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Five Epic Train Journeys from Around the World

Swiss Rail
Train Tours Queensland Australia
Old Trans Siberian railway on the shores of lake Baikal

Five Epic Train Journeys from Around the World

story by: Mike Williams

For travellers, sometimes the journey itself is more important than the destination. Never is this truer than for epic train journeys. Kiwis tend to have particularly romantic notions of rail journeys, and that combined with our burning desire to see the world often means an ambitious train expedition is right near the top of our bucket lists.

As mentioned in this ‘See the World by Train’ article, on such a journey you’ve got nothing but time to sit back and soak in the best views a country can throw at you, whether it be dramatic mountains, pristine lakes, endless desert, majestic glaciers, or even iconic landmarks.

There are limitless options to whet the appetites of the travel romantics amongst us, here’s a list of five of the best. What epic train journey is at the top of your bucket list?

Hiram Bingham, Peru
Named after the explorer who introduced Machu Picchu – the lost "City of the Incas" to the Western World, this exotic train journey travels between Cuzco and the famous mountain citadel while taking in the beautiful scenery in Peru. Check out this four-day tour that includes a stay at Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located right at the entrance of Machu Picchu and a guided tour of the magical ancient ruins.

The Glacier Express, Switzerland
When one thinks of Switzerland, the imagination conjures images of beautiful, untouched landscapes of snow-capped mountains, gorges, valleys, and even glaciers. Well, over 7.5 hours and 290 km the Glacier Express showcases all of it, combining the romanticism of a train journey and unobstructed panoramic views as it meanders through the Swiss Alps. The trip even includes no less than 91 tunnels and 291 bridges. Click here for full article.

The Trans-Siberian, Russia
Don’t let the movie of the same name scare you off, this is a traveller’s Everest begging to be conquered. The Trans-Siberian Railway, a rail network between the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan, is one of the longest railways in the world, linking Europe with China. There are endless epic train journeys to embark upon on the network, such as the seven-day Moscow to Vladivostok or Moscow to Beijing, either on the Trans-Mongolian line or the Trans-Manchurian line. One magnificent adventure is the 20-night Trans-Siberian Railway Escorted Journey. Click here for full article.

The Blue Train, South Africa 
The Blue Train is a four star moving hotel and is surely one of the most comfortable ways you could possibly travel. Complete with stunning food and wine, luxurious interiors, and top class service, the luxury of the Blue Train is matched only by the magnificent view outside. The two-day luxurious South Africa safari traverses between Pretoria and Cape Town. Click here for more information on the Blue Train Southern Africa Rail Journey. Other indulgent South Africa train journeys include Rovos Rail and Shongololo Express, which have a number of routes in Southern Africa.

The Bernina Express, Italy and Switzerland 
If you are lucky enough to be indulging in both Switzerland and Italy on the same holiday, then you may as well maximise the experience and travel between them on the legendary Bernina Express. The 100-year-old train route crosses the Swiss Alps, travelling between Chur in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy. The four hour, 144 km journey takes in both the snow laden beauty of Switzerland and the sunny rolling country side of Italy, and it includes 196 bridges and 55 tunnels. Click here for full article.

Don't forget to tell everyone your favourite train journey in the comments box below.

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