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The Most Scenic Train Rides Around the World

By Rachel George

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A unique way to see the most beautiful mountains and scenic views in the world is by train. It’s also one of the fastest, most efficient ways to get around while enjoying intimate views of the city, riding over historic bridges and next to oceans. It’s an opportunity for discovery and peaceful self-reflection.

Looking for the best way to get a breathtaking view of the world? Here are 10 of the most scenic train rides.

Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona

All aboard the Grand Canyon railway, one of Arizona’s most popular attractions and one of the seven wonders of the world. Perfect for families, complete with live entertainment and individuals dressed in cowboy attire, hats and all. Ticket prices start at $32.

Rocky Mountaineer trail from Banff to Vancouver, Canada

I’ve been told more than once that one of the best ways to tour Vancouver is by train. After seeing this luxury train and their menu, I most certainly agree. Although I’m not too crazy about the grizzly bear sightings in Kamloops, as long as they say far from the tracks I think I’ll be ok. One of the best ways to see Can is on the Rocky Mountaineer. But be careful you may see a big brown animal strolling around.

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Combine a train ride with another unique adventure through canyons and the wilderness. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to travel on a steam-powered train. It was named one of the top 10 train rides by National Geographic.

Hudson Line, New York City

Travel along the eastern coast of the Hudson River for less than $50. The two-hour ride passes through the river and other attractions like the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park or the Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, open for tours.

Hiram Bingham Orient-Express from Cusco to Machu Picchu

Book your next luxury travel experiences with Totally Latin America travel agency. RIde in luxury in this 1920s stylishly upholstered train with a bar car, a kitchen, plus seating and a gourmet brunch. Live music, flavorful meals from other regions prepared by the on-board chef and a varied selection of Peruvian wines.

The Royal Scotsman Train, Scotland

Get a taste of the highlands at the award-winning Royal Scotsman luxury train, first launched in 1985. The train also tours Scotland’s most beautiful castle, the Gardens at Glamis Castle and includes a trip to the Ballindalloch Castle.

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TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

The panoramic views of New Zealand’s oldest city, full of historic 19th-century buildings in Christchurch. The seats are comfortable and equipped with headphones for a helpful narration of the beautiful landscapes and mountain sights. Tickets are fairly cheap and must be bought at least two days in advance.

The Talyllyn Railway, Wales

Known as the “Railway with a heart of Gold,” this 154-year-old railway crosses over one of Britain’s highest mountains, Cadair Idris. The railway was taken over by the Talyllyn Railway Preservation and volunteer members. Their original Victorian train runs on select Thursdays, featuring a personal guided tour.

Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka

Did you know that Sri Lanka once used their train system to transport tea and coffee for export? Tour through remote villages, lavish green hills, and large tea plantations. This train ride lets you experience local food by stopping at local food vendors all the way to a country village, Ella.

The Jungfrau Railway, Switzerland

Travel to the top of Europe for a panoramic view of the Alps that will take your breathe away. It’s the highest railway station in Europe, located inside the Observation Terrace Sphinx.


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Rachel George

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