Train running through field with mountains in background.
See some of New Zealand's most stunning scenery.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Train Vacations That Will Transport You in More Ways Than One

From Black-Tie Glamour to Astounding Scenery

They say the journey is just as important as the destination, and nowhere is this truer than aboard a train. There is a timeless romance about taking a train voyage cross-country.

Maybe it’s because rails can carve through landscapes where no roads go, maybe it’s seeing endless miles of scenery roll past, or maybe it’s the elegance of train stations and luxurious interiors of the carriages themselves.

Whatever it is, there is a mystique about these train vacations that will seduce you and make you wish you’ll never arrive at the final stop.

The TranzAlpine Rail

Running between Greymouth and Christchurch, the TranzAlpine rail covers some of the most stunning scenery in New Zealand’s South Island. Traversing the Southern Alps and miles of beech forest, the TranzAlpine is famous for its views of snowy peaks and glacier-fed rivers.

The trains themselves have been designed to maximize the experience, with large panoramic windows and comfortable reclining seats. Open-air viewing decks are the ideal spot to stretch your legs, letting you breathe in the fresh mountain air as you rush past pristine landscapes. At a touch under five hours, the TranzAlpine is a great day trip.

Railway with river in background.The Amur Bridge carries the Trans-Siberian Railway across the Amur River near the city of Khabarovsk in Russia.Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Trans-Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian railway stretches across Russia and into places as distant as China, Mongolia and North Korea. A steel ribbon unfurling across the endless steppe, past the world’s largest freshwater lake, and across the Urals, the Trans-Siberian is undoubtedly one of the greatest rail vacations in the world.

The journey from Moscow to Vladivostok covers more than 6,000 miles and zips through no less than eight time zones. The cities you’ll visit and sights you’ll see make this the perfect vacation for adventurous couples. You’ll need a week to complete the trip, which will give you a sense of just how vast the world’s largest country really is.

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Yak with lake in background and railway across on other side.The Glacier Express is the best way to experience the Swiss Alps. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Glacier Express

Connecting the Swiss mountain resorts of St Moritz and Zermatt, the Glacier Express glides through jaw-dropping Alpine scenery. From your seat you will have panoramic views of gorges and mountain passes as the train swoops over viaducts and through spiral tunnels. For the full eight hours you will be swept along on a visual and thrilling ride.

Here’s a tip: catch the train in springtime to see a blissful combination of green valleys and snowy peaks.

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