Travelling by train has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Whether chasing the romance of steam locomotion or looking to experience some of the world’s magical scenery from the comfort of a carriage winding its way through far-flung countryside, here are 5 epic railway journeys found across the world.
We start our train-tastic exploration on the trail of India’s Toy Trains.
1. Kalka – Shimla Toy Train
Originally constructed by the British, the UNESCO-listed Shimla to Kalka Toy Train is an intriguing scenic railway journey through the beautiful countryside of India.
This narrow-set line travels over 2,000 metres above sea level at its peak elevation and is often cited as one of the planet’s greatest railway experiences.
Connecting Kalka to Shimla, the total journey spans close to 60 miles passing through numerous stations along the winding route.
Slowing at points along the way as the train tackles some mighty elevation, there are plenty of incredible scenic moments to savour throughout this iconic route as the train winds through tunnels, navigates across bridges and follows winding curves.
2. The Andes, Peru
Travelling through the Andes aboard a beautiful 1920s era train is one of the great experiences available in Peru alongside visiting iconic Machu Picchu.
The journey aboard the PeruRail Titicaca train takes passengers on a wonderful journey through Andean plains to the city of Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca, one of the biggest lakes in South America.
3. Scottish Highlands
The incredibly romantic Fort William to Mallaig Line is one of Scotland’s finest railway journeys.
Forever linked to a certain famous wizard, the high point of the journey aboard the Jacobite Steam train is undoubtedly Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Overlooking Loch Shiel and a statue of ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie below, travelling across the viaduct aboard the vintage train lets passengers experience the charm and romance of steam travel in a wonderfully picturesque setting – one of the most photographed places in Scotland.
4. The Bernina Pass
Travelling aboard the Bernina Express travelling across the Italian border into Switzerland, the journey tackling the Bernina Pass is another incredibly scenic experience.
Journey highlights include the spiralling viaduct at Brusio and fantastic Alpine sights as the train navigates its way through the Bernina Pass, some 2,000 metres above sea level.
A wonderful conclusion, at the journey’s end, passengers disembark in the resort of UNESCO-listed St Moritz.
5. Flamsbana Mountain Railway Line
Another iconic journey, this time travelling through the scenic beauty of Norwegian fjord country, the Flamsbana Railway Line connects the tiny village of Flam to Myrdal.
A railway line eventually leading on to the historic fishing port of Bergen, the line rises over 800 metres at its peak, passing through twenty tunnels and crossing a bridge as the train hugs to the side of valleys deep in the heart of scenic Norway.
Today, the service is so popular it is exclusively for tourists.