The Top 5…Scenic Train Routes!
In our technologically accelerated world of iPods, iPads, kindles and general instant gratification, we’re starting to think that there’s something rather appealing about the simple pleasure of a leisurely, scenic train journey! With the advent of bullet trains and super-efficient plane journeys, we’d do well to remember that as a wise man once said; it’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey! Here are our top five scenic train journeys…Enjoy the view!
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India
The idyllic eight-hour trip on the whimsical “Toy Train” from the Siliguri, in the Eastern Himalayas, to the hill station of Darjeeling offers some of the most stunning views in the world. You’ll get to see Himalayan peaks as high as 7,400 feet, make your way through thick jungle, lush valleys and tea gardens and breath in the fresh Himalayan air on this two-foot wide line!
Image from abhijithshastry
Semmering Railway, Austria
The hour-long Semmering crosses the Austrian Alps’ Semmering Pass, and crosses over 16 viaducts, all carved by hand into the rocks. It’s a masterpiece of civil engineering and traverses some of the most epic scenery in the world!
Image from: The Austria Wanderer
The Ghan, Australia
The Ghan is a transcontinental line that takes you through the bushlands and pasture around Adelaide through the huge, arid mass of the Clare Valley desert to the Red Centre, where the clay-like red soil stretches for miles. The train passes the Top End, which is a contrastingly lush, tropical area, before ending in Darwin.
Image from About Australia
Hiram Bingham Orient-Express, Peru
Without doubt one of the most epic train journeys in the world, the scenery surounding the journey of the Hiram Bingham Orient Express is not only beautiful – it’s iconic. You’ll speed past mysterious mountains, the powerful throb of the Urebamba River and directly past the Incan Machu Picchu – if you’re quick enough you’ll even be able to snap a picture! The seven-hour route starts high, weaves through farming areas from the Incan era and moves onwards to the famous lost city of Aguas Calientes.
Image from Galapagos Explorer Cruises
Bernina Express, Switzerland and Italy
Depart from St. Moritz’s chilly glaciers to the almost tropical air and palm tress of Tirano Italy – not bad for a two hour journey! This isn’t one for the faint hearted – it’s one of the steepest tracks in the world, built without rack rails, pinions or cables and you travel in an open-air carriage!
Image from Tiarus