15 Legendary Train Journeys Around the World That Define Adventure

There are different ways to travel the world, but doing it via train sounds like an exciting way to do it. Train journeys worldwide define adventure and promise to create epic memories.

1. Belmond Hiram Bingham

Belmond Hiram Bingham Journey to Macchu Picchu
Image Credit: Belmond Management Limited.

The Hiram Bingham train travels from the historic city of Cusco to Machu Picchu’s entrance. The journey includes breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley, decadent Peruvian cuisine, Pisco sours, and a tour of ancient ruins at the citadel.

2. Kurobe Gorge Railway

Kurobe Gorge Railway
Image Credit: Hiroyuki Mori – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The Kurobe Gorge Railway is a brilliant sightseeing train and a great way to see more of Japan. Passengers can experience the picturesque Kurobe Gorge area, including the Kurobe River, the Unazuki Dam, and the hydroelectric power station they built to resemble a European castle. They can also dip in the Kuronagi Hot Spring, visit the Kurobe Perpetual Snow, and have a foot bath.

3. Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express
Image Credit: Belmond Management Limited.

The Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express will make you feel like royalty as you dine, sip on evening cocktails, request the pianist play a song, and even indulge in the midnight brunch. Begin your journey at London Victoria Station where you board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express sister train, the British Pullman. The Kent countryside will pass outside your window as you enjoy a Bellini with brunch, followed by a stop in Folkestone, where you will hop on the Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

4. The Train to the Clouds

The Tren a las Nubes crossing a viaduct
Image Credit: Casa Rosada – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Explore Argentina in a more unique and adventurous way. Step onboard the world’s fifth-highest railway and Argentina’s most famous train journey, The Train to the Clouds. It takes 15 hours to complete, along with stops, and gets to 2.6 miles above sea level.

5. Rovos Rail

Image Credit: Rovos Rail.

The Rovos Rail has been on my bucket list since I first saw an influencer documenting her experience online. The journey begins in Pretoria, South Africa, and takes you across the border to Zimbabwe, where you ride along 114 km of straight railway line — one of the world’s longest straight rail lines. You can spot wildlife from the train as you travel through Hwange National Park, and the breathtaking Victoria Falls is the perfect end to your train journey.

6. VIA Rail The Ocean

Via Ocean 14 Jacquet River NB
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Some travelers say the Ocean train is a little dated and often delayed, but the service is good, the accommodation is clean, and the journey is fun. Passengers are treated to exquisite views on their overnight journey from Montreal to Halifax.

7. TranzAlpine Train

Tranz Alpine NZ DSC 3748
Image Credit: CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

New Zealand’s TranzAlpine train starts in Christchurch and takes you across the Canterbury Plains to Arthurs Pass for a quick stop. It then travels through alpine beech rainforests before reaching Greymouth, the perfect base to see the Fox Glacier, Franz Josef’s glaciers, and Punakaiki.

8. Trans-Mongolian Railway

Trans-Mongolian Railway Train
Image Credit: Pierre Andre LeClerq, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

This train journey follows ancient tea caravan routes from Russia to China, stopping in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital. The Trans-Mongolian Railway line was started in the and showcases some of the world’s most incredible and underrated scenery. Keep your eyes peeled to the windows as you pass mountains, valleys, the majestic Gusinoye Lake, and the Gobi Desert.

9. Colombo to Badulla Railway

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Colombo to Badulla Railway is fast becoming one of the most famous railway lines in the world. The 181-mile journey takes passengers over deep gorges, rivers, lakes, and past rugged cliffs and waterfalls. As you travel from the west coast to Sri Lanka’s mountainous region, you will be spoilt with scenic views and a deeper insight into Sri Lanka’s complicated history.

10. TAZARA Railway

Image Credit: Richard Stupart – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The TAZARA railway line runs a tourist train that takes passengers on a safari train ride through the Selous Game Reserve. The game reserve is situated in Tanzania, Africa’s biggest unexploited game reserve, at over 33,554 square miles. If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, the TAZARA line is a good option.

11. Glacier Express Train

Glacier Express on the Landwasser Viaduct
Image Credit: Champer, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

If the Glacier Express Train is not the most popular train journey in the world, it’s close to taking the top spot. This railway line is on many bucket lists. It travels past quaint mountain towns, through green valleys, and the magnificent Swiss Alps. Since it’s the world’s slowest express train, you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate the Swiss scenery.

12. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway links the diverse cultures between Siliguri and Darjeeling. The railway is a World Heritage Site because of this link. It passes through Sukna’s forests and past spectacular mountain vistas. The journey stops at Darjeeling’s Ghum station, the world’s second-highest train station.

13. Bosnian Talgo Train

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Bosnian Talgo Train takes passengers from Mostar to Sarajevo in about two hours. The train rolls through the lush Bosnian countryside, past deep blue rivers and lakes, and by gorgeous hillside villages. The Bosnian Talgo Train was created using the design of the modern Spanish Talgo trains and is a considerable upgrade from the old communist-era railway carriages.

14. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight

Amtrak's Coast Starlight
Image Credit: National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Train is one of the most beautiful train routes and connects America’s most prominent West Coast cities. The line passes the Cascade Range’s snowy peaks, Mount Shasta, through valleys and forests and offers near-panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean coastline. Enjoy a 35-hour journey onboard this train adventure.

15. Jacobite Steam Train

The Jacobite crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct
Image Credit: CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland has been described as the greatest railway journey in the world. Take this 84-mile round trip through some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside and past some of the country’s extremes, such as Britain’s highest mountain, most westerly mainland train station, and its deepest freshwater loch.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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