For travelers who know it’s about the journey, not the destination, here are some train trips that feature scenic views along the route.
1) Aurora Winter Train, Alaska, USA
Aurora chasers can spot the northern lights from this 12-hour rail exhibition. The 351-mile track runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks with a stop at Denali National Park & Preserve. Take in the snow-covered landscape of Alaska and spot moose and other local wildlife along the journey. Travelers can also stop along the way to enjoy outdoor activities such as dog sledding and snowmobiling.
2) Glacier Express, Switzerland
Beginning near the Matterhorn in Zermatt and ending in the resort town of St Moritz, travelers can enjoy stunning views of the Swiss Alps through the train’s panoramic windows. This train trip includes one of the best views of the Rhine Gorge, scenic streams, and elegant villages. The journey also reaches a height of 7,000 feet as it moves through the Oberalp Pass.
3) The Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland
This 84-mile round-trip journey includes a hop over the Glenfinnan Viaduct and its 21 arches and towering columns, which is the same bridge that the Hogwarts Express runs over in the Harry Potter films. The trip begins in Fort William near Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and ends in Mallaig. The course includes lochs, valleys, villages, and other natural scenery that is indicative of the Scottish Highlands.
4) The Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
At a maximum height of 14,000 feet, this train traverses between Puno, on the shores of the historic Lake Titicaca, to Cusco. A one or two-night journey, this train is the first luxury sleeper in South America and includes an open-deck Observation Car for passengers to enjoy mesmerizing views along the journey.
5) TranzAlpine Train, New Zealand
This train journey is 11 hours round-trip and moves from coast to coast between Christchurch and Greymouth. Views along the journey include deep gorges, steel bridges, farmland with cattle, waterfalls, mountains, and one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels. The trip is made all the more spectacular due to the panoramic windows, skylight, and reclining seats that are made for enjoying the views.
6) The Ghan, Australia
The longest passenger train in the world, this route runs through Australia’s Red Centre from Darwin in the north to Adelaide. The three-day all-inclusive trip is 1,737 miles and includes stunning sights of the Outback. There are also several off-train outdoor experiences along the route such as guided camel tours and trips to the Cutta Cutta Caves and Katherine Gorge.