Train round the bend/Takin’ me away–The Velvet Underground, “Train Round the Bend” (1970)
All aboard! For some of the most scenic train rides in the world!
Life too hectic? Care to travel back to another time, another place? Take a train ride. Some of the most beautiful destinations in the world also host the most scenic train rides. Here are five of the most scenic:
West Highland Line, United Kingdom
The UK’s most stunning railway run connects the ports of Glasgow with Mallaig. It’s a 90-minute ride that features views of castles, glens, lochs and moors, and the Small Isles Eigg, Muck, and Rum. You’ll also see the Glenfinnan Viaduct as you approach Mallaig. It’s most famous for being one of the locations for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
The popular Rocky Mountaineer route follows the original 1885 Canadian Pacific train rail route through the Canadian Rockies. This two-day trip features an overnight stay in Kamloops. B.C. Highlights include bighorn sheep, black lava cliffs and canyons, glacial lakes, rivers, pristine wilderness and possibly even a grizzly or black bear. First-class folks sit in a glass-domed area.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India
This is a reportedly romantic eight-hour trip on a “Toy Train” from the Siliguri, in the Eastern Himalayas, to the Darjeeling station. It includes views of the Himalayan peaks towering up to 7,400 feet. The train treks through tea gardens, green valleys, thick jungles, and forests of cardamom, cherry, chestnut, maple, and pear trees too.
Semmering Railway, Austria
This hour-long journey begins in Gloggnitz, crosses the Austrian Alps’ Semmering Pass to stop in Mürzzuschlag. Constructed in 1854, prior to tunnel-drilling and dynamite, the train trip chugs through 14 hand-carved tunnels and over 16. An excellent example of civil engineering from the early days of railroads, it is featured on such collector’s coins such as the 25 Euro 150 Years Semmering Alpine Railway commemorative coin.
El ChePe, Mexico
Experience rising on Mexico’s most comfortable, modern passenger train in Mexico chugs as you enjoy the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico, a.k.a the Copper Canyon Railway. This 13-hour excursion joins northern Mexico with the Pacific coast. Highlights include high desert plains, sheer canyon walls, waterfalls, and the Sierra Tarahumara landscapes. Travel through the six namesake copper canyons that, if joined, would be four times bigger than the Grand Canyon.
All out, we’ve reached the end of the line . . .