Choo! Choo! The train hisses as it slowly surges forward, increasing its speed gradually: A new journey begins….
Flights are hard work and full of hassles, the only soothing thing would be to see the clouds floating under you, But, well, not many who’d stare at clouds when you can see the latest movies on the screen before you.
Train Journeys are different: Like an endless supply of chocolates- There’s always more to have, more to see. And here is a list of five most entrancing Trains to aboard, to have a great time:
Palace on Wheels, India
India has so many things to see. And you can see quite a lot in this 2,411 km long journey. Starting from New Delhi, it moves gracefully through the land of the Taj Mahal, meandering through the cities of Rajasthan and then along the terrain of Ranthambore.It operates weekly tours on a Delhi-Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Agra-Delhi route. The focus is on hitting northwest India’s destination spots rather than highlighting scenery along the way. Modern period-decorated cars include individual compartments with private bathrooms. The tour includes local sightseeing at most stops, meals, and lots of personal service.
Off-season (September through April) prices range from $390 per person, per night, for a shared cabin to $575 for single-cabin occupancy; high-season prices range from $520 to $770.
The Blue Train, Africa
South Africa’s Blue Train is yet another storied luxury train. More like a hotel, it includes lounges, suites with full sized baths; classic décor and Butler services. All accommodations are in private two-person compartments with built-in showers and toilet facilities. The Blue Train runs between Cape Town and Pretoria; in either direction, you leave early in the morning and arrive at around noon the next day. Trips run four to five times a month. Costs for a deluxe suite start at 15,155 rand (about $1,500, according to xe.com) per person for double occupancy in the high season (September 1–November 15) or 12,380 rand (about $1,260) during low season. A few luxury suites include bathtubs rather than showers; these are more expensive.
The Blue Train operates on other South African routes as well. Don’t expect wind through your hair, this journey is of 27 hours moving at a speed of 57 kmph.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Rocky Mountaineer runs excursion trains over several Canadian routes, but the most important is the classic run between Calgary and Vancouver. Operating on Canadian Pacific tracks, this train passes through Canada’s top mountain scenery, including Banff and Lake Louise—a better route than the alternate, between Vancouver and Jasper. This is the route once traveled by Canadian Pacific’s famed transcontinental train, the Dominion, which was discontinued when Via Rail Canada took over Canadian train travel. Unlike other luxury trains, the Rocky Mountaineer travels only during daylight hours, stopping for overnight hotel stays in Kamloops.
Seasonal rates in August range from $2,827 for two people traveling in Red leaf service, with regular coach seats, to $5,552 for double occupancy in the full-length-window dome car. Rates include meals and overnight accommodations in Kamloops. A lot to see, indeed!
Siliguri to Darjeeling, India
This steam train used to haul overheated expats to the British hill station of Darjeeling, where they would sit out the summer blaze before returning to Calcutta. The line is now a World Heritage Site and the stations along the way have been restored to vintage quaintness. As it ascends from the plains, the temperature drops dramatically and you crawl past tea gardens and teak forests with spectacular views of the Himalayas and the world’s third highest peak of Kanchenjunga. Journey time: seven hours, £40 first class, sure takes you back in time!
Golden Eagle Trans- Siberian Express, Russia
By popular consensus, travelling the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is both an once-in-a-lifetime experience and the greatest rail journey in the world. The route, from Moscow to Vladivostok, spans 9,288 kilo-meters and typically takes at least eight days to complete. It makes sense to undertake such an epic journey in comfort and style, and there is no better way than by travelling aboard the opulent and highly luxurious Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.
Furnished and decorated in classical style to the highest standards, no expense has been spared to equip this striking and elegant train with every modern facility for passengers’ comfort and convenience. This ensures that time spent aboard the Golden Eagle becomes, in itself, one of the memorable highlights of travelling the Trans-Siberian Railway. You’ll cross multiple time-zones and witness the breadth of Russia’s majestic terrain, woodlands to mountains to deserts to grasslands.
Needs some time to digest all of it, doesn’t it?
Iconic train journeys