Train To Machu Picchu
Train journeys have an old-world charm comparable only to that of hand-written letters. They both bring out a special emotion.
Travelling by rail holds a romantic and old-fashioned appeal that can't be matched by flying or driving. By taking the slow route, you get to experience and interact with an area in a completely different way. Whether you are seeking spectacular scenery, luxurious carriages, heritage steam trains or epic long-distance journeys, there is no better perspective on the world than from a railway carriage.
Make your choice through what we think are some of the greatest train journeys in the world:
Running from Chur and St Moritz in eastern Switzerland across the border to Tirano in northern Italy, this four-hour, 90-mile journey through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges traverses a sensational alpine landscape, past lofty waterfalls, glaciers and crossing dramatic ravines.
To experience the ‘top-of-the-world’ feeling, you got to be choosing this one. The highest major rail route in northern Europe, in an area where there is snow even during the summer, passes through desolate mountain terrain at 4,000ft, and runs for nearly 60 miles above the tree line.
Australia's premier preserved steam railway that takes you through the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, located only one hour east of Melbourne, Australia. With lush fern gullies brushing past and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead, it makes for a wonderful journey through the temperate rainforest.
The Flam Railway offers great variety of experience from a stunning fjord landscape down at sea level to wild mountains with snow-capped peaks. Through lush pastures and historical traditions dating back to pagan times.
Grande dame of luxury trains, simply the most glamorous, luxurious and thrilling service on the planet. Magnificent art-deco carriages, world-class service, the finest haute cuisine freshly cooked on board, gorgeous alpine scenery, and, for the romantically-inclined, a piano bar for the evenings – is what this original Twenties train treats you with.
A thrilling two-day journey over the old Canadian Pacific line to Vancouver, goes through glacier-fed lakes, carpets of green forest, rushing rivers and an abundance of wildlife. And if you’re lucky, the gracious driver will slow down and stop when he spots some bears by the lineside.
Possibly the most expensive train journey in the world, you’ll be treated like a member of the monarchy. Indulgent cuisine, fine wines, and cabins that look like guestrooms at Balmoral await you on your journey around the Scottish Highlands.
One of the best luxury trains of the subcontinent is true to its name – the Palace on Wheels. Not only is it the most relaxing way to see the historical city of Rajasthan, this 14-carriage train that has a personal steward called ‘Khidmatgar’ for each of its compartments and an on-board spa, is also a cultural experience in itself. This seven-night sojourn is one of the best!
Gliding opulently since 1923 between Pretoria and Cape Town on its 994-mile, 27-hour journey showing off South Africa’s stunning scenery, the Blue Train is iconic. With fine wines flowing freely in the expensive glassware and a mild scent of finest cigars in the air, this is about being rocked to sleep in the style of kings and presidents on the wood-panelled berths.
Crossing eight time zones and 5753 miles across Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian weaves through the country’s vast and little-visited interior. Rolling by Lake Baikal, the deepest lake on earth, it is the longest railway line on the planet. Connecting Moscow to Russian Far East, it also extends its branches into China and Korea. Its Golden Eagle luxury train, is complete with sumptuous suites, fine dining and even an on-board doctor.
One of the greatest train marathons of the world, extending 1,851 miles across Australia, there’s no train window view like this anywhere else, as this megalith, up to 26 coaches long, rolls through an endless unfolding of red and umber. Expect the escorting by some really pretty Camels and Kangaroos along the way.
This luxury train offers routes around South Africa, such as along the Garden Route, and through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. Some are 24-hour rides, but one is a 14-day epic from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam. Carrying just 72 passengers, the exclusive train provides 24-hour service and top luxury on rebuilt 1920s carriages. Suites feature private wood-panelled lounges and Victorian-style bathrooms.
Heading west from Chicago’s magnificent Union station this two-night, 2,438-mile odyssey to San Francisco can be reckoned as the last great train journey in the US. Offering a spectacular panorama of America’s heartland through the flatlands of Nebraska, then Denver and the canyons of the Colorado river, the Utah desert and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, it is famously said that when you step off this train you have seen more of America than most Americans.
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