In Pics: The most scenic, amazing rail journeys from around the world
Nothing is more romantic than a long train ride through the countryside. Since trains often traverse the lesser-known towns and landscapes, you're more likely to catch some of the world’s wildest and most beautiful scenery from a train window.
Here are some of the most amazing train journeys you can go on:
White Pass and Yukon railroad, Canada and USA
The discovery of gold in the Klondike River tributaries in 1896 led to one of the biggest gold rushes in history. In the beginning, stampeders had to hike the treacherous Chilkoot Trail to locate their treasure. However, a narrow-gauge railway was built between 1898 and 1900 to make the journey easier. Now that the gold rush has subsided, this rail journey has emerged as the real treasure of the territory.
As it winds along mountainous terrain, over bridges and tunnels, the narrow-gauge railroad explores Southeast Alaska, northern British Columbia and the untamed Yukon Territory.
Konkan railway, India
Opened in 1998, the Konkan Railway connects the megalopolis of Mumbai and the port of Mangalore (Karnataka). The project involved over 2,116 bridges and 92 tunnels and was the largest railway project of the century in Asia.
The Konkan Railways are one the most beautiful and stunning railway routes in India and connects India’s western coast with the rest of the country. Spanning 738 km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, the railway lines pass through some of the most scenic spots. This route goes through the beautiful Western Ghats and has numerous tunnels and bridges with hundreds of streams and rivers.
During monsoon, it is often easy to see streams of water flowing over rocks near the tracks. One can also see clouds floating at the level of the train, making the journey more heavenly. It is a visual treat to travel by this route.
Oslo-Bergen railway, Norway
The Bergen Line or the Bergen Railway, is a 371-kilometre (231 mi) long scenic standard gauge railway line between Bergen and Hønefoss, Norway. This link between Norway’s capital and its second city, on the west coast, has to cross the cold, high, remote Hardangervidda, the largest eroded plain in Europe, where the tough, engineering-unfriendly metamorphic rock is around 1.5 billion years old.
Thankfully, a railway did find a way across this hostile plateau, giving train fans a chance to ride from cosmopolitan Oslo to beautiful fjord-and-mountain-flanked Bergen via some of Norway’s wildest scenery.
Cusco to Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the most scenic train rides in the world is between the colonial city of Cusco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Peru Rail and Inca Rail operate this route and transport hundreds of travellers to the historic attraction every day.
The train (which leaves from Poroy, just outside Cusco) slices through the mountains, passing Andean villages, the raging Urubamba River and the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. The travellers on their route can witness breathtaking and dramatic changes in the scenery during this journey.
Copper Canyon railway, Mexico
The Copper Canyon Railroad, also known as the Ferrocarril Barrancas del Cobre, the Ferrocarril Chihuahua-Pacifíco and El Chepe, is one of Mexico’s coolest attractions.
This railroad marvel took almost 90 years and 90 million dollars to complete. The Copper Canyon railway is a stunning piece of engineering achievement. Opened after decades of construction in 1961, the railway was designed to connect the Pacific Ocean with Mexico’s central desert territory and Chihuahua.
On its dramatic journey, El Chepe has to negotiate 87 tunnels, 36 bridges and sweeping hairpin bends as it climbs from sea level to the rim-top views it offers at 2,400m.