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Most Scenic Train Rides in the World
Some of the world's most beautiful destinations are also home to scenic train rides traversing .
1. Hiram Bingham Orient Express
Start Point Cuzco, Peru End Point Machu Picchu Machu Pichu and Cuzco are the two most visited tourist destinations in Peru, and the best way to visit them is aboard the luxurious Hiram Bingham Orient Express.As the train winds its way from the colonial city of Cuzco up the Andes mountains to Machu Pichu, youll see rugged mountains shrouded in fog, vast step farms cut into the mountain side, and, on a sunny day, even the fabled ruins of Machu Picchu in the distance.
2. Talyllyn Railway
Start Point Tywyn, Wales End Point Nant Gwernol, Wales Talyllyn Railway doesnt promise sweeping vistas of vast mountains, or continent spanning day long journeys. What it does promise is history, charm and oodles of adorableness. This little railway line runs for just 7.25 miles through deep forest and craggy Welsh cliffs. What makes it a journey worth taking is its status as the worlds first preserved train and the steam engine that plies up the 23 narrow gauge. Its adorably charming and will make you fall in love with trains all over again.
3. Settle Carlisle
Start Point Settle, England End Point Carlisle, England England has a lot of scenic train routes, but none come even close to the views on the Settle and Carlisle Line. The train crosses the Yorkshire Dales and Northern Pennines and weaves its way straight into the heart of Englands craggy northern hills and cliffs. Make sure to take a nap before you hop aboard you wouldnt want to miss a second of this nearly 2.5 hour journey!
4. Rocky Mountaineer
Start Point Banff, Canada End Point Vancouver, Canada Banff National Park is the closest youll get to paradise on Earth. This line runs from just outside the park to Vancouver on the west coast, cutting through the Canadian Rockies. The views are spectacular and the in car dining service delightfully delicious.
5. The Sunset Limited
Start Point Los Angeles, USA End Point New Orleans, USA Tourists far too often skip Americas south western states, which is a shame, really, because the vast cacti ridden deserts down below make for some spectacular sights. The Sunset Limited runs largely parallel to the US Mexico border, crossing the states of California, New Mexico, and Texas before heading into the scenic wetlands of Louisiana. Its a great way to learn about Americas south western states, and sample some great Tex Mex cuisine along the way.
6. Grand Canyon Railway
Start Point Williams, Arizona, USA End Point Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, USA Theres no sight more breathtaking within continental United States than the deep gorges of the Grand Canyon, and theres no better way to reach the Grand Canyon than a ride aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. This is as much a ride through Arizonas wilderness as it is a ride through history. The train engine runs on steam, the coach car is vintage 1923 Pullmans, and the first class cars date back to the 1950s.
7. Rovos Rail Pride of Africa
Start Point Varies End Point Varies Theres no better way to experience South Africa than a trip aboard Rovos Rails trains. This heritage rail line consists of luxurious coaches and cabins that hark back to the 1920s. Routes include Pretoria to Cape Town, Pretoria to Durban, Pretoria to Victoria Falls and Cape Town to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Besides old world charm and gorgeous views of the South African countryside, the Rovos line also boasts some exquisite dining options and a lengthy wine list.
8. The Amtrak Adirondack
Distance 381 miles Start Point New York City, NY, USA End Point Montreal, Quebec, Canada Sure, it has a reputation for being slower than a wheeled wagon on the Oregon Trail, but the breathtaking vistas of the Hudson river valley and Adirondack mountains more than makes up for the delay. If you can look past the general tardiness, youll see why this train features regularly among the worlds 10 most scenic train routes.
9. The California Zephyr
Start Point Chicago, MI, USA End Point Emeryville, CA, USA The California Zephyr charts an epic journey across the American Midwest to the West Coast. Much of the trip cuts through endless corn fields not exactly the most exciting scenery. That is, until you hit Denver. From Denver to San Francisco, the Zephyr runs along the Colorado river and crosses the Rocky Mountains and Ruby Canyon. The scenery is dramatic and at the leisurely pace of 55mph, makes for one journey youll never forget.
10. Trans Harz Railway and Brocken Railway
Start Point Wernigerode, Germany (both Trans Harz and Brocken Railway) End Point Nordhausen Nord, Germany (Trans Harz), Brocken, Germany (Brocken Railway) The Trans Harz and Brocken Railway together serve the Harz Mountain region and Harz National Park in Germany. Both these railways still run on steam locomotives. Sitting aboard the train and watching these locomotives huff and puff up the highest peak in the Harz Mountains (Brocken) is a sight to behold.
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