World’s Most Jaw-Dropping Train Rides

Skip the plane. Skip the car. It’s time for an epic journey by rail. Take in views of the Canadian Rockies, the Alaskan wild and more. Warning: The views may cause extreme jaw-drop. All aboard!

Photo By: Rocky Mountaineer

Photo By: Glacier Express

Photo By: Alaska Railroad

Photo By: Golden Eagle Luxury Trains Ltd.

Photo By: Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Photo By: Rovos Rail

Photo By: Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Photo By: Great Southern Rail

Photo By: Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Photo By: Elipsos

Rocky Mountaineer

Take in Canada’s great outdoors aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. This fleet of 60 railcars offers passengers a choice of four breathtaking routes: three through British Columbia to Alberta, Banff or Jasper, and a fourth from Vancouver to Whistler. In 2013, a new route was added to connect Seattle to the Canadian Rockies — all aboard for the Coastal Passage!

Glacier Express, Switzerland

Don’t let the name fool you: This train actually has a reputation for being the slowest express train in the world. And that’s just what passengers want. The leisurely seven-hour ride takes travelers from the Swiss municipality of Zermatt to Davos or the resort town of St. Moritz, with stunning alpine views of the Oberalp Pass as you ascend to heights of over 6,000 feet.

Alaska Railroad, GoldStar Service

The best way to see Alaska is by rail, and this rail line proves it. Double-decker dome cars allow passengers to take in sights from multiple locations by stepping onto an outdoor balcony or settling in to a seat on the upper level’s interior space. Operating mid-May through mid-September, the railroad travels between Anchorage and Fairbanks, with stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna and the 6-million-acre wild land of Denali National Park.  

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

How’s this for epic? The world’s longest train journey, a ride on this train spans 6,000 miles, two continents and eight time zones! Equipped with plush, red-velvet seats, Champagne-topped tables and TVs in individual railcars, it offers a seamless journey between East and West. Take a 21-day trip toward Beijing, or enjoy shorter excursions to destinations in Mongolia, Kazakhstan or Russia.

Hiram Bingham Luxury Train

Named for the famed explorer who discovered Machu Picchu, this luxury train takes you on a jaw-dropping ride from the city of Cuzco in southeastern Peru northwest to the 15th-century Inca site. The journey unfolds via the Urubamba River Valley, with pastoral views of llamas and shepherds just beyond your window. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu Lodge, relax over a cup of tea. 

Danube Express

Explore Central and Eastern Europe aboard this luxury private train. Launched in September 2008, this veritable hotel-on-wheels journeys through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey, with amenities such as private bathrooms with constant hot water, as well as fine dining accompanied by premium wines, Champagne and spirits.

Rovos Rail

Take a Cape Town journey like no other. Depart from Capital Park Station in Pretoria, South Africa, and embark on a 48-hour ride across nearly 1,000 miles. Awaiting you are stunning views of grasslands on the inland plateau of Highveld and the vast inland basin of the Great Karoo. Additional routes take you deeper into southern Africa to Namibia and Tanzania, with epic views enjoyed from the comfort of wood-paneled sleeper coaches.

British Pullman

Journey back in time to the golden age of travel. This vintage carriage evokes the elegance of the early 1930s and the romantic intrigue of Agatha Christie’s famous detective novel. Fully restored, the line offers day excursions from London Victoria station, as well as from Birmingham, Manchester and many other English cities and towns. Enjoy it all over a five-course "murder mystery" lunch!

The Ghan

All aboard, mate! Embark on a journey Down Under courtesy of this memorable passenger train. Operating from one end of Australia to the other, the line travels through Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin on the Adelaide-Darwin railway for a journey that spans 54 hours and more than 1,800 miles. Exploring the outback never felt so good.

Royal Scotsman

Discover Scotland’s spectacular countryside aboard this luxury train. Weaving through the Scottish Highlands, you’ll enjoy views of whitewashed villages and expansive lochs. Plus, enjoy the chance to get out and about: Disembark for a Highland distillery tour, an exploration of the Rothiemurchus Estate — described by a famous British broadcaster as "one of the glories of wild Scotland" — and more.

Elipsos Trenhotel

Take a night train between Spain and France, Switzerland or Italy — all while you sleep. Choose from a variety of sleeping accommodations, from reclining seats to luxury class. Come morning, passengers in first class (beds with washing facilities) and luxury class (private bathrooms and showers) enjoy a complimentary breakfast. 

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