9 Scenic Train Rides Around the World

a train on the tracks by a body of water
image from CNTraveler article

Like most little boys, Lucas loves trains. He first started saying the word (train) last June during our trip to Japan. We went all over the country, getting great use out of our rail pass and Lucas loved it!

I don’t know what it is about trains and train toys (like Thomas & Chuggington), but just about all boys love them!

Besides our trip to Japan, we haven’t done many trips which included extensive use of the rails. The only other trip for Kim and I that comes to mind would be taking the trip up to Aguas Caliente in Peru to see Macchu Picchu.

Conde Naste Traveler came up with a slideshow featuring Scenic Train Rides Around the World.

According to CNTraveler, These nine locales as varied as the Pacific Northwest, Southeast Asia, and Norway offer majestic views you won’t see from any other mode of transport.

Here is a list of the 9 Scenic Train Rides:

  • Amtrak’s Empire BuilderFollow in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark as you travel from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Amtrak’s Coast Starlight– 35 hours ride where you’ll see natural beauty traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles.
  • The Skeena– 2 day Rail Canada trip from Jasper National Park in the Rockies to Prince Rupert on the Pacific Coast.
  • The CanadianA transcontinental journey which spans much of Canada’s southern landscape.
  • Eastern & Oriental Express– Luxury train ride offering 9 different trips through Asia.
  • The Alaska Railroad– Check out Alaska’s beauty by taking a ride through the countryside.
  • Flam Railway– A 50 minute ride provides amazing views in Norway.
  • Taieri Gorge Seasider– Travel along New Zealand’s Pacific cliffs, north of Dunedin, stopping at beautiful spots along the way.
  • Soundtransit’s Sounder– Washington state’s public transit system offers pictursque views of Puget Sound.

I can’t say that I love the idea of being on a train for an extended period of time but some of these journeys do sound pretty interesting. The Flam Railway, at only a 50 minute ride would definitely be appealing to check out. One of these days, I’d like to try out an overnight train trip but I’m not sure when that will be.

Have you ever taken an extended train journey? If so, how was it?

Find out more about each of the 9 Scenic Train Rides from CNTraveler HERE.

4 thoughts on “9 Scenic Train Rides Around the World

  1. AZTravelguy- I would like to do a train trip at some point, just not sure when! When it comes to getting around Europe, buses have always been cheaper and quicker for the trips we took. I have also taken the trains a few times.

    Mariah- I hope that you have a great time on your trips! I might have to consider using some Ultimate Rewards points at some point for Amtrak!

    James- Awesome. Thanks for the info!

  2. As someone who takes Sound Transit’s Sounder trains quite often (and for free!!), I believe that while it is extremely beautiful, I believe there are other train rides that should be on this list. I love Amtrak’s Adirondack line, especially in the fall. Also, southern Brazil has a beautiful train from Curitiba to Paranagua that goes through the Atlantic Coastal Forest and mountains to the sea.

  3. I will be doing both Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and Empire Builder this summer, but from everyone I have talked to – the one missing from the list is Amtrak’s California Zephyr. I have rode this train both East Bound and West Bound many times and it is amazing. The trip is timed so that you sleep through the boring flat parts and are awake over both the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

    Use your Chase Points to transfer to Amtrak Rewards and get at least a roommette. This means you have a first class ticket. Very good food included plus showers and bed. Best 20000 points you have ever spent.

  4. Do it. You have no idea what you’re missing. The idea of 6+ days from Europe to Asia is a bit daunting – I’d insist on booking separate trains so I could break it up with stopovers myself. But an overnight journey, especially if you’ve got comfortable accommodations, is fantastic. Nothing better than having dinner in a great city, boarding a train in the city center afterward, waking up in the morning in the center of another great city ready to go find breakfast and start the day. And remember that you’re saving points/cash on a night in a hotel when you spend it on a train.

    Paris to Madrid, Barcelona, or Venice. Krakow to Prague. Berlin to Zurich or Paris. And there are MANY more. Even if you didn’t do night journeys, there are plenty of 3-4 hour high speed trips zooming across continents. When considering city center to city center instead of to/from airports, showing up 5 minutes before departure versus 60-90 minutes, very few train delays, and a lot more room in the train car versus a plane, it’s illogical to take a lot of short haul flights when the train is an option unless the price AND time savings make flying worth it.

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