Best Train Journeys in the World

Glenfinnan, Scotland

It is indeed true that sometimes it’s about the journey and not about the destination. This rings especially true when speaking of railway journeys. In the age of cars and planes there are still remarkable train trips, many which offer luxurious carriages with a constantly changing backdrop of breathtaking scenery.

Whether you seek the sheer opulence many trains offer or the landscapes and destinations they take you through, train travel is a wonderful way to sit back and enjoy a relaxing getaway. Many journeys take you to hard to reach places as you dine on delicious meals and retire to your well appointed cabins each evening.

Get your next holiday started on the right track with one of these incredible railway journeys. Remember to protect yourself from cancellations, delays, lost or stolen belongings, and more with quality travel insurance whether you’re travelling by train or by airplane.

Trans-Siberian

Trans-Siberian Railroad

One of the longest train journeys you can embark on, the Trans-Siberian offers numerous routes across Russia and connects with other lines in Europe and Asia. The week long route between Moscow and Vladivostok extends over 9,000km and is best experienced from May to September when daylight hours are at their longest. Another option is the Moscow to Beijing route which crosses Mongolia and the Gobi Desert.

Break up the journey with overnight city stays as you make your way through Russian palaces, the Ural Mountains, and herds of Mongolian horses.

TranzAlpine

TranzAlpine

The South Island of New Zealand offers breathtaking landscapes right out of a storybook. What better way to see the magic than by taking the TranzAlpine which takes roughly five hours to complete its 223km journey from Christchurch to Greymouth.

The journey provides wonderful views of the Southern Alps and Waimakariri River gorge, as well as providing numerous exciting tunnels along the way. Inside the train you’ll find reclining seats, panoramic windows and skylights for uninterrupted views, and even an outdoor viewing carriage providing you with the opportunity for incredible photography.

Ghan

The Ghan

This three to four day journey takes you through Australia’s iconic Outback. The route takes you some 3,000km up through Australia’s centre from Adelaide to Darwin. You will experience the Outback towns of Coober Pedy and Alice Springs with the opportunity to book excursions such as scenic flights over Uluru and Kakadu.

The Ghan offers a Platinum and Gold Service which provides you with a private cabin and en suite, all-inclusive dining and beverages, and all-inclusive off train excursions. You can also take advantage of complimentary shuttle bus transfers to your hotel upon the completion of the journey.

Canadian

The Canadian

Fancy a trip across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver? The Canadian, operated by VIA Rail Canada, is the only train offering the route which takes you through the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
The 4 day/3 night journey offers several different booking classes according to your budget including Prestige, Sleeper Plus, and Economy. The 4,500km trip will take you through incredible landscapes including the Rocky Mountains and is a delightful holiday no matter what season you choose. Snow covered peaks in winter and fiery foliage in autumn make for especially wonderful times to book your journey.

Hiram-bingham

Belmond Hiram Bingham

What better way to reach the wonder of Peru’s Machu Picchu than aboard the Hiram Bingham. Named for the American historian that brought the ancient Inca city to the attention of the world, the short 3-4 hour journey takes you from Poroy to Aguas Calientes across the Sacred Valley.

Enjoy old fashioned luxury as you dine on Andean cuisine and take in archaeological sites, llamas, and misty cloud forests. The Hiram Bingham makes for a relaxing voyage as opposed to the long trek along the Inca Trail. If your budget is a bit tight you can also opt for the less glamorous train journey offered by Inca Rail or Peru Rail which is offered at a considerably lower rate and follows the same route.

Orient-express

Venice Simplon-Orient Express

Also offered by Belmond is the world famous train, Orient Express. Made famous by Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”, the iconic luxury train service ceased in 2009.  The service and route has since been picked up by Belmond and offers a journey which transports you back to the 1920’s aboard authentic and restored carriages of the original train.

The extremely high-end luxury journey does not come cheap and is definitely not for the backpacker as suits with ties and evening dresses are expected to be worn. The journey from London to Venice takes place over two days and includes fine dining meals and an overnight aboard the train. Be advised there are no en suite bathrooms and showers are completely absent. Note you will also need to transfer to or from the British Pullman train which handles the London leg of the journey.