Watching landscapes unfurl through a train window is travel at its most magical. Some trains glide through bustling urban hubs; others gently chug beside glimmering bays, yet they all give a fascinating insight into a country’s beating heart. Take a look at our top five incredible train journeys to indulge your inner rail romantic.
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Five incredible train journeys
The Flåm Railway, Norway
Roll past deep ravines, mesmerising waterfalls and towering peaks on the Flåm Railway. Unsurprisingly, the astonishing natural marvels that line its tracks have made it one of Norway’s top attractions. However, it’s not only famed for its beauty; it is also one of the steepest rail routes in Europe. Starting in the tiny, yet achingly beautiful town of Flåm, this train scales dizzying heights of over 2830ft. We suggest heading here in winter to see the valley in all its snowy splendour.
The Reunification Express, Vietnam
Also known as the country’s backbone, the Reunification Express runs through tight bustling city streets, sparkling bays and sprawling rice fields. Hop on from either Ho Chi Minh City in the south or Hanoi in the north, to ride upon one of Southeast Asia’s most famous trains.
The line was completed way back in 1936 under French colonial rule. During the Vietnam war, this lengthy railway received its fair share of bombings until finally being restored in 1976. As a result, the country was once again reunited – hence its name. This 2-day rail adventure is an ideal way to discover Vietnam’s two biggest cities and the array of gems that lie between.
Perurail’s Lake Titicaca Railway, Peru
Nothing spells adventure like hopping on a Peruvian train. Starting from the world’s highest navigable lake before cutting through the Altiplano plains to Cusco, this incredible train journey paints a stunning picture of Peru. Luckily, this company understands that view gazing is thirsty work. Therefore, vistas of grand valleys dotted with llamas and snow-capped peaks scraping the pale blue skies can be savoured with a drink in hand from its open-air carriages. After arriving in the Andean city, spend a few days acclimatising to the high altitude before trekking to Machu Picchu – an unforgettable experience while travelling around South America.
Glacier Express, Switzerland
Craving a bit of Swiss Class? Then grab an Excellence Ticket on this luxurious eight-hour journey of over 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. Not only will this fare guarantee a window seat, it also gifts each traveller with a lavish six-course meal, an ipad loaded with highlights of the trip, and, of course, a fair few glasses of bubbly. This rail journey between the picturesque towns of Zermatt and St. Moritz, is undoubtedly the most lavish way to experience Switzerland’s stunning mountainscapes.
The Tokaido Shinkansen line, Japan
Although this journey is over 430 miles long, the Shinkansen bullet train arrives at its destination in two hours and 15 minutes. Yes, that’s quick. We admit that this doesn’t seem like an idyllic pace to gaze at views, but if you want to whizz past the foot of Mount Fuji you have to do as the Japanese do. Buy a ticket for this incredible train journey in early spring to shoot past rolling fields awash with Japan’s emblematic cherry trees, or hop aboard during this year’s Olympic Games.