Since the first steam-powered locomotive was displayed in 1804, trains have shaped the course of humanity. By allowing people and freights to be carried along known routes at high speeds, trains made the world smaller, trade goods more available, and travel faster. Thanks to the transcontinental railroad that connected America’s east and west, the United States became an economic superpower.
Besides their cultural and historical significance, trains also allow you to travel in comfort while experiencing incredible vistas. These 12 train rides are some of the world’s most scenic and luxurious rides in the world, and should be experienced by everyone.
1. Hiram Bingham
If you want to travel the jungles of Peru in style, then the Hiram Bingham is for you! This deluxe train travels to Machu Picchu while providing its passengers with high-end accommodations and dining.
2. The Ghan
Australia’s Great Southern Rail from Adelaide to Darwin is a 54-hour, 2,979 km (1,851 miles) train ride that crosses Australia from south to north. The name “Ghan” is actually an abbreviation of its original name – “The Afghan Express”.
3. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Also known as “The Toy Train”, this train uses a vintage British B Class steam locomotive for its daily tourist trips. The train climbs the Himalayas up to heights of over 2,200m (7,200ft), on a route that is 78 km (48 miles) long. Considering it’s using such old locomotives, it’s astounding that it is still functioning so efficiently!
4. The Adirondack
This train runs between New York and Montreal through the magnificent Hudson valley and the Adirondack mountains, which gave it its name. While the train often suffers from delays, the 11-hour trip is so beautiful, most people agree that it’s worth it.
5. The West Highland Line
Voted as the most scenic train ride in the world for several consecutive years, the West Highland Line travels between Mallaig and Glasgow in Scotland. The locals refer to it as ‘Rathad Iarainn nan Eilean’ (“Iron Road to the Isles”).
6. Brocken railway
The highest mountain in Germany is called Brocken, and lends its name to this train. The Brocken train provides the most comfortable way to get to Brocken Mountain’s nature reserve.