18 of the worlds best rail journeys

Some of the worlds wildest and most beautiful scenery is best enjoyed from a train window. From Lhasa to Lima, we choice brilliant and great value routes


London to Fort William

Duration: 419 miles/ 13 hr
Price( single ): From PS4 5
The Caledonian Sleeper, one of Britain’s last sleeper services( the other is the Night Riviera to Penzance ), is get a PS100m upgrade. The new develops will have double beds, en suites, Highland food and Arran toiletries. They’ll operate first on the Lowland route from London to Edinburgh/ Glasgow in October, then join the Highland route to Fort William next year. The Highland service, “ve called the” Deerstalker, is one of the best train journeys in Britain. After Glasgow, it goes past Loch Treig to the foot of Ben Nevis. From Fort William, the line continues to Mallaig, across the Glenfinnan viaduct- of Harry Potter fame- for ferries to Skye.
* newtrains.sleeper.scot


Bilbao to Ferrol, Spain

Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 267 miles/ 121/2 hr
Price: From PS52
The narrow-gauge
Feve line along Spain’s north coastis used mainly by locals and is perfect slow traveling. Expend a week or more( a 30 -day pass is EUR8 8.90 ), hopping on and off at medieval townships, fishing the towns and beaches. The road skirts the coast and spins inland through green valleys. Inntravel has a new one-week self-guided trip by develop from Cudillero to Ribadesella( from PS595, inntravel.co.uk ).
* renfe.com

Trondheim to Bodo, Norway

Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 453 miles/ 10 hr
Price: From PS18
The Nordlandsbanen Railway is the longest in Norway, and the only one in the country to cross the Arctic Circle. From Trondheim, it passes farms, forests, mountains, rivers and fjords before reaching Bodo, for ferries to the Lofoten islands. A monument in the Saltfjellet mountains marks the Arctic Circle. From here, passengers can see the midnight sunshine in summer and, with luck, the northern lights in winter- there is a sleeper as well as two daytime trains. There are nearly 30 stations en route, and the line is included in the Norway Interrail pass( from PS155,
interrail.eu ).
* nsb.no

Naples to Palermo, Italy

Salerno, on the Naples-Palermo line. Photo: Getty Images

Duration: 196 miles/ 9hr
Price: PS11

There is no need to fly to Sicily. There are direct rail services from Milan( overnight sleeper ), Rome and Naples( day and night ), with the develops shunted on to a ferry at Villa san Giovanni in Calabria to cross the Messina Strait. These are some of Europe’s few remaining passenger ferry trains. The Naples train skirts Vesuvius, then largely hugs the coastline all the way to the toe of Italy. Pack a barbecue, as there is no catering on board. Once in Sicily, the develop divides into two, one heading south past Etna on the way to Catania and Siracusa, the other running west to Palermo, the capital.

Bastia to Ajaccio, Corsica

Corsica’s Pont du Vecchio, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Photo: Walter Bibikow/ Getty Images

Duration: 98 miles/ 31/2 hours
Price: PS19
Corsica has 144 miles of narrow-gauge track, built through mountains over 22 years in the late 19 th century. That enterprise, which took an incredible 22 years, has resulted in one of Europe’s most dramatic railways, with 32 passageways and 52 bridges and viaducts, including one, the Pont du Vecchio, designed by Gustav Eiffel. The most spectacular stretch is between Corte and Bocognano, following the Gravona valley through gorges and past the spectacular 70 -metre Bride’s Veil waterfall. Another line, from Ponte-Leccia to Calvi, hugs the north-west coast from L’Ile-Rousse. New flights started on 3 May from Stansted to Ajaccio, Bastia and Figura( from PS98,
aircorsica.com ).
* cf-corse.corsica

Mostar to Sarajevo, Bosnia


Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 73 miles/ 2hr
Price: PS5

Last summer, after two years of rebuilding, the line between Mostar and Sarajevo reopened with air-conditioned trains. This is a great train bargain, with rugged scenery, especially along the Neretva river. While the road sticks to the valley, the develop climbs over the mountains, with viaducts, switchbacks and passageways. From Sarajevo, there used to be a direct develop to Zagreb, in Croatia. Negotiations between the two countries continue- check
seat6 1. com for updates.
* zfbh.ba


Johannesburg to Cape Town, South Africa

Vineyards and mountains in the Hex valley. Photo: Grobler du Preez/ Getty Images

Duration: 951 miles/ 26 hr
Price: PS40 in a sleeper
The Blue Train from Pretoria to Cape Town is one of the world’s most luxurious, with costs to match: from PS895pp. But there are two non-luxury alternatives on the same road, starting in Johannesburg rather than Pretoria. The Shosholoza Meyl develop is the cheapest, but still has sleeping car and a eatery. The Premier Classe train( from PS189) has private sleepers, all dinners included and a lounge-bar car. Passengers assure exactly the same views of the Karoo desert, Hex river pass, Cape wine region and Table Mountain, but at a fraction of the cost.
shosholozameyl.co.za ; southafricanrailways.co.za

Addis Ababa to Djibouti City, East Africa

Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 452 miles/ 13 hr
Price: From PS26
For a real escapade, try the new line between Ethiopia and Djibouti, which opened last January with new trains and stations, replacing old tracks that shut in 2010. Develops call at Adama in the Rift Valley; cross the Awash river canyon over a 60 -metre-high, 155 -metre-long bridge; stop off at Ethiopia’s second city, colourful Dire Dawa; then finish at coastal Djibouti City. Tickets have to be booked in person at the station 24 hours in advance, and travellers should allow about 45 minutes for pouch checks and immigration controls( you can’t committee the train without a Djibouti visa ). Ethiopia is planning other cross-border lines, to Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan, by 2020.

Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam, Zambia/ Tanzania

Photograph: Getty Images

Duration: 1,156 miles/ 46 hr
Price: From PS17
The Tazara train is a great way to go on safari on a tiny budget. The road runs though Selous game reserve, one of the biggest in the world, for the chance to place elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions, giraffes, zebras and more. That’s transport, two nights’ accommodation and wildlife viewing for under PS20! By comparison, the luxury
Rovos Rail tour follows the same road from Dar es Salaam before continuing to Angola or Cape Town, from PS9, 000 for 15 days.
* tazarasite.com


Los Mochis to Chihuahua, Mexico

Photograph: Franck Guiziou/ Getty Images

Duration: 406 miles/ 16 hr
Price: PS53
If this route, with its 86 passageways and 37 bridges, doesn’t give you a reason to look out the window we’re not sure what will. The develop rides through the canyons of the Sierra Tarahumara as it runs from the coast to the city of Chihuahua. It’s the perfect road for a cross-country adventure- passengers can make up to three different overnight stops at no extra cost.

Sudbury to White River, Canada

Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 298 miles/ 9hr
Price: From PS36

The epic, two-night
Churchill to Winnipeg route– offering passengers the chance to place everything from polar bears to the northern lights- is currently suspended after inundating damaged track and bridges. However, there are plenty of other Canadian rail adventures, such as this ride, informally called the Budd Car, that links many remote settlements in northern Ontario that are only accessible by rail. The wilderness road goes through rich forests and past shimmering, crystal-clear rivers, all of which travellers can gaze at in consolation through the train’s large windows. The train operates three times a week, and is especially popular in October for the autumn colours.
* viarail.ca/ en

Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska

Photograph: Micah Mabin/ Getty Images

Duration: 356 miles/ 12 hr
Price: From PS137
The Denali Star is the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, gale past rivers, canyons and mountains; highlights include the opinion from the Hurricane Gulch bridge( pictured ), and, on a clear day, the sight of Denali, North America’s highest mountain. The journey can be spread over a few days, with nights in Anchorage and the national park( PS600 for five nights ). The trains operates daily from 16 May to 16 September, and on winter weekends and selected weekdays.

Lima to Huancayo, Peru

Photograph: Mark Tucan/ Getty Images

Duration: 206 miles/ 12 hr
Price: From PS87

Most travellers to Peru will take the tourist train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It’s a fun ride( albeit a busy one) but for a more unusual experience, try the journey from Lima to Huancayo, the charming capital of the central highlands. The second-highest passenger railway journey in the world, it reaches a height of 4,782 metres as it rolls through the Andes. Before scheming a trip-up, however , note that the train only operates once or twice a month; check the website for timetables.

Mettupalayam to Udagamandalam, India

Photograph: Alamy

Duration: 29 miles/ 5hr
Price: About 30 p

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway to Udagamandalam( or Ooty) mound station is India’s only rack and pinion railway, part of the Unesco-listed Mountain Railways of India. Its blue-and-cream trains ply the steepest way in Asia. The uphill leg takes about five hours, but it’s just three-and-a-half back up. It operates past canyons, tea plantations and forested mounds; the train traverses 250 bridges and passes through 16 tunnels. This year, steam trains have been reintroduced, though priced for tourists( weekends to 24 June, from PS8. 60 ). Book well in advance.

Colombo to Jaffna, Sri Lanka

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Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com


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