9 incredible train journeys to complete in your lifetime

Recently updated on August 14th, 2023 at 05:03 pm

If you believe the journey is the best part of travelling, put the world’s best train journeys on your bucket list. Travelling by rail is undoubtedly romantic. Often it means slowing down to take in landscapes at a slower pace, especially on these beautiful train journeys. These nine scenic train journeys will take you across countries and continents with a front row window seat of panoramic landscapes. If you’re wondering where to travel by train, check out these epic railroad rides across the globe.

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

mountains forest river rocky mountaineer train

Easily top of the world’s best train journeys, the Rocky Mountaineer is an unforgettable rail trip passing through one of Canada’s most iconic sites. Not your average trail, the carriages feature a curved window that extends from the passenger window to the roof, giving you unbeatable views of the towering snowy mountains. There are four different unique trips to choose from when you choose this scenic train ride.

GET INSPIRED BY: Canada’s Rockies

Glacier Express, Switzerland

All aboard the Glacier Express… Next stop, snowy landscapes and Swiss chocolate. The little red carriages will take you on one of the most beautiful train journeys between two picture perfect Swiss resorts, Zermatt and St Moritz. Taking a whole day, the train passes through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges as it crosses alpine landscapes, past pale blue lakes and cute villages. If you love scenic train journeys, the Contrasts of Switzerland tour explores the small mountain country exclusively by rail and includes the Glacier Express journey.

GET INSPIRED BY: Contracts of Switzerland

West Highland Line, Glasgow to Mallaig, Scotland

Harry Potter fans will already know the famous scenery of this iconic railway line. One of the most beautiful train journeys in Great Britain, experience the wild, western coast of gorgeous Scotland. Departing from downtown Glasgow, the city quickly melts away to vibrant greens, quiet lochs and dense forests. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter movies, and finishes in the port of Mallaig.

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia

Another of the world’s best train journeys is also one of the longest rail routes on earth. Starting in Moscow, the Trans-Siberian Railway crosses the Ural Mountains, through thick Siberian forest, crossing Russia to Vladivostok over seven days. At 9,289 kilometres (5,772 miles) long, this epic and scenic train journey is at the extreme end of rail travel.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, United States

For a rail ride that’s about the journey not the destination, step back in time and board this old coal-fired, steam-powered train. One of those scenic train journeys you’ll long remember, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad chugs along 19th-century rails, winding its way through gorgeous Colorado wilderness that is still inaccessible by car.

GET INSPIRED BY: Welcome to Colorado

The Ghan, Australia

Experience Australia’s hot, dry Outback and otherworldly scenery on The Ghan. Undoubtedly one of the world’s best train journeys, this luxury railway trip passes through the red centre of Australia. Travel 2,797 kilometres (1,846 miles) from the city of Darwin in the north, to Adelaide in the south. Along the multi-day journey you’ll make many stops and can get off to explore the epic Outback. 

Flåm Railway, Norway

Short but sweet, the Flåm Railway takes just one hour but is one of the most beautiful rail journeys around. Starting in the village of Flåm, the track climbs 863 metres (2,831 feet), passing cascading waterfalls, steep valleys and high peaks. It’s even more picturesque in winter with a layer of snow covering the magical views. 

RELATED ARTICLE: The most amazing once-in-a-lifetime trips put on your bucket list

Belmond Hiram Bingham, Peru

Named after the American explorer who rediscovered Machu Picchu, the Belmond Hiram Bingham is a luxurious train ride that passes through Peru’s most beautiful landscapes. The journey starts in Cusco, passing through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The trip ends at – you guessed it – the ancient Machu Picchu ruins in the Andes Mountains.

Renon Railway, Italian Dolomites

The romance for rail is alive and well in beautiful train journeys that preserve history. From Renon in the Italian Dolomites, you can ride a century-old train, soaking in amazing panoramic views of the magnificent Dolomite mountain range. A World Heritage site of 18 peaks more than 10,000 feet high, this is the sort of place you want to experience slowly, which is why the old railway circuit is the perfect option

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of the Italian Lakes

Planning for an iconic 2022 trip? Request the latest Trafalgar brochure and start dreaming

Still wondering where to travel by train or have more beautiful train journeys you want to share? Leave us a comment below….

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