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There’s something magical about the best train journeys in the world. Sometimes the magic is inside on a train you can meet people, and eat and sleep with the sound of a steel wheel swishing on a steel rail beneath you. Sometimes the magic is outside, you feel adventure and experience an insight into the heart of a nation. Here in this article, we will take you on the best train trip in the world.
Covering the delightful landscape of southern British Columbia among Vancouver and Banff, the Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage toward the West is one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Leaving the cosmopolitan beachfront city of Vancouver behind, travelers are blessed to receive amazing sights, for example, the wild waters of Fraser Canyon’s Hell’s Gate and soak tracks running close by the Thompson River from the solace of rich carriages. There’s an overnight stay in the lakeside city of Kamloops before they rise over the stunning, snow-capped pinnacles of the Canadian Rockies and land at delightful Banff.
In 1964 the first Shinkansen ran along this route, but it’s now possible to cover the 515 km in just two-and-a-half hours on the superfast Nozomi that runs past Mount Fuji. Noone travels on Shinkansen to look at the landscape, it flashes by too soon to appreciate. However, the onboard experience of Japan’s bullet trains is unrivaled, with passengers forming a neat queue on the platform, boarding in single file and sitting in silence for the duration of the journey, picking through the ekiben. Traveling via this railway may be your best train ride in the world. A hybrid of eki, meaning station, and bento, meaning packed lunch, ekiben are unique to each region of Japan, enabling vendors to showcase their specialties using local, seasonal ingredients.
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Considered the Godfather of trains and one of the best train journeys of the world, the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok sits at the top of most railfans’ bucket lists. As the train crosses from Siberia into Mongolia the land goes to parched red flats with grassy dunes sloping around the horizon. At night light you can simply get the sparkle of lakes and waterways bowing towards the tracks, the ground terminated with a rich orange shine. Waking in China, passengers should spot the Great Wall wiggling away in the distance, while the train travels above steep valleys and orchards skidding down towards the river where fishermen squat in wide trousers and conical hats.
During WW2, with the hope of invading India, the Japanese subjected Allied prisoners of war to forced labor building a stretch of a railway connecting Thailand to Burma. Known now as the ‘Death Railway’, this is a beautiful but somber journey that passengers can still experience along a remaining segment from Bangkok Thonburi station to Nam Tok station in Kanchanaburi. The top 10 train journeys in the world are incomplete without this railway. Departing twice a day, the train rattles west through the jungled territory, brushing against monsoon-heavy branches that sweep through the windows and snap off, scattering twigs around the aisles.
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The oldest named train in America and greatest train journeys in the world, Sunset Limited takes just under two days to cross the Deep South from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Get a seat in the panoramic viewing car and meet a differing cut of American culture, extending from artists, educators, and retirees to ranchers, Amish craftsmen, railroaders, and runaways. Rolling past the bayous of Louisiana, the cacti of New Mexico and the deep red sunsets of Arizona, passengers have plenty of time to read, strum guitars or spot jackrabbits and golden eagles soaring overhead.
All commuter trains run along this route from France into Italy, which begins in the prim Riviera city and ends 90 minutes later in the lovely shambling Italian market town of Ventimiglia. The desire for your greatest train journeys of the world may true here by this train. Stopping at Nice and Monaco, the train brings travelers within a gawping distance of yachts bobbing in the bays, teens playing beach volleyball and Lamborghinis growling along the streets, before approaching roughly stacked hillsides and slowing into the old Italian station.
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Probably the most famous train in the world, the amazing Orient Express has now been rethought by Belmond to copy the Golden Age of travel. Traveling in private compartments where the mahogany paneling gleams from multiple layers of varnish and beds are layered with damask sheets, passengers can indulge in the old romance of railway travel on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Dressed in elbow-length gloves and black tie, you can lunch while curling around the Italian Dolomites, then watch the Swiss Alps sweep by the windows while dining on seared chicken oysters and foie gras.
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Taking travelers through a portion of Scotland’s most assorted landscape, the West Highland Line is an excellent way to experience the country’s wild, western coast. It is considered as one of the top ten train journeys in the world. When the train leaves Glasgow Scotland’s greatest city the urban scene rapidly capitulates to verdant glens and serene lochs. While traveling northward, the West Highland Line experiences the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor before avoiding the transcending Ben Nevis and contacting down in Fort William. Switching direction and moving westbound, the train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct (highlighted in the Harry Potter film arrangement) before landing at the clamoring port of Mallaig.
Traversing the Altiplano, from the shores of Lake Titicaca to the beating heart of the Inca capital, the railway from Puno to Cuzco cuts a ponderous but picturesque path through the snow-dusted peaks and voluptuous valleys of the Andes. Between drinks in the bar and enjoying entertainment and fine food in the restaurant, passengers aboard Perurail’s Lake Titicaca train can ogle the vista from an open-air observatory car, as they rumble across the epic Peruvian plains, passing hardy bowler-hatted llama farmers and traveling through remote towns and villages.
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At a stunning 5772 miles, the Trans-Siberian Railway is among the world’s longest rail courses. Beginning at its westbound end in Moscow, the Trans-Siberian traverses the Ural Mountains and through the thick Siberian backwoods. It is undoubtedly one of the best rail journeys in the world. It interfaces the capital with Vladivostok in the east and traverses the whole width of Russia. The eight-day adventure takes travelers via tourist spots including the superb 3227-foot-long extension that crosses the River Ob at Novosibirsk (Russia’s third-biggest city) and the amazing blue waters of Lake Baikal, the world’s biggest freshwater lake by volume.
The best luxury train journeys in the world spanning some 2000 miles, Rovos Rail’s Namibia Safari passes probably the most shocking landscape the Southern African area brings to the table. Withdrawing from Pretoria in South Africa, the adventure brings travelers into Kimberley a previous jewel surge town and home to Big Hole, one of the world’s biggest hand-burrowed mines. It at that point crosses the unmistakably lovely scene of the Northern Cape and Fish River Canyon. As it moves forward into the Kalahari Desert, the train visits Namibia’s vivacious capital, Windhoek, before intersecting the Namib Desert and moving into its last goal at Swakopmund. This last stop is a flawlessly saved German Hansa town settled along Namibia’s coast.
Some railways rattle through historic cities; others swoosh beside the spectacular coastline. A few have an epic history, and one or two are remarkable for the colorful characters onboard. The Reunification Express line, also known as the North-South Railway, fulfills all these criteria. One of Southeast Asia’s best-loved railways, its fortunes have waxed and waned with those of the country it traverses. Traveling a thousand miles from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Hanoi in the north, there is not any more environmental approach to pull into Vietnam’s twin cities. Also, there’s no better way of exploring all the glories in between.
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