6-7 days and passes through some of the most remote stretches of land in Russia and Mongolia.
The Grand Canyon Railway, USA
The Grand Canyon Railway can easily be considered as one of the greatest engineering works of the USA. Today, the rail network stands as a testimony to the country’s commitment to connect its vast stretches of land through railways. Savour an unforgettable journey in the old-world, historic Pullman’s coaches from the 1920s, during this special 2-hour and 15 minutes’ journey, and also get more insight into the times when the USA was spreading its wings into the Wild West.
The Ghan, Australia
The Ghan has deep significance in Australian consciousness. This North-South line connects the resource-rich cities of North and the highly urbanised cities of South and in between, passing through the vast, arid Red Zone. A journey from Adelaide to Darwin takes 3 days and meanders through one of the aridest places on earth, the vast Australian outback.
Danube Express, Europe
Europe’s only international luxury train, the Danube Express, travels between the Hungarian capital of Budapest to Istanbul, one of the most visited cities on the earth. The journey is an epic train travel that traverses through some of the most stunning landscapes of Eastern Europe including the scenic Transylvania, deep forests, beautiful lakes, and charming villages before reaching the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Glacier Express, Switzerland
The Glacier Express is one of the most coveted train rides in the world. This amazing 7-hour journey from Zermatt to Saint Moritz moves through striking landscapes comprising lofty mountains, fields of sunflowers, sweeping meadows, snow-kissed valleys and the beautiful Swizz countryside. One of the most photographed trains in the world, the Glacier Express stands testimony to Swiss efficiency and engineering.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
The vast stretches of Canada’s highly scenic north are best witnessed during a train travel by the world-class Rocky Mountaineer. A special 2-day train journey from Vancouver to the resort town of Banff ambles through scenic landscapes featuring deep-blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and forests of pine with rolling green meadows. The Rocky Mountaineer is certainly one of the most popular Canadian highlights.
Tranzalpine, New Zealand
Tranzalpine operated by KiWi Rail, is one of the most scenic train lines in the world. The four and half-hour journey between Christchurch and Greymouth travels through the spectacular green meadows and farms of Canterbury. The scenic highlights include an array of beautiful rivers, serene tunnels, striking viaducts and the dramatic alpine landscape of New Zealand.
Hiram Bingham Orient-Express, Peru
Peru’s iconic Machu Picchu continues to draw tourists in droves. Add an incredible train journey with the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express, and you will be transported back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when train travel had just begun. A journey from Cusco to the ruins of the mystical Machu Picchu, passes through the scenic landscapes of Peru, and at the same time offers a delightful four-course dinner and a brunch.
Maharajas Express, IndiaDebuted in 2010, the Maharajas Express joined the list of Indian luxury trains like Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey and the Golden Chariot. This luxury train allows you to experience the royal lifestyle of India, while at the same time showcasing the very best travel destinations of India such as Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra. Relish delicious Indian and continental meals and feel pampered in the luxurious train suites of the Maharajas Express.
The Royal Scotsman, Scotland
The Royal Scotsman is one of the last few heritage trains of the United Kingdom, which still highlights the bygone era of the British domination of the world. Today, this classic train still retains the same age-old royal elements while traversing from Edinburgh on a multi-day journey featuring the Scottish Highlands, glens, verdant forests, magnificent castles and quaint Scottish towns and villages.