The beauty of train travel lies not just in reaching a destination but in the experiences and views one encounters along the way. Below are five standout train journeys that every traveler should consider.
1. Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
Originating more than 100 years ago, the Trans-Siberian Express boasts the title of the longest railway line globally. This journey, covering almost 6,000 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok, presents passengers with Russian language lessons, dances to live piano tunes, and evenings in the bar.
The views are also enticing, with glimpses of the Russian countryside, rivers, and the Gobi Desert for those taking the Moscow-Beijing route. One can enjoy a seven-day trip with sleeper compartments for added comfort.
2. Eastern & Oriental Express, Asia
Since 1993, the Eastern & Oriental Express has linked three of Asia’s prominent cities: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. The train’s interiors are a nod to the 1932 Marlene Dietrich film ‘Shanghai Express,’ with Thai silk, Malaysian embroidery, and cherrywood paneling.
E&O Express has been suspended since 2020 due to the pandemic, but it’s expected to resume operation next year but with tours within Malaysia, not Thailand.
3. The Ghan, Australia
The Ghan provides a rail adventure through Australia’s heart, with a journey spanning 54 hours across Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin. Established in 1929 and marking its 94th year in 2023, this rail route introduces passengers to Australia’s Red Centre, offering vistas of wine regions, gorges, and desert landscapes.
4. TranzAlpine Train, New Zealand
The TranzAlpine Train provides a 10-hour round trip between Christchurch and Greymouth. It offers panoramic windows and skylights to maximize views of farmland, the Southern Alps, and the Waimakiriri River Gorge. This rail journey is particularly scenic in winter, with snowy mountain landscapes. Beyond its visual appeal, the train prioritizes comfort with spacious seating, large windows, air conditioning, and an informative commentary for passengers.
5. Jacobite Express, Scotland
Jacobite Express gives you a chance to journey through Scotland’s Highlands, spanning 135km and taking in views of green hills, pristine lochs, and villages. A notable part of this journey is the crossing of the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct, which oversees Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. Potterheads might recognize this view from the Harry Potter series.