A Cogwheel Train from Grindelwald to Wengen, Switzerland by Paula of Contented Traveller
Wengen is part of the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. The other villages that make up this region are Grindelwald, Murren and Lauterbrunnen. These are some of the prettiest villages surrounded by the Eiger, Mont, and Jungfrau mountains.We were staying in Grindlewald and decided to take what was one of the most spectacular train trips in the huge mountains. It was in a cogwheel train, which was very interesting being winched up the hills and to the archetypal Swiss village of Wengen.We got an early start and arrived at the train station, which was bustling with skiers, walkers and people about to go to Jungfraujoch.The cogwheel train climbed to Kleine Scheidegg. From here, where for some reason teepee’s are set up, a lot of skiers and walkers disembarked for the wide and varied slopes. Many also left to catch another train, the famous Jungfraujoch, which would take them to the Top Of Europe. We changed to another cog train having it virtually to ourselves for the trip though the mountains to Wengen. We hung out the windows listening to the train chug along and watched as it negotiated some narrow passages. A Cogwheel Train from Grindelwald to Wengen, Switzerland was easily the most stunning train trip ever.
Galician Railway Tarnów – Muszyna by Sądecki Włóczykij
Galician Railway Tarnów – Muszyna is the most exciting railway line in Poland. It is hard to find more extraordinary line than this one. Built over 130 years ago leads from Tarnów to Muszyna and then to Krynica or Slovakia and other southern countries. This railway is over 150 km long and goes across main range of Carpathian mountains. You can watch out the window everything what you imagine! Monumental mountains, huge forests, homely villages and towns. The last part of railway makes the biggest impression to everyone, because it leads parallel to cross-border Poprad river. On one side you are in Poland, but on the other you see beautiful Slovakia. Galician Railway Tarnów – Muszyna is the best option for one day trip to mountains, which for sure makes you a lot of fantastic memories. (Trip time from Tarnów to Krynica: 3,5h, Costs: about 20 PLN/5 EURO)
Thailand by Evi of Kto podróżuje ten żyje dwa razy
I was always traveling by buses or planes in Thailand, but when we decided to go to Ayutthaya I finally could use one of thai trains. At the train station we were informed that next (within 10 min) train costs 358THB (8,9EUR), which seemed to me a little bit too expensive, but if we are willing to wait 1h there will be next one for… 15THB which is like 0,3 EUR. We were expecting the worst for that price, but it turned out it is regular train, clean, with specific air-conditioning: no glass in windows and ceiling fans. Journey took about 1h20 min, almost each stop was a commercial break for the food sellers – we didn’t have to worry that we forgot to bring any snacks. Only difficulty was space for legs – train was adjusted for Thai people, they aren`t almost 6 feet like me. In the middle of our journey an old lady and her friend came to sit with us and check us out, try how heavy is my backpack standing next to me, to finally fall asleep blocking me completely in a small space.
The train to Machu Picchu by Claudia of My Adventures Across the World
Aguas Calientes is the last village before reaching Machu Picchu, and can only be reached by train from either Ollantaytambo or Cusco. That train ride is a memorable experience. The train moves slowly and sweetly across the Sacred Valley of the Incas, offering the chance to take in some of the most scenic views one can imagine: mountains all around, some lovely villages, the Rio Urubamba on one side, galleries and the railways even follows the path of the Inca Trail for some parts (I remember seeing the train when I actually hiked the Inca Trail). I recommend doing the trip during the day, to enjoy the great views from the large panoramic windows. I opted for the most economic option and took a Peru Rail train, but those wanting to go for a real splurge can opt for the luxury Hiram Bingham one, and along with great views they will get a plush service which includes sitting room style seats, and depending on the time of departure either brunch, lunch or dinner.
Trans-Siberian Railway by Łukasz of My name is Ola
It is not enough to call it just a train. It is an element of Russian culture, civilisation, that became an integral part of this country. Today when thinking about getting to Siberia or to the Pacific you would surely look around for a plane but we would like to advise taking this train trip which is a great value itself and is a key to getting to know Russia. It all starts at Moscow railway station getting on the train you are entering a melting pot which you will stay in until the very end of your journey.
You will be accompanied by the rhythmic clatter of wheels but life on the train doesn’t remind that at all. You will see everything from lowlands, through Ural mountains, to big Siberian rivers. Continously changing landscapes together with many stopovers will reguate the rhythm of the jurney until that last station. Internal procedures like closing the toilets before ech station, daily cleaning service, dinig car’s opening hours will become the routine of your day. You will look for those longer, taking few hours, stops, right after leaving the train you will be surrounded by local traders offering all you can only imagine: food, Chinese toys, huge fur hats and sheepskin coats. The further from Moscow the most interesting selection of food you can find. Popular pies start disapearing, instead more fish, berries and mushrooms come up. Traveling companons also change, you meet first Buryats and Mongols. But each journey comes to an end some time so beware and keep an eye on moscow time watch as all the times in Transsiberian railway refer to current Moscow time. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine when to get off, so make friends with your „provodnica”, she will make sure you get up on time. Be ready and packed and when you get off somewhere in the middle of the night dont’t be surprised by a clock showing some evening time.
Pikes Peak Train by Vicky of Buddy the Traveling Monkey
Just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado is the city of Manitou Springs. There you can find the train to Pikes Peak. This train is actually a cog train and is considered the world’s highest cog train, reaching 14,115 feet. The 3 hour ride is very scenic and you pass beautiful pine trees and rushing waterfalls. If you’re lucky, you can also see some animals like sheep and marmots. The best part of the ride, however, is the view you enjoy once you reach the top. On a clear day you can see all the way to Denver! Dress warmly though; the temperature difference from the bottom of the mountain to the top can be about 30 degrees!
Hill Country, Sri Lanka by Sharon of Where’s Sharon?
If you haven’t been to Sri Lanka, it might surprise you to learn that some of the interior of Sri Lanka is quite mountainous with cool temperatures. The best part is that there is an awesome train line which can take you through some of the most stunning scenery on this island nation in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. In addition to the hills and greenery, I loved viewing all the villages and tea plantations. We saw many people working in the fields and working by hand to cut the tea. Everywhere we looked there were stunning vistas. Being able to do this via local train just added to the experience.
Montreux to Rochers De Naye, Switzerland by Margherita of The Crowded Planet
As a big train lover, I’ve been on quite a few scenic train journeys, but the prettiest ever has to be the Golden Pass rail line from Montreux to Rochers De Naye. Starting from Montreux, on the shore of Lake Geneva, the tiny train climbs right into the mountains, one spectacular switchback after another. The lake gets smaller and smaller and finally disappears from sight, while the high peaks of the Alps loom closer and closer, until finally you’re right at the top.
The end of the line, Rochers de Naye station, is also a ski resort with two slopes. You can take the skis on the train with you, then get off, put them on and go down the slopes! It’s great fun in winter, especially if you’re a ski lover, but I’m sure that the scenery is to die for in all seasons!
China by Łukasz of Kartka z Podróży
One hears from the speakers: “The next station is…” Does it really matter? It is not mine, I am not going anywhere from here but the train does. I am here for the sake of being here; traveling by train is a purpose of itself. There are only few countries in the world where one actually can travel day and night without any transfer. One of them is wide and long China.
Sometimes the only measure of changing location is that every half a day you can see slightly differently looking people approaching your compartment. Go ahead, there is place for everybody – I am saying with a big smile on my face simultaneously looking forward for new acquaintance opportunities.
You eat here with chopsticks – especially delicious Chinese instant noodles with a small spicy sausage. You sleep here and sometimes get a glass of hot water to make, of course, Chinese tea. Nothing is better than aromatic tea to get to know with new passengers, sometimes students, another time whole families or old people speaking language only known to few.
The prose of life in Chinese trains.
A Train Ride from Thazi to Inle Lake, Myanmar by Ivana of Nomad is Beautiful
To get out of the city of Yangon was a big relief. We didn’t really know what to expect from trains in Myanmar. Better for us. The washed-out colours. The super slow speed. The irritating sounds of engine. All together made us feel the train wasn’t maintained since it went for its first ride a few decades ago.
But, there was something that diverted our attention from sounds, dirt and heat. There was this dry yellow, orange and randomly green landscape, where the buffalos were roaming on the pastures alone, where dogs were running along the rails and sometimes were even faster than us. Rice fields mingled with dry forest. That’s Myanmar you see from a train.
To call the journey from a small town of Thazi to Inle Lake scenic would be exaggerating, but it was definitely different from all other train rides we’ve ever made. Intensive, challenging and memorable.
And what are the great railway journeys you’ve taken? Which one would you recommend?
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