Travel the old-fashioned way and grab a front row seat to the world’s most spectacular landscapes. A train journey is the best way to explore a myriad of cultures and lands—an experience equalled by no other means of transport. Here are some exceptionally scenic and memorable train journeys.
Bernina Express, Switzerland -
Relax behind huge panoramic windows and soak up the spectacular Alpine views. The Bernina Express connects northern and southern Europe and offers one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. The route follows two World Heritage listed lines, the Albula and the Bernina, and sweeps through towering glaciers in Switzerland and the swaying palms in Italy.
Talyllyn Railway, Wales -
Steaming its way through the lush Fathew Valley, the Talyllyn Railway is a historic narrow-gauge steam railway that’s set in the picturesque Mid Wales countryside. Staffed by volunteers, the train makes its way through the Dolgoch Falls, a route originally used to carry slate from the area’s many mines.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada -
Take in Canada’s great outdoors aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Follow the route from Vancouver to Calgary and you’ll see pristine wilderness, glacial lakes and turbulent rivers. The best views are offered by the Gold Leaf car, where travellers sit in a glass-domed section on the top floor of the train.
TranzAlpine, New Zealand -
From the garden city of Christchurch to the rugged wilds of Geymouth, the TranzAlpine crosses the South Island of New Zealand in 4.5 hours offering up views of forests and farmlands.
California Zephyr, USA -
The longest rail journey in the USA is perhaps also its most beautiful, thanks to the California Zephyr. The train’s sightseer lounge has panoramic windows and revolving seats from where you can watch the train ascending over Denver past mountain lakes, pine forests and snow capped slopes.
Northern Belle, UK -
Journey back into time, as you board the Northern Belle. Evoking the elegance and romance of the early 1930s the train itself is sight to experience. Travelling through Britain’s most beautiful scenery including castles and countryside, the Northern Belle offers various memorable day trips across Britain, each route as scenic as the first.
Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia -
Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest continuous rail line on earth, each run being an epic journey of almost 6000 miles. The route that connects Russia, Mongolia and China is breathtaking, with the train making its way through birch forests, brilliant blue lakes and finally crossing the arid expanse of the Gobi Desert ending in Beijing.
Denali Star, Alaska -
The best way to see Alaska is by rail. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife—from moose to grizzlies—as you ride the flagship Denali Star across Alaska. Double-decker dome cars allow passengers to take in breathtaking sights, particularly the towering Mt. McKinley.
Hiram Bingham, Peru -
This 1920’s style Pullman train winds past misty mountains in Peru towards the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The seven hour route links two of the top destinations in the country, Cusco and Machu Picchu, via a winding scenic journey through the Urumbamba River Valley.
The Ghan, Australia -
There is no better way to get a perspective of the vastness of the Australian Outback than to book a passage on The Ghan. The three day journey covers 2000 miles and meanders through the lush lands and pastures surrounding Adelaide. The journey’s periodic stops are a great chance to get off the train and explore these landscapes through guided walks or helicopter rides.