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20 Once-In-A-Lifetime Train Trips

Does anyone remember those epic and stunning train rides, when coal ruled the tracks and breaking world speed records meant a lot of work? Of course you don’t, you’d have to be pretty old. But if you want to experience that thrill and romantic setting your grandpareents used to talk about, you still can. So, get your blog ready, your bags packed and your tickets out and enjoy these 20 lifetime train trips. All aboard!

20. The Sunset Limited

The Sunset Limited

Traveling between Los Angeles and New Orleans , the 46-hour Sunset Limited trip is truly one of the greatest ways to see the US desert. Obviously, no Indians will be chasing you.

19. El Tren Crucero

El Tren Crucero

The four-day three-night adventure takes passengers from Guayaquil to Quito, while traveling through some of the most spectacular parts of the Ecuadorian Andes.

18. The Blue Train

The Blue Train

There’s a 27-hour journey from Pretoria to Cape Town which takes you through Johannesburg and offer the opportunity to witness some of the wildest and most diverse landscapes in the South African subcontinent. You’d better try that out.

17. The Eastern & Orient Express

The Eastern & Orient Express

The Eastern & Orient Express travels between Singapore and Bangkok, stopping everywhere in-between. The trip can take anywhere from 2 days to 7, depending on what you want to do and see along the way. Let’s not talk money.

16. The TranzAlpine

The TranzAlpine

Crossing between Christchurch and Greymouth in New Zealand, the legendary train trip takes about 4.5 hours from start to finish. Although that’s cutting it a little short, passengers get acquainted with the landscape that New Zealand is renowned for.

15. The Al Andalus Express

The Al Andalus Express

Since 1930, The Al Andalus Express has been a popular traveling and sightseeing circuit in the southern “Andalusia” region of Spain. It starts off in Seville, passes through Cádiz, Jerez, Ronda, Granada, Linares-Baeza, Ubeda, and Cordoba before returning to Seville. This train trip is 6 days long.

14. The Danube Express

The Danube Express

Perfect for cruising Central Europe, the Danube Express always leaves from Budapest, but can end up anywhere from Krakow to Sighisoara in Transylvania. So, be careful which train you choose.

13. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Crowned “Best North American Train Trip” by National Geographic Traveller, the Durango & Silverton Railroad has traveled the 45.5 beautiful Coloradoan miles between the municipality of Durango and the town of Silverton since 1881. You might even see Clint Eastwood riding through the woods.

12. The Coast Starlight

The Coast Starlight

Traveling between Seattle and Los Angeles might be easier if you opt out for going down the coast of the Western United States. The journey takes about 35 hours, and makes 29 stops as it passes from California, through Oregon, to Washington.

11. Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas' Express

The Maharajas’ Express is all about seeing India in the absolute height of opulent luxury. Bragging about the titles of “World’s Leading Luxury Train” and “World’s Most Expensive Luxury Train in Asia”, this circuit takes passengers to Mumbai, Delhi, and everywhere in-between.

10. The Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway

Shuttling passengers from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park since about 1898, The Grand Canyon Railway trip only takes about an hour and a half in either direction. This short, but incredible trip, will take you towards the Grand Canyon in style.

9. The Royal Scotsman

The Royal Scotsman

Starting in Edinburgh, The Royal Scotsman has a range of circuits through the Scottish Highlands depending on how much time you have. Some start and end in Edinburgh, others will deposit you in places like London, Glasgow, or Perth. Please do not confuse this with the Flying Scotsman.

8. The Ghan

The Ghan

The legendary railway bisecting the Australian continent, The Ghan has gone from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north since 1929. The 1,851-mile trip takes just over 54 hours to complete, and includes a four hour break part way through the trip in Alice Springs as well.

7. Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

The Trans-Siberian Railway needs no introduction. It carves through Russia, joining Moscow in the West to Vladisvostok in the East. The entire journey stretches over 5,772 miles, and is currently the longest railway in the world. Get ready for 13 days of adventure.

6. The Denali Star

The Denali Star

Only available between May and September, the Denali Star takes you on a 12-hour journey from Anchorage to Fairbanks, past miles of fireweed, salmon, and spruce that give Alaska the colors it’s known for. It might get chilly.

5. The Glacier Express

The Glacier Express

Not to be confused with the Polar Express, Switzerland’s Glacier Express connects St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The famous railway adventure takes you through 91 tunnels, over gorges, through valleys, and across 291 bridges. There’s nothing like 7 incredible hours through the Swiss countryside.

4. Cape To Cairo

Cape To CairoOriginally started as a project in the late 1800’s, the railway was never completed. Rovos Rail started offering the trip in 2008 by hiring alternate methods of transportation between the disjointed railways., which is why every two years travelers have the opportunity to spend 28 days getting acquainted with Africa in a way you could never imagine.

3. First Pasage To The West

First Pasage To The West

After winning countless awards, it’s safe to say that this Canadian train experience operated by Rocky Mountaineer is probably worth a try. Traveling over the Canadian Pacific Railway, this route goes between Vancouver and Banff over the course of 4 days. Check out those views!

2. Hiram Bingham

Hiram Bingham

If you ever plan on visiting Peru, the Hiram Bingham luxury train offers one-way and round-trip jaunts to Machu Picchu from Cuzco. The trips take just over 3 hours (one way) or 6  hours (round trip), and include time time to experience the site and ruins. Don’t miss out!

1. Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

There are a lot of ways to take in California’s famous wine country, but few will let you leisurely sample the wine as you go. Traveling from Napa to St. Helena, the Napa Valley Wine Train motors on for three hours over historic tracks that were built in the 1860’s. Be careful as you step out.

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