Sat. Dec 5th, 2020

There are certain places in the world where traveling by train is not only an experience but a cultural adventure. The list is not as extensive as I would have liked, but I have written a bit about some places in the US and Europe that are worth checking out. If you are a train-lover here are 3 places you absolutely must visit.

Canada

Canadians are not only extra-polite hockey lovers, but their connection to the wilderness and the beauty of the landscapes is also legendary. If you want a train ride where you will be able to rest your eyes for hours at a time, while gazing upon mountains, lakes, golden fields, quaint towns, and so on, I suggest taking the Canadian.

The Canadian runs from Vancouver to Toronto and has three different classes to the people willing to spend four days and four nights on the tracks. What makes the Canadian special? Well, you can travel in luxury or you can move on to one of the scenic dome cars to enjoy the view. It is an experience like no other, with transparent walls that allow you to take in everything and not just what you can make out through a window.

Europe

A few years ago, there was yet another remake of the classic movies. I’m talking about Murder on the Orient Express. This was my clumsy segue into the modern and still-running Orient Express. The original train used to run from London to Venice, with the modern Venice Simplon Orient Express connecting Venice, London, Verona, Budapest, Vienna, and Paris.

Traveling in luxury through the capital cities of Europe is not exactly affordable, but it is a worthwhile experience for those that want to recreate the comforts and styles as experienced by the fictitious and brilliant Hercule Poirot.

On a side note, Germany uses trains. And I do mean, uses them. Whether it is for commuting or scenic tourism, the trains are comfortable and quick enough to view the majority of the country comfortably and efficiently.

Japan

If there was ever a country that had every right to be proud of its efficiency, the title would be a close race between Germany and Japan. Again, I am not a fan of trains used for commuting during rush hour, where people are pushed in by workers. The train experiences I want to discuss involve more breathing room.

The bullet train, or Shinkansen, has, on average, the maximum operating speed of about 300 kmh, or around 200 mph, though some test runs have made the trains on this network go at 603 kmh, or about 375 mph. Imagine being able to go to the other side of the country in less than an hour!

The Shiki-Shima is another treasure that I, unfortunately, have not had the pleasure of experiencing myself. It is not just a train, but a train suite. If you’ve seen the movie Snow Piercer and the luxury of the upper classes, you may get the idea of what it is like to be on this train.

By Ella