It’s hard to beat the feeling of railway speeding underneath your feet as new scenery unfolds before your eyes. Locomotives offer nomads a different perspective on their adventures while fostering a sense of community. Sometimes, they even allow travelers to venture into landscapes that would otherwise be unreachable. So what are some of the best train rides around the world for adventurers? Let’s find out!
Australia: The Indian-Pacific Railway
This fantastic experience, famously illustrated by Bill Bryson, has a bounty of treasures along its path. The main stopping points will be Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth, for which you can choose if you’d like to buy a ticket for all three or just one stop. Offering a tiered service, this passenger train allows its visitors the chance to experience two oceans on one journey.
Travelers can choose between several ticket options with various levels of accommodations and added excursions. Prices for this epic journey across 4352km of landscape can reach over $1500, so start saving in advance! The journey will take about 4 days and can be booked year-round. (However due to the current COVID restrictions this is subject to change. Currently, the services are suspended until August 30, 2020.)
North America: The Amtrak Coast Starlight
This journey departs from Seattle, WA, and glides along the coast to Portland, OR, Sacramento, CA, and finally to Los Angeles, CA. You can choose to take this trip in the reverse and depart from LA as well if you’d like. In light of COVID 19, schedules have been varied from their typical timetables to ensure safety for all passengers and adhering to new codes. The Amtrak service has a mobile app that you can download, or you can check out a list of their latest offerings on their website.
Digital nomads can choose to book coach or a room for overnight coasting, and Wi-Fi is available for those that want to get some work done amidst the gorgeous scenery! Delicious food and drinks are also readily available, along with clean restrooms. The train stops over twenty cities, giving you ample time to customize your trip for extra time at your favorite spots.
South America: Tren a las Nubes
The “train to the clouds” evokes such grandeur that it’s hard not to buy a ticket. Year-round, this railway traverses Argentinian landscape reaching above 13,800 feet, giving it the proud namesake of the third highest train in the world.
You’ll depart from the station in Salta and make your way through the stunning Andes Mountains before your return. Keep in mind; this is more of a day excursion than an all out journey through Argentina. After exploring the north, don’t forget to take a spin on the End of The World Train to visit Patagonia at the southernmost point, Ushuaia.
Asia: China-Tibet Train
The Lhasa Railway allows adventurers to experience both rural and urban parts of the continent. Digital nomads can depart from popular cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu (among others), and choose to add amazing experiences (like a stop to Mt Everest!) to this journey before completing your trip at Lhasa, Tibet. Wi-Fi is not readily available, so be sure to bring along your portable device if deadlines need to be met along the journey!
As one of the most popular locomotives in the world, it’s difficult to pick just one route along the Eurail. The convenience of traveling between countries within the European Union, the price, and the sensational infrastructure make this a fantastic opportunity for nomads. Some fan favorites include the routes along Italy and Switzerland. But the beauty of a rail pass is that you can choose how long you want your ticket to be valid for, allowing for ample time at your most beloved destinations.
Mobile passes and discounts for those under 28 years old are also readily available. You can even go all out and get unlimited travel for 4 days of your choosing between 33 different countries for under $250. Keep in mind that these passes are for non-European residents only, for EU residents, you’ll want to purchase an Interrail Pass.
Africa: Rovos Rail and Blue Train
Being such an expansive continent, the level of connection and sophisticated infrastructure through its landscapes is admittedly difficult to surmount. The rails that have been able to do so, such as the Blue Train and Rovos Rail, come at an expensive price to accommodate such a hefty feat. These are not budget-friendly excursions for the everyday nomad. Rather, they are geared for those looking for a more luxurious experience.
Why do you love railway journeys? Tell us about the most epic train ride you’ve ever experienced in the comments below!