Best Rail Travel In The World – For most of us, traveling by train is associated with the commute: a variety of noisy subway stations, cramped carriages, and ever-rising prices.
First up, we have the Glacier Express, a meandering journey through the Swiss Alps between the mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz.
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Known as the slowest express train in the world, this is not a service for travelers looking to get to their destination in a hurry.
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It takes just over eight hours in total and traverses 291 kilometers of stunning alpine terrain, passing in the shadow of the Matterhorn along the way.
The White Pass & Yukon Route Railway is a breathtaking journey through mountain ranges, glaciers and tundra Getty Images
Located near Alaska, the Yukon is home to Canada’s tallest mountain, Mount Logan, and the largest non-polar ice fields on the planet in Kluane National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the size of Spain, this rugged wilderness is home to more than 160,000 caribou, 70,000 moose and 17,000 bears, so be sure to pack your binoculars for this breathtaking journey through mountain ranges, glaciers and tundra.
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It took the labor of 35,000 men to build this 177 kilometer narrow gauge road, but you can enjoy it all from the comfort of an old railway carriage.
With a string of charming villages, vast fjords and blue lakes, this is Northern Europe’s highest main railway line, with stunning views across the snowy terrain of the Scandinavian nation.
If you’re lucky enough, you can also see Europe’s largest herd of wild deer, consisting of over 9,000 animals.
Tasmania’s West Coast Wilderness Railway takes tourists on an unforgettable journey through the country’s mining history West Coast Wilderness Railway
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In fourth place is the Wild West Coast Railway, a breathtaking train journey that delves deep into the history of Tasmania’s wilderness.
Like many of the railway lines on our list, this 34.5-kilometer journey was built on the remains of a former mining road, giving travelers a unique insight into the riches of western Tasmania’s ancient rainforest.
The train stops at various stations along the way, offering rainforest walks, gold panning and wild honey tasting sessions for travelers looking to sample Tasmania’s unique heritage.
The Kandy line in Sri Lanka’s Ella is surrounded by emerald green hills, tea plantations and dense rainforest Getty Images
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On the fifth we will embark on Sri Lanka’s spectacular railway line between the mountain cities of Kandy and Ella.
The journey takes seven and a half hours and is often considered the most scenic train journey in the world, and for good reason. With emerald green hills, tea plantations, and dense rainforests surrounding the route, be sure to book a seat on the observation carriage to make the most of your trip.
Unlike many of these extraordinary routes, tickets for this train are surprisingly reasonable, with a single journey costing just €1.75.
Tranzalpine is a unique coast to coast service operating between Christchurch and Greymouth, New Zealand Great New Zealand Tours
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Covering 223 kilometers in just under five hours, New Zealand’s TranzAlpine is one of the most breathtaking train journeys in the world.
With spectacular views throughout, this coast-to-coast service operates on New Zealand’s South Island between Christchurch and Greymouth. It takes passengers through a series of national parks before landing in the country’s former mining capital.
Hiram Bingham Takes Tourists Straight to the Heart of the Inca Empire Hiram Bingham, A Belmond Train, Machu Picchu
The next number seven is Hiram Bingham, A Belmond Train, Machu Picchu, a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the heart of the Inca Empire.
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This vintage luxury train takes passengers between the Peruvian city of Cusco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, passing the Peruvian Andes along the way.
Sink into an armchair in the 1920s-style carriages or head to the Observation Car to watch the sun rise over the longest mountain range in the world. This is a train ride that is sure to take your breath away.
In eighth place we have Portugal’s famous Douro line, a 203-kilometer road that hugs the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula.
From early spring to late summer, almond blossoms accompany the train on its journey south, crossing 30 bridges and 26 tunnels. This journey is more than a century old and stops at countless historic stops on its way from the coastal city of Porto to the beautiful village of Pocinho.
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And for passengers looking to truly enjoy Portuguese life, locally produced Portuguese wine is available throughout the journey.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a palace on wheels, offering every possible luxury, even a spa! Royal Scotsman, A Belmond train, Scotland
Finally we’ll take a trip on the **Royal Scotsman, A Belmond Train, Scotland** – a luxurious overnight train that promises an unforgettable journey through Scotland’s rugged highlands.
Visiting castles, distilleries and historic sites along the way, this train is the ultimate in fun – it even has its own bathroom!
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And for passengers looking to find the Scotsman in them, they can even have a suit tailored to them during the journey. From crossing the Scottish Highlands to jaunts along England’s east coast, here are the best train journeys in Britain
Weary travelers may find this hard to believe, but Britain’s railways were once the envy of the world. And if you want to experience the faded charm of this bygone era, hop on one of these classic services.
Sleep in London and wake up in the Scottish Highlands. Okay, so the Caledonia Sleeper isn’t the most scenic of train journeys – you can’t see much as it crosses Britain at night – but it’s truly one of the most romantic ways to travel across the country. Leaving London under cover of darkness, passengers can enjoy dinner and a few drinks in the dining car, before retiring to their sleeping cabin and waking 500 miles later in Fort William just in time for the morning.
Running along the Devonshire coast, the Riviera line is one of Britain’s most scenic railways. Hop on the train to Exeter and explore the English Riviera, passing great resort towns such as Dawlish and Teignmouth. The best part is you can get tickets for as little as £7.80 on off-peak return days.
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The Settle to Carlisle Railway remains one of the most dramatic railway lines in England. This scenic 72-mile (116km) stretch takes passengers through the rugged hills and rolling farmland of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. Since its inception in 1989, the line has become a popular tourist attraction, welcoming up to 14 passenger services per day. There’s even a historic steamer service – for discerning passengers – that runs throughout the summer.
Domestic Route: Statesman Rail operates steam services between Settle and Carlisle. Alternatively, hop on one of the daily passenger trains.
This historic line plays an important role in the Harry Potter films and is considered by railway anoraks to be the most scenic in all of Europe. They are probably right. Departing under the watchful eye of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, trains descend from the Highlands to the glittering lochs and coastal villages of Scotland’s rugged west coast. Passengers can choose between the historic Jacobite steam train or board the regular Scotrail passenger services.
Trip highlight: Glenfinnan Viaduct, as featured in the Harry Potter films and on the Scottish £10 note.
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The Inside Track: If you want to do like a wizard, jump aboard The Jacobite, a restored steam service that has also appeared in the Harry Potter films.
The world’s oldest independent railway company, Ffestiniog Railway, was founded in 1832 and has been thrilling passengers ever since. The steam service between Caernafron and Portmadog is only 40km (25 miles) but it’s a journey of uninterrupted beauty. Running through Snowdonia National Park, the railway flirts with the slopes of Snowdon and passes through beautiful Welsh countryside, before arriving at the seaside resort of Porthmadog. No wonder it’s one of North Wales’ top attractions.
Internal Route: The Ffestiniog Railway is open most of the year, but the best time to visit is between April and September.
Supported by hardworking volunteers and cups of tea, the Whitby to Pickering Railway is one of the world’s oldest railways, built in 1832 by the father of rail travel, George Stephenson. Leaving Whitby behind, passengers gaze out of the beautifully restored carriages as the steam train travels through the picturesque Moorish landscape of North Yorkshire. Working up steep grades, the smell of coal hangs in the air as the locomotive travels through ancient forests, dark tunnels and under the splendid arches of Victorian viaducts.
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Internal route: The Whitby to Pickering line is operated by North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which runs regular services between March and November.
Buy the eyes and you lost it. Well, not really, but the high-speed trains that serve this stretch of the East Coast Main Line offer some time for sightseeing. Passengers zip along the cliffs between Newcastle and Edinburgh in under 90 minutes, passing remote border towns in a blur as they go. Sit and watch