After last week's first part, we are back for the second instalment of the best train journeys in the world - from Japan to California.
Last week we began a mini-series of articles on the best t train journeys in the world. Quite interestingly, unrelated to our article, there were two announcements that came soon after.
One was from Amtrack that’s decided to invest 7.3 billion dollars towards a fleet of new trains and the other came from the French designer Thierry Gaugain who plans to take rail travel to a completely new level with his latest concept, a private luxury train made to measure for one lucky and very wealthy owner.
This would be similar to the ultra-rich owning super yachts.
The good reason for train travel that we gave last week was that it’s more eco-friendly compared with air travel.
This week’s reason is that it offers a heck of a lot of more leg space and the opportunity to walk around.
Let’s see which are more trains and journeys that would fall into the category of the best.
The Tokaido Shinkansen
Japan has long been known for its bullet trains. The Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka covers a distance of almost 500 kilometres in two and a half hours.
This is the most travelled high speed route in the world. They operate 12 trains per hour in each direction bringing it to more than 370 train runs each day.
On the way you will pass Mount Fuji. Before boarding, remember to pick up your meal in an Obento box. The box itself looks like a work of art and contains a single portion balanced meal comprising rice or noodles for carbs, pickled and cooked vegetables, and fish or meat for proteins.
Japanese standards are so high that you really don’t need to travel in the first class or the green car as they call it.
The California Zephyr
Even though train travel in the US is slow compared to most other developed nations and the train chugs along at around 88 kilometres per hour, travel by this train which covers a journey of 4,000 kilometres in three long days is a pleasure.
The train takes you across the prairies, desserts, the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. It commences its journey at Emeryville and terminates in Chicago passing through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. Compared with Japanese trains which hum along, the trains in the U.S. rumble, reminding you of the good old days. Official website .
Venice Simplon Orient Express
Who hasn’t heard about the legendary Orient Express? Travelling on this restored old world luxury train is an unforgettable experience.
During the day the dress code is smart casual and in the evening it’s a black-tie affair.
The train runs various routes – Florence-Paris, Venice-Paris, Paris-Innsbruck, Verona-Paris, Verona-London and more.
Journey on this train is considered to be the most glamorous trip in Europe.
The Glacier Express
As the name suggests, this train takes you through the glaciers of Switzerland.
Known to be the slowest express train in the world, you will experience the imposing beauty of the Swiss Alps for a full eight hours from Zermatt to St Moritz.
The train passes through many tunnels and actually hundreds of bridges. In this case as well the second class seating is comfortable while first class offers you a little more leg room.
Pride of Africa
Lasting 16 to 22 days this train will take you through a journey never to be forgotten. The train has been fully restored and the excesses of luxury are probably more than what any other train in the world will offer you.
The company offers various holiday packages, most of which take you through the wildlife reserves of Africa.
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