famous train journeys
There’s something so very old-world and charming on a train journey. Some of the most scenic routes high up in the hills or through blissfully green valleys are still train routes. Not all places in the world are navigable by the motor car. Here are the

great train journeys around the world

offering not-to-miss scenic rides.

1. Venice Simplon-Orient Express, Europe

Venice Simplon-Orient Express, Europe

This express has been immortalized in cinema and by royal patronage. It was built in the early 20th-century and is an ode to the elegance of the times. It still offers impeccable service on its rather scenic journey via Venice, Paris, Vienna and Budapest, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

2. The Trans-Siberian Train, Russia

The Trans-Siberian Train, Russia

The Trans-Siberian is a 10,555 km long ride from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok across tundra and forest. $1 billion was spent to upgrade this route. The train offers both pricey private compartments and cheap 40-bed carriages, along with endless refreshments for all.

3. The Canadian

Canada Trains

This cross-continent, 4466-kilometer, 4-day rail journey between Toronto and Vancouver is a real joy. You’ll enjoy fabulous views of green forests surrounding blue lakes and distant cloud-topped prairies. The glaciers of the Rocky Mountains are a compelling sight, as are the waterfalls at Jasper. As for wildlife, the occasional bear, elk, and deer are definite.

4.The Amtrak Surfliner, Carpinteria, Southern California

Amtrak Surfliner, Carpinteria, Southern California

This train takes you from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, hugging the blissful Pacific Coast Highway. It stops at the architecturally magnificent Union Station and then through Los Angeles’s urban sprawl before hitting the coast. As it goes, you get stunning views of the ocean. Before reaching San Diego, the train passes the coastal beauties of Oceanside, Solana Beach, and Del Mar.

5. Hiram Bingham Express, Peru

Hiram Bingham train in India

The lovely blue and gold train looks travel between Poroy, near Cuzco, and Machu Picchu in Peru, passing the most enchanting scenery. Enjoy the amazing panoramic views of the Urumbamba River and the Andes ranges. Wild llama herds cross the train route as you pass quaint old villages. Get ready for classy gourmet meals including champagne for breakfast, as you journey towards the famous Incan ruins.

6.Glacier Express, Switzerland

Glacier Express, Switzerland

Even though this train moves slowly, the mountain scenery makes up for it. The seven-hour journey from St. Moritz and Zermatt alpine resorts goes through 291 bridges and 90 tunnels. Deep gorges, high peaks, plunging valleys, and endless flower-filled meadows are on the way. During winter, the views offer a winter-white wonderland of delights. While the train journey is impressive, the best places to visit in Switzerland are even more beautiful when explored on the spot!

7. Nice-Cuneo Line, France

The Cuneo-Ventimiglia-Nice line connects the Italian Riviera and Piedmont with the magnificent South of France. The 3.5-hour journey is a treat for the eyes. From the tall and majestic Alps you will journey down to sea level, and cross tunnels, viaducts, and gorges along the Côte d’Azur. Watch enchanting Alpine villages and medieval Italian towns pass by, as you take in the beautiful Provencal landscape.

8.Palace On Wheels, India

Palace On Wheels in India

The Palace on Wheels used to be royal transport. Today, the train serves sumptuous food, served by servants attired as royal staff. The train journeys from Delhi and passes through glorious Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra, and other cities before returning to Delhi. The train stops for several hours at each sightseeing spot, such as the Ranthambore National Park, the Taj Mahal and the palaces of Rajasthan. Just like this splendid train journey, your journey to India will be unforgettable. Avail yourself of the India tourist visa and get lost in the land of culture and diversity.

9. The Ghan, Australia

The Ghan

This train journeys from Adelaide to Darwin, stopping at Alice Springs and Katherine. The great outback of Australia lies in between. The train also takes you to Coober Pedy, where you can watch opals being mined. If you are a platinum traveler, you can enjoy the journey in a Platinum Club luxury lounge and a dining carriage. As you travel along the most epic scenery, an entire exploration of the country offers more than just what you see, and with its easy access to an Australia visa, you are good to make some memories for a lifetime.

10. Rovos Rail, Africa

Rovos Rail Africa

This delightful luxury train journeys through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, taking the Garden Route. The train carries no more than 72 passengers at a time. The service is top-notch, including Victorian-style bathrooms and lounges with wood-paneling. It follows several routes, both short and long journeys. There’s a 14-day route from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam, passing some exclusive scenery and wildlife on the way.

11.Flamsbana, Norway

Flamsbana, Norway

This is one of the most picturesque journeys you could take. The train was built to provide better rail access to Oslo and Bergen in the 1920s. The spectacular views of the tall Norwegian mountains and the delightful fjords are fabulous. The train winds its way through hush tunnels behind roaring waterfalls and curves around the hairpin bend as it navigates the steep descent to Norway.

12. The Eastern Express, Turkey

Eastern Express Turkey

The Eastern (Doğu) Express journeys from Ankara to Kars, passing the stunning Euphrates River along the way. The train goes through vibrantly green valleys and long tunnels, coming out suddenly to face another beautiful valley. The entire journey is a treat for the eyes and a rest for the soul. Turkey is a splendid place to visit, and with its Turkey visit visa, you get access to experience and enjoy this wonderful land while learning about the local lifestyle of the country.

13. Tokyo To Sapporo, Japan

Tokyo To Sapporo Japan

From busy Tokyo, one bullet train rushes you into the winter wonderland of Honshu Island. Then the next bullet zips you to Hokkaido, whipping through the world’s longest underwater tunnel, the Seikan tunnel. The final leg of the journey is on another bullet, which zips past a mountain still growing and pristine blue lakes to arrive at the city of Sapporo.

14. Silk Road Train, Western China

Silk Road Train China

Incredible old-world scenery of old mountains on one side and the desert on the other – that’s what awaits you on this journey from Turpan to Kashgar. It’s literally a journey from China’s lowest point to the border of Kazakhstan, all 1,000 kilometers of it on the old Silk Road. The yellows and browns of the passing scenes slowly give way to red, blue, purple and finally black as the night falls.

15. The Death Valley Railway, Thailand

Death Valley Railway Thailand

The Death Railway embraces a long-said history of its establishment, which led to its name, with a fascinating story (creepy too). It is a beautiful yet sombre journey that you can still experience along a remnant segment from Bangkok Thonburi station to Nam Tok station in Kanchanaburi. The train runs through the jungle twice daily, brushing up against rainy branches and scattering twigs and aisles. Passing through the infamous bridge on the River Kwai, the train hoots its arrival at its destined location.

16. The Sunset Limited, USA

The Sunset Limited is the oldest named train in America and takes just under two days to journey through the Deep South from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Try to reserve your seat in the scenic viewing car and enjoy the various pieces of American society, from musicians, teachers, Amish carpenters, and retirees to farmers, railroaders, and runaways. You’ll have plenty of time to take in every moment and every slice of life that passes you by until you arrive at your destination.

17. The Mandovi Express, India

Mandovi Express India

The Mandovi Express travels from Mumbai to Madgaon, which covers India’s wonderful Konkan region. With its doors wide open and the warm sea breeze wafting up the aisles, the train embarks on a 12-hour journey to wind its way down the Arabian Sea, shimmering on one side while the spectacular Sahyadri Hills roll on the other. The train blasts through the city’s interiors and out to the countryside while clattering across over 2,000 bridges to the lines flanked by coconut groves and palm trees in Goa.

18. The Reunification Express, Vietnam

Reunification Express

The Reunification Express routes the length of the country, starting in Hanoi and going down to Ho Chi Minh City, a city in the south. However, the finest segment lies in the first half of the path to Da Nang. The train was severely battered and bruised by American attacks throughout the Vietnam War but rebuilt itself and resumed its journey after the country’s reunification in 1976. Tracking in the depths of the city, the journey offers splendid vistas, climbing for miles through the steeps and lows of jungles, falling into the shimmering stars of the night, and emerging into glorious sunshine the following morning.

19. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, China

Qinghai-Tibet Railway China

While few train journeys offer experiences worth rejoicing in, the Qinghai-Tibet railway peaks at more than 5,000 metres above sea level! Most passengers cannot handle the extraordinary heights of this ride. Starting from Xining in mainland China and ending in Lhasa in Tibet, this highest railway in the world paves its way through a precarious land once reckoned as an engineering impossibility.

20. Tranzalpine Rail

Tranzalpine Rail New Zealand

Embarking from the garden-loving city of Christchurch, New Zealand, to the ultimate destination of Greymouth, the Tranzalpine Rail crosses the south island of New Zealand in around four and a half hours. The route offers stunning views of the Canterbury plain, lovely farmland, and the Waimakiriri River. Your journey will be followed by dramatic alpine viaducts leading to Arthur’s Pass.

21. The Hershey Electric Railway, Southern America

Hershey Electric Railway America

Found in Havana, this remarkable railway journey runs over 57 miles, linking Havana’s Casablanca Station (which can be reached via ferry with a ride across the harbour from Habana Vieja) and passing through the farming villages and small towns all the way to Manataz, granting incredible vistas of Cuba. This line allows one to travel with and meet local Cubans and experience their rural way of life.

22. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway India

You would never want to miss this voyage if you are in India. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of the best train journeys in the world, with breathtaking scenery and Victorian-era locomotives. The train climbs around 6500 feet from the sweltering plains of India near Kolkata, entering the fresh breeze of the Raj Hill plateau at Darjeeling. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway isn’t just for tourism; it also operates as a vital mode of transport for local villages home and away on its 50-mile journey.

23. California Zephyr

California Zephyr Train

The California Zephyr is an epic railway journey from the American Midwest to the West Coast. Much of your trip on this train runs along the seemingly endless cornfields (not precisely, but it is truly refreshing to gaze at this wonderful sight for a few hours). Once you hit Denver, your journey will run alongside the Colorado River, crossing the Rocky Mountains and the Ruby Canyon as you head towards San Francisco.

24. The Train to the Arctic Circle, Europe

Train to the Arctic Circle Europe

Okay, wrap every cozy thing you have since we are setting off to the Arctic Circle. Europe’s most northerly journey takes you from Stockholm to the port of Narvik in northern Norway, which is near the Lofoten Islands. Experience a chilly yet warming journey by mingling with locals and tourists while feasting your stomach on reindeer stew and mashed potatoes. You will really appreciate this hot meal in this chilly weather.

25. Fort William to Mallaig, UK

Fort William to Mallaig UK

The train is extremely fortunate, having been saved from closure in the 1960s and going on to become one of Britain’s most popular scenic railways. This 42-mile journey to the aisles takes you through the mountain and glen scenery ranging from Britain’s highest mountain to Europe’s deepest seawater loch. While most passengers come to witness the pioneering Glenfinnan Viaduct, which shot to fame as the location for the Harry Potter films, the lush landscape is worth a journey.

Train journeys are romantic; they are a wonderful way to learn more about our world and to meet people. Many relationships blossomed on trains, leading to lifelong partnerships. A train journey is a cultural as well as a spiritual experience, no matter where you travel.

Fun Train facts

  • Early train systems once relied on gravity and rope for motion.
  • The actual train trip around the world was made popular by Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
  • Trains played a crucial role in the victory of the Americans during the Civil War.
  • The first-ever American locomotive lost to a horse
  • The fastest Maglev train in China can travel up to a maximum speed of 288 mph.
  • You can ride and experience the Hogwarts Express in real life.
  • Trains in Moscow have dog passengers
  • Australia has the world’s straightest railway track.
  • Train fans literally have a global community.


Train journeys are romantic; they are a wonderful way to learn more about our world and to meet people. Many relationships have been founded on trains and partnerships confirmed. A train journey is a cultural as well as a spiritual experience, no matter where you travel.

Foodie Traveler..

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