Accompaying persons, please leave the train: the most interesting trains on planet
According to statistics, about 1.5 billion people use trains at least once a year. As a percentage of the total population of the planet, the “golden age” of railway was, of course, long time ago from about the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th centuries. The first passengers were the British back in the 1820s. For almost 200 years of operation of trains, outstanding engineering minds in different parts of the world have managed to create impressive trains and build amazing routes. We encourage you to read about some of them that are used now.
Royal ScotsmanPhoto worldjourneys.co.nz
This train is often dubbed as “the train of British gentlemen”, since luxury and style are felt in every detail. Starting from tickets with minimum cost from 3,000 euros, and ending with carpet, which is spread out by porters for boarding. It is important to know that the traditional clothes used during travelling, i.e. shorts, tracksuits, light T-shirts and sneakers, will not work for staying inside this train, not only in terms of aesthetics, but also because of strict rules. Only tuxedos and evening gowns if you want to visit the dining car or to see your friends in another compartment. The dress code is not a formality; everyone, especially the personnel, respects it. The trip from London to Edinburgh on the Royal Scotsman lasts about a week. Thirty-six lucky people, who occupy four single and sixteen double compartments equipped with toilets, showers and even bathrooms, have a great time on the way as they enjoy live music performances, exquisite gastronomy delicacies that are never the same since they serve dishes typical for the region behind window, and excursions at stops along the route.
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsPhoto es.visittnt.com
Indian trains are most often associated with memes and funny pictures that show trains with people hanging from all sides, so needless to say about any personal space. Of course, there is some truth in this, even a large share, but at the same time, the Indians can boast of other trains, for example, the famous Palace on Wheels, which connects Delhi and Agra. For 8 days of travel on this iconic train, which in the past century belonged to Indian grandees, passengers will experience not only the incredible royal service, spa carriages and high tech innovations, but will also savour famous attractions of this great country. Interestingly, during the journey, two restaurants work here: one serves Indian dishes, and another offers European cuisine, and each passenger has a personal assistant during the journey.
The Swiss Glacier Express is much more democratic, and the word “express” is hardly applied to it, because it overcomes 300 kilometres from Zermatt to St. Moritz for almost eight hours. However, this time will not be boring thanks to the fantastic views from the panoramic windows - the route passes through mountains, so passengers have an opportunity to enjoy alpine landscapes. Glaciers, flower meadows, mountain rivers, old and modern bridges, 100 tunnels - these are, perhaps, the main attractions that make even eight-hour trip very fast and not tiring. Second class carriages with slightly smaller windows compared to the first class, have their advantage: you can open window and breathe deep cleanest mountain air, since the average height of the route is about two kilometres above sea level. The Swiss call Glacier Express the most comfortable train in their country.
Napa Valley Wine TrainPhoto winecountry.com
The name of this train means little to someone who does not know California well, but when you add to it the pleasant word “wine”, interest immediately increases. This wine train is one of the most popular and convenient ways to taste famous Californian wines and travel back in time, since its design is inspired by early 20th century. The route passes between Napa and St. Helena, the famous wine destinations of the West Coast. During the three-hour trip, passengers not only taste several types of wines and admire vineyards, they also have an opportunity to visit dining carriage, which is run by famous chef Kelly MacDonald. Each carriage is called after a sort of wine, and among many wines that are served for travellers, you should definitely sample the classic Chardonnay, Cabernet and Sauvignon - here they are just delicious, but if you want to taste something rare, there are qualified sommeliers for passengers.
The final star of our collection is different since it is not quite a train, but something between a train and an airplane, in terms of its velocity. Experts say that the express train connecting Pudong International Airport and Shanghai is the first train of the 21st century, as its speed can reach 430 kilometres per hour, and due to the work of electromagnets, it actually hovers in the air above the rails. This engineering miracle is gradually conquering Asia: Japan will launch several trains in the coming years, South Korea has the similar plan. Despite the fact that the technology still needs some work, in Shanghai the route is very short, since the soil around the metropolis is rather swampy, which is dangerous for such a serious infrastructure project. Either way, there is no doubt that our nearest railway future belongs to such speed and comfort.
Cover photo enchantingtravels.com