Travel G-spots

TRAVEL TIPS: All Aboard Classic Train Journeys

I love trains. The older the better.

Even if they spit out bits of coals into my face and engulf me in soot at a pace that’s far slower than my walking pace, I still find them rather charming.

The last ‘train’ ride I took was up to Mount Stanserhorn on an old-timer funicular from Stans to Kälti. When it was first introduced in 1893, it broke the record for being the world’s longest funicular. At 120 years, it was still robust and fully operational with open carriages that allows one to experience the Swiss countryside to the fullest – sounds of cow bells and smells of cow dung!

This was after I had decided to abandon the Trans-Siberia trip that was meant to be taken at around the same time.

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Here’s a list of train rides that’s still on my list:

RUSSIA – boasting the world’s longest railway routes winding their way across the extent of Asia, the trans-Siberian journeys are among the most adventurous experiences for travelers.

The Trans-Siberian Route (Moscow to Vladivostok – vice versa)

Course across the harsh but humbling landscape of Russia’s vast country. Highlights include the rugged Ural Mountains and the 25-million-year-old Lake Baikal – the oldest in the world!

The Trans-Mongolian Route (Moscow to Beijing, via Mongolia – vise versa)

Popular 2-week train adventure traverses the landscapes and histories of Russia, China and Mongolia. It passes through the enormous Gobi desert, plus some of Mongolia’s old-charm world.

The Trans-Manchurian Route (Moscow to Beijing, via Harbin)

The shortest of three option, this route takes in outstanding sights of the world’s two giants: Russia and China, in just seven days

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NORWAY – a popular destination for some of the most untouched natural sites of the world, Norway boasts exceptionally beautiful, scenic train journeys. 

The Bergen Railway

Linking Oslo and Bergen, this route reaches 1,237 meter higher than any train in Europe. It rides over Europe’s highest mountainous plateau at Hardangervidda in its 7-hour breathtaking journey.

The Flåm Railway 

An incredible train journey from the mountain station at Myrdal on the Bergen Railway, down to Flåm station nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord it takes you back to nature, passing historical traditions and spectacular scenery that includes ravines, snowy mountains and quaint alpine farms over a mere 20 kilometeres route.

The Rauma Railway

Cross Norway’s most picturesque panoramas and follow the length of the gorgeous, emerald River Rauma to the Trollveggen or Troll Wall, the tallest rock-face in Europe, standing at 1,700 meters high.

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UNITED STATES – from historical sites to splendid stretches of untouched nature, the USA’s great railway journeys show travelers the lesser-known, relatively untouched territories of the new world.

The California Zephyr

Reputed to be one of the most beautiful train journey in North America, the Zephyr traverses 7 states from Chicago to San Francisco, witnessing the best of the country’s natural beauty.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Bask in USA’s rich history and go back in time by traveling the original line in the very same steam-driven locomotive that was used in the early 1900s!

The Glacier Discovery Train

Discover the Alaskan wilderness with this route and stop along the way for glacier cruises, canoe tours, rafting and hiking, or sit back and enjoy the sights of the Chugach National Forest, the Kenai Mountains and Alaskan wildlife.

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If your budget allows you for luxury train travel (envy! envy! envy!), check The Society of International Railway Travelers list of top 25 trains of the world – based on a survey of best railways on every continent.

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