Flying has lost its glamour. You’re not alone in wanting a more rewarding, low-stress alternative to flying, which brings you closer to the world you live in and reduces your contribution to global warming. It’s time to rediscover rail travel, where the journey itself is part of the adventure.
Rail travel is one of the best (and most eco-friendly) ways to get around the world. Pretty much any large city in the world is serviced by at least one railway line, along with countless local and commuter services.
Trains allow you to travel in safety and comfort, and their olde-word charm sets them apart from more mundane means of transport. They pollute less, rarely suffer from weather delays and won’t give you jet lag. You can talk to your companions, read a book, or have a snooze. If the scenery palls you might go for a stroll, have a meal in the dining car, make friends in the bar or watch a movie.
Trains are very cost-effective compared to other modes of transport, especially if you use an unlimited ticket, such as Interail (Europe) or North America rail passes. It may also be a novelty, especially for families with children, who are usually fascinated by trains. It’s often easier to care for small children on a train than on a plane or car trip.
Some people go by train solely for the amazing views en route or relish the extra time it takes, giving them an interval alone on either side of a holiday or business trip. More comfortable than the bus, more fun than flying and more relaxing than a car trip, trains keep you in touch with the landscape and the civilised pace is ideal for sightseeing. Planes may be quicker for distances over 1,000 miles but involve lengthy security checks as well as tedious journeys to and from congested airports, while trains frequently connect city centres.
Special Rail Travel Journeys
Trains frequently go through spectacular scenery that is not easily or safely accessible by any other mean! Here are a few of our favorites:
The Trans-Siberian Railway
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
A work of art in itself and a true Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train offers a journey unlike any other. Step aboard and you enter a more gracious, elegant age of travel.
Often voted one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, it takes two days and nights to travel between Chicago and San Francisco, following America’s earliest transcontinental rail route across farmland, prairie, deserts, rivers and the Rocky Mountains.
The Hiram Bingham
The Hiram Bingham luxury train links Cuzco and Machu Picchu, via the dramatic valley of the Urubamba River. It departs later in the day than most other services, allowing passengers to enjoy the citadel in the late afternoon calm.
The Cairo to Aswan Express
The Blue Train
Travel by rail between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin and you are embarking on one of the great train journeys of the world. Named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route, The Ghan will take you from one edge of this continent to the other, through the very centre of Australia.