Riding the Rails: Exploring Stunning Scenery on Scenic Train Journeys

grey, yellow, and red train on forest during daytime
Photo by Melanie Hughes on Unsplash

There is something inherently romantic and nostalgic about train travel. The sound of the whistle blowing, the chug-chug of the engine, and the gentle swaying of the carriages all combine to create a sense of adventure that is hard to match with any other mode of transportation. And when it comes to taking in some truly breathtaking scenery, there’s no better way than by riding the rails on one of these stunning scenic train journeys.


From coast-to-coast journeys across America to winding routes through mountain ranges in Europe, there are countless opportunities for travelers to experience some truly jaw-dropping views from their train carriage windows. Here are just a few examples of some must-see scenic train rides around the world.

  1. The Rocky Mountaineer – Canada

Widely considered as one of North America’s most spectacular rail journeys, The Rocky Mountaineer takes passengers through stunning landscapes in both British Columbia and Alberta. Passengers can choose from four different routes that range from two days up to 12 days long and take them through dramatic mountain passes, over rushing rivers, past glaciers and alpine lakes.


One highlight is traveling along the Kicking Horse River Canyon where steep cliffs rise up on either side as eagles soar overhead. Another incredible sight is Pyramid Falls which tumbles down 300 feet alongside your carriage window as you ride past.

  1. The Glacier Express – Switzerland

The Glacier Express runs between Zermatt and St Moritz in Switzerland over an eight-hour journey that crosses 291 bridges and travels through 91 tunnels while climbing more than 6,500 ft above sea level.


The journey takes passengers past snow-capped peaks, charming Swiss villages with traditional chalets dotting hillsides along with forests filled with pine trees before reaching Oberalp Pass which offers panoramic views across snowy summits towards Italy.

  1. Trans-Siberian Railway – Russia

As one of the longest railway lines in existence, the Trans-Siberian Railway cuts through over 9,000 kilometers of stunning scenery across Russia. Passengers have the choice of taking one of three main routes including the classic Moscow to Vladivostok journey, which takes around seven days.

The route passes through a diverse range of landscapes including dense forests, vast steppes and snowy mountains offering passengers a glimpse into rural life in Russia. Along the way highlights include Lake Baikal – one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes – and stops in ancient towns such as Irkutsk.

  1. The California Zephyr – USA

Running between Chicago and San Francisco via Denver, The California Zephyr takes passengers on a 2,400-mile journey through some of America’s most stunning landscapes. Highlights include crossing over the Mississippi River on an elegant bridge just outside Burlington Iowa followed by breathtaking views as you pass through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

The train also runs past scenic canyons that are home to wild mustangs before arriving at Donner Pass which offers panoramic views across Sierra Nevada mountain range.

  1. The Indian Pacific – Australia

Crossing Australia from Sydney to Perth over three nights and four days with stops at Broken Hill and Adelaide along the way; this epic train ride covers almost 3,000 miles passing through remote outback regions filled with rugged landscapes that are home to kangaroos and other native wildlife.

Highlights include crossing Nullarbor Plain – one of Australia’s most isolated areas where travelers can see vast red deserts stretching out for miles along with star-filled skies at night that make for an unforgettable experience.

  1. The West Highland Line – Scotland

Often described as one of Europe’s most scenic train journeys; traveling on Scotland’s West Highland Line is like stepping back in time thanks to its vintage carriages which date back more than half-a-century ago when it first opened in 1894!

Passengers travel from Glasgow up towards Fort William and Mallaig on a journey that takes in snow-capped peaks, sparkling lochs, and charming villages nestled between rolling hills. Highlights include the Glenfinnan Viaduct which was famously featured in Harry Potter films.

  1. The Ghan – Australia

The second of Australia’s great train journeys, The Ghan travels from Adelaide to Darwin over three nights and four days with stops along the way at Alice Springs and Katherine.

Passengers get to experience some of Australia’s most remote landscapes including vast red deserts and ancient gorges as well as a chance to learn about Aboriginal culture from knowledgeable guides who travel with you on board.

  1. The Bernina Express – Switzerland/Italy

Starting in Chur Switzerland, this scenic train ride crosses the Alps into Italy through breathtaking scenery filled with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine forests before arriving at Tirano.

One highlight is crossing the 2133m high Bernina Pass which offers panoramic views of rugged mountainscapes that seem to go on forever while passing through charming Swiss towns like St Moritz along the way.

  1. The Blue Train – South Africa

Considered one of South Africa’s most luxurious train rides; passengers travel between Cape Town and Pretoria over 27 hours onboard trains fitted out with plush fittings including marble floors, gold trimmings along with five-star cuisine served by attentive staff members who are always on hand for your every need!

Highlights include passing through stunning vineyards around Stellenbosch before traveling across arid Karoo desert regions where travelers can spot antelopes roaming free across jagged rocks alongside ostriches running wild!

  1. Bergen Railway – Norway

From Oslo to Bergen; this scenic rail journey takes passengers past some of Norway’s most spectacular fjords while winding its way up towards mountain passes covered in snow all year round!

Travelers will marvel at sights such as Flåm valley which is surrounded by towering peaks on both sides while passing through charming villages filled with brightly colored houses that look like something out of a fairytale.


There’s no denying the fact that train travel offers a unique and unforgettable way to experience some of the world’s most stunning scenery. From the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the rugged deserts of Australia’s outback, there are countless opportunities for travelers to explore new horizons and create memories that will last a lifetime. So why not book your next adventure on one of these breathtaking scenic train journeys today and see for yourself why they’re considered some of the best in the world?