15 Most Exciting Railway Tours for Train Lovers
15 Most Exciting Railway Tours for Train Lovers
byozgur-February 27, 2022
Travelling by train cannot be compared to any other, with the train’s moderate pace and a rhythm totally different from the one we live day after day. Railroad tours are the perfect way to combine discovering new countries, routes or places with a relaxing, no-stress escape from routine rush. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most exciting railway journeys throughout the world to suit your or anybody’s liking.
Table of Contents
1. The All Ireland Tour
Image Courtesy of: William Murphy
This is a 6-day tour of Ireland, taking you across South, Southwest and North of the country by train. As the tour covers a large part of the Wild Atlantic Way as well as the Causeway Coast, you will spend two nights in Killarney, two nights in Dublin, and two nights in Galway. The main highlights of this railroad journey are Cork, Aran Islands, Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle, and the Cliffs of Moher. Although you will be traveling mostly by train, this tour is much more than just trains: you’ll visit some of the main sightseeing and historic sites, and get to know the Irish culture and heritage.
2. Luxury Trains in India — Palace on Wheels
The Palace on Wheels is a popular Indian luxury train, rated amongst the top ten luxury trains in the world. This train takes you to the splendid and enchanting royal seven day journey through the bygone era of the erstwhile Maharajas. Although the winds have shifted, the Palace on Wheels cruises have remained unchanged, and it still shines and swings with the royalty that the kings of yesteryears could have perpetuated and enjoyed. Palace On Wheels is a special heritage train that takes you on a tour of the well traversed Golden Triangle to offer an experience of a lifetime for all the tourists visiting India. En route you can check out the beautiful and significant historical monuments that the Golden Triangle has in store for many — like the palaces of Rajasthan and Taj Mahal of Agra.
3. Pyramids & the Nile by Train
Looking for a tour that will let you discover Egypt and its history at a moderate pace, combined with a railroad journey? Well, you’ve just found one. This is a wonderful and affordable trip to experience Egypt and to get the chance to admire the greatness of Ancient Egyptians via the heritage they left for future generations. The 3-nights cruise on Nile is the unarguable highlight of the tour. Besides, you’ll visit Cairo, the Giza Plateau, Aswan, Luxor and many other destinations, and you’ll spend two nights aboard the train taking you across the country, giving you the opportunity to get a special understanding of and connection with the Egyptian history and culture.
4. Trail of Two Oceans
An amazing new route, planned to be launched in July 2019: the railroad journey will cross Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola, connecting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This will be the first time ever when a passenger train will follow the route of the East-to-West copper trail. In the course of the 15-day trip you will explore the Selous Game Reserve, Makambako, Chisimba Falls, the South Luangwa National Park, Lubumbashi, Kuito, Lobito, and many other sites. This railway journey is a truly exciting adventure by both its newness and originality.
5. Cultures and Eco — Trails of Southern Baikal
This is a comprehensive tour of Southern Baikal featuring a wide range of activities, such as cruising, hiking, exploring cultural heritage, and more. For the Russian people, Lake Baikal is a natural treasure, for the rest of the people of the world — it’s a Well of the Planet Earth. Located in Siberia near the Mongolian border, and surrounded by mountains, forests and wild rivers, Baikal is an immense and breathtaking area of physical beauty. Baikal holds twenty percent of the earth’s fresh water and harbors more endemic species of plants and animals than any other lake in the world. One of the main highlights of the tour is the train trip following the trail known as the “Golden Buckle of Steel Belt of Russia”, named so because the last Russian tzar built it at an enormous cost. Today this section of the railway is no more used by the Trans-Siberian trains, and is considered to be the feast of railway engineering and most spectacular historic railroad of Russia still preserved and functioning.
6. Moscow to Beijing Tour
A 16-day journey following an iconic and historic route, crossing three of the world’s largest countries: Russia, Mongolia, and China on board of a train! During the daytime, you will explore some of the major cities, such as Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Ulan Bator, Beijing, and more, and spend most of the nights on board of the train. En route, you will have the chance to admire the expanses of the stunning Gobi Desert, marvel at the natural beauty of the Mongolian Alps, be delighted by the ravishing views of Lake Baikal, and get captivated by some of the most dramatic sceneries in Europe and Asia.
7. The Balkan Odyssey
This tour takes you on a wonderful 11-day railway journey, relaxing and sophisticated. If you are looking for a leisurely way to explore a country or region, there is no better way to see the very heart of that destination, than by rail. Travelling by private train offers a comfortable and private oasis for you to sit and enjoy the ever-changing view from your cabin, or alternatively wile away the time in the Bar Lounge Car and enjoy sumptuous International cuisine in the elegant Restaurant Car. First operated in 2015, this tour now allows travelers to explore some of Europe’s most intriguing destinations, such as Budapest, Brasov, Plovdiv, Belgrade, Venice and more, whilst enjoying the intimacy of your private carriage, on a luxurious hotel-on-wheels. The highlights of the tour are the cobbled, colourful streets of Sighisoara, Stari Most Bridge in Mostar, the Tunnel Museum in Sarajevo and the magnificent Postojna caves in Ljubljana — all of them a must-see.
8. Argentina Salta Train to Tucuman and Buenos Aires Tour
This 10-day tour starts in the Northwestern region of Argentina, with a guided tour of Salta, the historical strategic point between Peruvian and Argentinian cities. You will visit the Hills of Seven Colors, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Cafayate, Tucuman, and many small prehispanic towns and other historic sites along the way, and you will inevitably feel the passion of tango during one of the tango shows in Buenos Aires. Withal, the unarguable highlight of the tour is the ride on the Train to the Clouds, build with no breaks while controlling its speed using the winding route through the mountains. On its way from Salta to Purmamarca, it passes 19 tunnels, 29 bridges, many ravines and offers absolutely breathtaking scenery.
9. Slovakia Steam and Railways Tour
Slovakia is predominantly a hilly country, offering the chance to enjoy some of the most scenic railway routes, and this trip is designed for both: lovers of steam locomotives and railway history, and lovers of sightseeing. It includes excursions to some of the country’s principal attractions, such as the railway depots in Bratislava and Vrutky, and two main museums with railway-related exhibits in Bratislava and Nitra. The excursion to the capital’s Museum of Transportation will provide an insight into its rare collections of cars, locomotives and Slovak railway heritage items. The Slovak Agricultural Museum in Nitra maintains a unique steam railway and several steam tractors. You will appreciate the multitude of train trips that the tour offers, and its highlights are the Cervena Skala — Margecany route with tunnels and bridges through the Slovak Ore Mountains, and the unique Black Hron forest railway.
10. The Canadian
Being sometimes called “the trip of a lifetime”, this railroad tour takes you across Canada, from Toronto to Vancouver. “The Canadian” allows you to get a truly intimate experience of the country, watching its ever-changing landscape slip by: prairie fields, waterfalls, snowy peaks of the imposing Canadian Rockies alternating with scenic cities, such as Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and more. On this railway trip, you will relish the charms of train-travel and try Canadian cuisine and regional specialties, freshly prepared on board. You will enjoy this stress-free railway journey with ease, comfort and exceptional service.
11. Saxony by Steam
If you are a steam engine lover looking for a truly scenic railroad tour, Saxony by Steam is the one not to be missed. One of the most scenic regions in Germany, Saxony abounds in winding valleys and rugged mountain ranges, offering terrific views to the eyes of the beholder. And the most comfortable way to get up-close with that is by taking this historic narrow-gauge railway trip. Other highlights of the tour include Dresden, Weisseritz Valley Railway, Zittau Steam Railway, and Nuremberg. Additionally, prepare to enjoy yourself on the Paddle steamer cruise to Meissen, which is also part of this package.
12. The Ghan North to South — Australia
Image Courtesy of: DBZ2313
If your dream is to explore Australia, this tour is the perfect opportunity to make your dream come true. The itinerary of the tour is quite special, covering Australia just like a few other tours could. On this trip you will enjoy day tours of Cairns, Darwin, Adelaide, and Sydney, and get the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities, such as visiting cultural sites and historic landmarks, relaxing, snorkeling or scuba diving, sightseeing, shopping, to name just a few. The highlight of the tour is the great train trip on The Ghan, a truly fascinating and legendary journey, many a traveler’s beloved. The train will take you across Australia, from Darwin to Adelaide, North to South. The two day railroad journey on The Ghan will present travelers the most spectacular Australian landscapes, leaving memories of dazzling sceneries that would be hard to forget.
13. Arequipa-Titicaca-Cusco-Machu Picchu by Train
A 10-day tour of Peru covering the railroad itineraries that offer the most fascinating sights this country has to offer! You will spend two nights aboard the train, and in the daytime you will enjoy the guided tours to the cultural and historic sites of Peru as well as shorter train trips between sites. You will be captivated by a comprehensive tour of Lima, prior to heading to Arequipa, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, and other destinations. On top of all that, you will enjoy the cruise of Lake Titicaca, which will take you to the floating islands of the Uros and Taquile Islands.
14. African Explorer
Image Courtesy of: Alexander Johmann
Visiting African national Parks, exploring modern cities on guided tours, discovering historic diamond towns, and enjoying untouched wilderness while relaxing on a luxury train trip — all in one? Yes, this tour offers it altogether. This is a two week railroad tour of South Africa and Namibia that allows you to discover these countries by day, and travel on a relaxed pace by train by night. You’ll visit Cape Town, Augrabies National Park, Namib Naukluft National Park and Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, Kolmanskop, and admire the colossal sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the staggering landscapes of the Fish River Canyon. This railroad trip is a unique experience, as the train journey oftentimes transforms into a safari, and you can admire fanged, furry, and feathered animals right from your cabin or from restaurant cars.
15. America from Coast to Coast
Image Courtesy of: Steve Jurvetson
Yet another tour on our must-do railroad trips list connecting two oceans. Your train departs from Chicago and heads to New York, before crossing the whole country on the way to San Francisco, uniting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The highlights of the journey are the sightseeing tours of New York, Greater New Orleans area, and San Francisco. However, the days and nights spent on board of the train will become your favorite way to discover new places across the country while relaxing without the stress of driving, and this experience will definitely make this journey one that you will never forget.