Often exciting feelings of nostalgia for a forgotten world of charming travel, railways have more to give than simply a way to get from A to B. With tracks laid through treacherous mountains, expansive deserts and far-off glaciers, these scenic journeys will take you the world over.
Crossing the stunning scenery of the Engadin in the Alps, this cherry-red train takes you all the way from Tirano in Italy to Chur in Switzerland. If you travel in the winter then you’ll see the landscape slowly change from green to white as the train climbs into the mountains, passing by lakes, over viaducts and even alongside a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Trans-Siberian Railway
Holding the top spot for the longest railway line in the world, this 5771-mile-long whopper begins in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, meaning these tracks practically traverse the entire length of Russia! The full journey takes on average six days and covers a wildly varying landscape as well as a whole host of cities and towns.
The Jacobite: Fort William to Mallaig
Is there a more nostalgic way to travel than by steam? The Jacobite, which could rival the Hogwarts Express in appearance, takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in the west Highlands of Scotland. In just under an hour and a half you’ll wind your way past deeps lochs, quaint villages and rugged beaches.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Image © ABIR ROY BARMAN
The highest railway in India, this route takes passengers into the cool of the Eastern Himalayas and up to the famous tea plantations of Darjeeling. En route, you’ll cross no less than 500 bridges and zigzag your way steeply up mountains, providing many a sweeping panorama of the surrounding hillsides and valleys.
Stretching from Trondheim to Bodø, this line traverses Norway and takes you into the Arctic Circle. If you want a real treat, make the journey by night and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to watch the magic of the northern lights as they flicker over the stunning passing scenery. At the journey’s end you’ll find yourself on the edge of the country’s second largest glacier – Svartisen.