Unforgettable Train Journeys: 10 Scenic Rail Adventures Around the World


Discover the world’s most awe-inspiring and unforgettable train journeys that combine adventure, luxury, and breathtaking scenery. From majestic mountain vistas to stunning coastal routes, these epic rail adventures promise to deliver unforgettable experiences. So, sit back, relax, and let the train take you on a journey of a lifetime.

The Rocky Mountaineer – Canada

Embark on a luxurious journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. This magnificent train journey takes you through dramatic landscapes, including deep valleys, glistening lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bears, moose, and bald eagles as you travel in style with gourmet cuisine, plush seats, and large panoramic windows. The two-day journey between Vancouver and Banff or Lake Louise is an absolute must for any train enthusiast.

The Glacier Express – Switzerland

The Glacier Express is often touted as the world’s slowest express train, but that’s precisely what makes it so special. This unforgettable journey takes you through the heart of the Swiss Alps, offering panoramic views of the stunning scenery. The train traverses 291 bridges, 91 tunnels, and climbs over the Oberalp Pass at 2,033 metres above sea level. Savour every moment of the eight-hour journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz as you soak in the picturesque landscapes and indulge in delicious Swiss cuisine.

Unforgettable Train Journeys

The Trans-Siberian Railway – Russia

Spanning a staggering 9,289 kilometres, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world. This epic journey takes you from Moscow to Vladivostok, traversing the vast Siberian wilderness and providing a unique insight into Russia’s diverse landscapes and cultures. The trip takes around seven days, but many travellers opt to stop at various cities and towns along the way to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Expect to be left speechless by the sheer scale and beauty of Russia’s vast wilderness on one of the world’s most famous unforgettable train journeys.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – Europe

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the glamorous world of the 1920s aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. This luxurious train journey takes you through some of Europe’s most enchanting cities, including Venice, Paris, Istanbul, and Budapest. The meticulously restored vintage carriages, fine dining, and top-notch service transport you to a bygone era of elegance and sophistication. A journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the epitome of opulence and romance, making it the perfect setting for a special celebration or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

The Blue Train – South Africa

Experience the best of South Africa aboard the legendary Blue Train. This world-class train journey takes you from Pretoria to Cape Town (or vice versa), offering unparalleled views of the diverse South African landscape. The 27-hour journey covers 1,600 kilometres and treats passengers to the highest standards of luxury, including fine cuisine, attentive service, and sumptuous suites. From the arid Karoo to the majestic mountain ranges and lush vineyards, the Blue Train showcases the very best of South Africa’s natural beauty.

The Ghan, Australia

Traverse the Australian Outback in style aboard The Ghan, a legendary train journey that spans the continent from Adelaide to Darwin. This 2,979-kilometre journey takes you through the heart of Australia, offering awe-inspiring vistas of the Red Centre, the Flinders Ranges, and the tropical Top End. Enjoy luxurious private cabins, fine dining, and fascinating off-train excursions.

The Coastal Pacific – New Zealand

Discover the rugged beauty of New Zealand‘s South Island aboard the Coastal Pacific. This scenic train journey takes you along the east coast between Christchurch and Picton, showcasing the diverse landscapes of the South Island, including the snow-capped Southern Alps, the wild Pacific Ocean, and the lush Marlborough Sounds. The five-hour journey offers an unforgettable experience of New Zealand’s awe-inspiring natural beauty, complete with comfortable seating, large panoramic windows, and an open-air viewing carriage.

The Bernina Express – Switzerland and Italy

The Bernina Express is a remarkable feat of engineering, taking passengers on a UNESCO World Heritage journey between Switzerland and Italy. The train climbs over the Bernina Pass at 2,328 metres above sea level, offering breathtaking views of Alpine glaciers, dramatic gorges, and lush valleys. The four-hour journey between Chur in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy covers 196 kilometres and crosses 55 bridges and 20 tunnels. The Bernina Express showcases the very best of the Alpine scenery and is an unmissable experience for any train lover.

The Eastern & Oriental Express – Southeast Asia

Embark on a luxurious journey through the heart of Southeast Asia aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. This opulent train journey takes you from Bangkok, Thailand, to Singapore, passing through the lush landscapes of Malaysia. The three-day, two-night journey offers passengers a unique blend of adventure and indulgence, with elegant cabins, fine dining, and personalised service. Marvel at the verdant rice paddies, bustling cities, and ancient temples as you traverse this enchanting region in style.

The Belmond Royal Scotsman – Scotland

The Belmond Royal Scotsman offers an unforgettable luxury train experience through the Scottish Highlands. With just 40 passengers on board, this intimate journey provides an unparalleled level of personal service and attention to detail. The train’s elegant interiors, complete with mahogany panelling and plush furnishings, transport you to a bygone era of sophistication and charm.

The various itineraries available cover the best of Scotland’s stunning scenery, historic castles, and vibrant cities. From the legendary Loch Ness to the dramatic Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Belmond Royal Scotsman showcases the very best of Scotland’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. The on-board experience is further enhanced by gourmet dining, fine whiskies, and engaging local entertainment.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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