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15 Most Scenic Train Routes On Earth You Must Visit

15 Most Scenic Train Routes On Earth You Must Visit

Despite being a technology that is well over 150 years old, trains are still an important mode of transportation in many countries around the world. They’re a great and cheap way to cover a long distance if you don’t mind spending a little more time traveling than you would an airplane. It also happens to be one of the best ways to travel if you like sightseeing. Here are 15 of the world’s most scenic train routes.

1. The Flåm Railway, Norway

scenic train route

    We’ll start out with a relatively short route. The Flåm Railway is only about 55 minutes long but it really is among the most beautiful you’ll ever seen. It rides down into Flåm Valley. Passengers can expect lush green landscapes, Nordic farmhouses, waterfalls, ravines, and gigantic mountain ranges. It’s about as much as you can conceivably squeeze into an hour long train ride. It’s also among the cheapest at $60USD.

    2. Canadian Rockies Railway, Canada

    scenic train route

      Canada is home to some of the harshest environments in North America but they also happen to be among the most enjoyable to look at. For the price of a used car ($1879CAN to $8200CAN), you can take a 7-day trip from Vancouver to Toronto and see the best landscapes that Canada has to offer. Accommodations include a heated seat on a luxury railroad, a great view of Jasper (Canada’s largest national park), Yoho National Park, and the Columbian ice fields. There are few better ways to experience Canada without going to a hockey game.

      3. Trans Siberian Railroad, Russia

      scenic train route

        There is no better way to travel through Russia than the Trans Siberian Railroad. It’s 6000 miles long and can take passengers a long time to ride from end to end. In that time you’ll get to experience pretty much all of the landscapes of northern Asia because the railroad doesn’t just go through Russia but also through parts of China and Mongolia. It’s a very popular railroad with some of the most truly breathtaking views. First class will cost you a couple of thousand dollars but if you don’t mind mixing it up with the locals, you can ride for cheaper.

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        4. Glacier Express, Switzerland

        scenic train route

          All you need to do is look at the picture to see the reason why this train is included on this list. During the train’s 7-hour ride, you’ll becoming intimately familiar with the iconic Alps as this train passes through 91 tunnels and 291 bridges as it twists and turns through the mountains. It’s a one of a kind experience. Again, all you need to do is look at the picture.

          5. Cusco to Machu Picchu, Peru

          scenic train route

            You may know Machu Picchu as the site of the Inca Ruins and the train ride there can be spectacular. There are actually a number of railways that make this journey. They range from cheap and functional to expensive and luxurious. It doesn’t really matter which one you take because you get the scenery either way. You’ll see the Urumbamba River, vast fields filled with animal life, and it all is the foreground to a wondrous mountain range in the background. Of course, there are the Inca Ruins too which are breathtaking all on their own.

            6. The Royal Scotsman, Scotland

            scenic train route

              Much like the Canadian Rockies Railroad above, this one will cost you approximately on arm and one leg. You can pay an average of $2000USD per day to enjoy the Royal Scotsman but it’s well worth it. You get food prepared by world class chefs, classic experiences like whiskey tasting and salmon fishing, and of course you’ll get to enjoy the raw Scottish landscape. You really will get to see all there is to see in Scotland in terms of environment including beaches, hamlets, glens, mountains, and valleys. It’s a veritable slideshow of beauty and truly one of the most unforgettable experiences you can have on wheels.

              7. The Palace on Wheels, India

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              scenic train route

                India has a famous reputation for their trains being a little brutal to ride but there are some there that can be an experience unlike any other. One such train is The Palace on Wheels which will take you through the desert to the Taj Mahal with stops at the lake palace of Udaipar and Jaisalmer where you can ride camels on a desert safari if you want. It costs a pretty penny at around $2000USD for basic packages but there are few better ways to experience the wonder of the Indian landscape.

                8. The Blue Train, South Africa

                scenic train route

                  Africa is known for its endless wilderness, vast deserts, and dangerous wildlife. You could always go on a safari and brave the elements or you could sell your car and take The Blue Train. Its cheapest package is $2000 but you’ll be treated to marble floors, butlers, and the unimaginably scenery that only Africa can provide. You’ll see wildlife, mountains, plains, and pretty much all the other best parts of Africa. It’s pricey but definitely worth it.

                  9. The Coastal Classic Train, Alaska

                  scenic train route

                    As the name suggests, The Coastal Classic Train features a most classic view of the Alaskan wilderness along with its craggy mountain peaks, ice blue waters, and if you go during the right time of year, its vibrant green landscapes. You’ll also see a glacier and if you’re lucky you may see some wildlife such as the beluga whale. It’s only a four hour trip but we’ve no doubt you can grab a thousand pictures anyway.

                    10. The Ghan, Australia

                    scenic train route

                      There is no better way to enjoy the wonders of Australia than The Ghan. It runs from the south of the continent to the north so you’ll transverse the entire continent in just a couple of days. During your trip you’ll see the legendary Australian outback including the Katherine Gorge, Flinders ranges, Alice Springs, and of course hundreds of miles of untamed Australian wilderness. It’s a tad expensive at $1420AUS but that’s not bad for what you get to see.

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                      11. The Sky Train, Tibet

                      scenic train route

                        This train gets its name from the fact that it spends most of its journey over 4000 miles above sea level. It’s one of the cheaper trains on the list with the average price being around $185USD but don’t let the price fool you. You’ll be riding at the top of the mountains where you can see the vast landscapes around you not to mention you’ll be among the snow capped mountain peaks. This is often called the ceiling of the sky train.

                        12. Talyllyn Railway, Wales

                        scenic train route

                          Many of these trains are huge, mammoth trains that trek hundreds or thousands of miles. The Talyllyn Railway has a measly 14.5 mile track but don’t let that fool you. It runs through Fathew Valley which is a small grassy paradise in Wales. While the scenery is fantastic, this is one instance where the train itself is also pretty iconic. It was the train that inspired Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s staffed by volunteers and it’s really a quaint little trip to take.

                          13. The Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona

                          scenic train route

                            Have you ever wanted to see the Grand Canyon but the prospect of riding down in a donkey not your cup of tea? Why not try the Grand Canyon Railway. It runs through 130 miles (round trip) of the harsh and wondrous Arizona desert and eventually ends up at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. If you’re down for the rugged Arizona landscape followed up by one of the natural wonders of the world, then this is the railway to take.

                            14. Douro Line, Portugal

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                            scenic train route

                              If you want to enjoy the historic landscapes of Portugal along with its amazing Douro River then this is the way to do it. The trip crosses 30 bridges and passes under 26 tunnels as it winds its way around the Douro River from Porto to Pocinho. Along the way you’ll find picturesque views of the river valley and it’ll even make stops as old style train stations so you can check those out too. It’s best to ride between early spring and late summer when the almond trees are in bloom. It’s downright heavenly.

                              15. Rhine Valley Line, Germany

                              scenic train route

                                Our last scenic train route is one of the best if you’re a fan of old school architecture. On the Rhine Valley Line you’ll see Germanic castles from centuries ago and almost perfect towns and villages that seem to bring the past to life. What’s even better is that no matter which point you start or end at, there are even more towns, villages, and castles for you to visit. If you go all out and get the Eurail Pass, you can switch from trains to riverboats that are also operated by the Rhine Line.

                                 

                                If you’re a fan of unforgettable landscapes, then trains are still the best way to travel. If you can, make sure you make it to at least one of these scenic train route destinations so you can experience it first hand. Don’t forget to bring the camera!

                                Featured photo credit: Digital Spy via i1.cdnds.net

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                                Joseph Hindy

                                A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                                Last Updated on July 23, 2019

                                5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                                5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                                In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

                                Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

                                How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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                                • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
                                • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
                                • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
                                • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
                                • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
                                • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

                                When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

                                1. Realize You’re Not Alone

                                Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

                                2. Find What Inspires You

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                                Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

                                On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

                                3. Give Yourself a Break

                                When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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                                Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

                                4. Shake up Your Routines

                                Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

                                Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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                                When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

                                5. Start with a Small Step

                                Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

                                Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

                                More to Help You Stay Motivated

                                Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

                                Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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