The world’s most beautiful rail journeys don’t cost a fortune

All aboard

Slow and relaxing, train travel is one of the best ways of getting around if you have the time to spare. Some of the most breathtaking views in the world can be enjoyed from behind a train window and you don’t necessarily have to shell out the big bucks for an epic ride. Here we take a look at the world’s most scenic train journeys that you won’t have to splash out on.

 © La Renaissance Girl/Shutterstock

San Luis Obispo to San Diego, California, USA

One-way fares start from $62 and the full journey takes just over eight hours. Normally, the route offers 13 daily round-trip services between San Diego and Los Angeles, five to Santa Barbara and two to San Luis Obispo so travelers can be flexible with their itinerary, however, Pacific Surfliner is currently operating a reduced service.

Slide 7 of 31: One-way fares start from $62 and the full journey takes just over eight hours. Normally, the route offers 13 daily round-trip services between San Diego and Los Angeles, five to Santa Barbara and two to San Luis Obispo so travelers can be flexible with their itinerary, however, Pacific Surfliner is currently operating a reduced service.

 © Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Glasgow to Mallaig, Scotland, UK

For an even more authentic Harry Potter experience, there’s the The Jacobite steam train – it’s the one used in the movies. This year the train is scheduled to run Monday to Friday from early April to late October between Fort William and Mallaig. An adult return ticket costs $63. Otherwise, regular ScotRail trains run every day and one-way off-peak fare is around $38.

Slide 5 of 31: For an even more authentic Harry Potter experience, there's the The Jacobite steam train – it's the one used in the movies. This year the train is scheduled to run Monday to Friday from early April to late October between Fort William and Mallaig. An adult return ticket costs $63. Otherwise, regular ScotRail trains run every day and one-way off-peak fare is around $38.
 © Targn Pleiades/Shutterstock

Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

Perhaps one of the most stunning features along the TranzAlpine’s route is traversing the snow-capped mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park. The scenery then quickly turns subtropical as the train continues its journey through the west coast’s rainforests and one of the best experiences on the train is stepping out on the open-air viewing car.

Slide 3 of 31: Perhaps one of the most stunning features along the TranzAlpine's route is traversing the snow-capped mountains of Arthur's Pass National Park. The scenery then quickly turns subtropical as the train continues its journey through the west coast's rainforests and one of the best experiences on the train is stepping out on the open-air viewing car.
 © Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Williams to Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, USA

The trip on the Grand Canyon Railway begins in Williams, a small town 30 miles (48km) west of Flagstaff. Meandering its way through ponderosa pine forests and open prairie, the train terminates in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park before heading back to Williams. On the way, passengers are encouraged to get into the spirit of the Old West and enjoy the musical entertainment, cowboy characters and other surprises.

Slide 10 of 31: The trip on the Grand Canyon Railway begins in Williams, a small town 30 miles (48km) west of Flagstaff. Meandering its way through ponderosa pine forests and open prairie, the train terminates in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park before heading back to Williams. On the way, passengers are encouraged to get into the spirit of the Old West and enjoy the musical entertainment, cowboy characters and other surprises.
 © Xantera Travel Collection/Grand Canyon Railway

Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi, Tanzania and Zambia

The trains, which have sleeping cars and a restaurant car, provide a safari experience on a budget. Prices start from $31 for a one-way, third-class seat while the first-class sleeper is $45. The TAZARA (Tanzania & Zambia Railway Authority) route is a great way of experiencing a safari without splashing out. The train travels from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the Zambian town of Kapiri Mposhi through the Selous game reserve, offering a chance to spot elephants, lions, giraffes and more. The journey covers 1,150 miles (1,852km) and takes just under 48 hours to complete.

Slide 15 of 31: The trains, which have sleeping cars and a restaurant car, provide a safari experience on a budget. Prices start from $31 for a one-way, third-class seat while the first-class sleeper is $45.
 © Alexandra Giese/Shutterstock

Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Vietnam

When traveling on The Reunification Express line (also known as the North-South Railway) you don’t have to choose between seeing historic cities, charming towns and spectacular coastline – this journey has it all. Traversing more than a thousand miles between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, the route is one of Asia’s most popular train rides. The full journey takes over two days but you can hop on and off at destinations like Hue and Da Nang.

Slide 16 of 31: When traveling on The Reunification Express line (also known as the North-South Railway) you don't have to choose between seeing historic cities, charming towns and spectacular coastline – this journey has it all. Traversing more than a thousand miles between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, the route is one of Asia's most popular train rides. The full journey takes over two days but you can hop on and off at destinations like Hue and Da Nang.
 © THANH LE DUC/Shutterstock

There’s more to see including train journey’s in Canada, Mexico and Switzerland to name a few. Click on the link below.

Article by Karlina Valeiko for Love Exploring©

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Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. I want to help you succeed by sharing what I have learned about life skills. Knowing these skills can nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this blog, and visit often so you keep learning too!

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