Photo Essay: Norway By Train

Come along for the ride as travel photographer and blogger Alison Turner discovers that touring a country by train allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

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Swiss Chocolate Train

Swiss Chocolate Train

Say the words "chocolate train" to your kids, and they’ll be all aboard for this day trip in the Swiss countryside. You will be, too, as you nibble your way through the regions where world-famous Cailler chocolate and Gruyere cheese come from. You’ll be treated to first-class comfort as you travel from Montreux to the Gruyère region in either a vintage Pullman car or an ultra-modern panoramic coach car. And your ticket includes a tour of the Gruyères castle and tickets to chocolate and cheese-making factories. 960 1280

Goldenpass  

Darjeeling Toy Train

Darjeeling Toy Train

A luxury train trip in India becomes a family adventure with the 8-hour ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway “toy train.” This historic railway from 1881, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, travels through the Eastern Himalayas to the lush, green Darjeeling tea plantations. The miniature steam train travels at the slow pace of 7 miles per hour, so you’ll have time to take in all the spectacular scenery as you “choo- choo” along. 960 1280

IndiaPictures, Getty Images  

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

The most epic of all family adventures? Grand Canyon, of course. Experience the ride of a lifetime onboard the Grand Canyon Railway as you take in one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders. With entertaining characters and musicians onboard, kids will think they’ve travelled back in time to the Wild West. 960 1280

Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel  

Alaska’s Denali Star

Alaska’s Denali Star

For many families, a bucket list trip like Alaska might seem daunting with young children, but seeing the last frontier is doable (and quite comfortable) via train. Travel on the Denali Star from Anchorage to Fairbanks through the majestic Denali National Park. Keep your eyes open as the train moves through Alaska’s spectacular landscapes -- you might get lucky and see a bear, moose or caribou. And look out for what native Alaskans call “The Great One” -- the 4-mile- high Mt. McKinley. 960 1280

John Greim, Getty Images  

Niagara Falls Train

Niagara Falls Train

Take the kids to the one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, Niagara Falls, without the hassle a car trip can bring. If you’re craving an international adventure, take Canada’s Via Rail line from Toronto directly to Niagara Falls. Or head out from New York City aboard the Maple Leaf Train, and travel through Hudson River Valley and the Finger Lakes Region to the see the spectacular waterfalls. 960 1280

Courtesy of Via Rail  

Cass Scenic Railway

Cass Scenic Railway

Take the kids back in time to the era of steam-driven locomotives on this historic train ride through West Virginia’s Cass State Park. Kids will love sitting in the open-air cars, while parents will enjoy the wide-open vistas on the 11-mile journey. Stay overnight in a renovated turn-of-the- century cottage in the charming mill town of Cass. 960 1280

West Virginia Department of Commerce  

Whistler Sea to Sky Climb

Whistler Sea to Sky Climb

Planning on a family mountain getaway to Whistler? Leave the car behind and take the “Sea to Sky Climb” train from downtown Vancouver to Canadian’s popular mountain resort town, Whistler. This 3- and-a-half ½- hour train trip offers breathtaking views of the Hound Sound and the British Columbia Coast Mountains. And this way, you won’t have to worry about navigating the steep mountain roads up to Whistler on your own. 960 1280

Rocky Mountaineer  

Hocking Valley Scenic Train

Hocking Valley Scenic Train

Take a trip back in time on this historic train along Ohio’s Hocking River that passes through a canal lock and a pioneer village. Throughout the year, differently themed train rides, like the Easter Bunny, Santa and even old-time “train robbers,” offer kid-friendly entertainment onboard. 960 1280

jpmueller99, flickr  

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Take the whole family on a railroad adventure through North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. A unique trip each season, a journey in fall offers some of the best fall foliage in the country, while a ride during the holidays offers extra fun for the kids with a visit from Santa on the “Polar Express.” 960 1280

Getty Images  

Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight

Traveling between Los Angeles and Seattle, the Coast Starlight is one of the most scenic train trips in the country. You’ll pass through San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Portland as you ride along the Pacific Coast and pass the Cascade Mountains. There’s something for the whole family on this historic bi-level Superliner -- the kids will learn about the passing regions with onboard National Parks programs, and the adults will enjoy daily tastings of local wines and artisan cheeses in the parlor car. 960 1280

Courtesy of Amtrak  

Harry Potter Train

Harry Potter Train

Calling all Hogwarts fans (both kids and parents), this is the trip for you! Ride on West Coast Railways’ “Jacobite” steam engine and carriages that were used in the Harry Potter films. Travel through Scotland’s lush countryside, and cross over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, an unforgettable landmark for all Harry Potter fans. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Heber Valley Railroad

Heber Valley Railroad

See Utah’s Heber Valley onboard a 1907 vintage steam locomotive, sure to wow both kids and train buffs, alike. The 16-mile track twists and turns between Heber Valley and Vivan Park in Provo Canyon. Lookout for bald eagles, deer and elk as you ride along the Provo River.  960 1280

Utah Office of Tourism/Steve Greenwood  

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