We have returned from Ecuador and really enjoyed our trip on the luxury Tren Crucero.
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Hey Stephen, great question, and cool video! How long is the ride on that train?
This is a hard one for me: it’s a toss up between the Jungle Railway in Malaysia and the Nairobi-Mombasa train in Kenya. The latter is great as you can travel first class with a private compartment for very little money, and it comes with a three course dinner and breakfast in the dining carriage! The trains look like they haven’t been updated since the 70s but it’s still great fun, especially as you wake up to the view of a huge national park in the morning approaching Mombasa!
The Jungle Railway is best for its scenery though – incredible vegetation, colourful roadside villages and some pretty spectacular rock formations.
The distance between Quito and Guayaquil is not too great but the Tren Crucero goes slowly and includes excursions off the train each day. Excursions include Cotopaxi volcano, a native market, a commercial rose plantation, a community project and native village. You have lunch at haciendas and sleep in hotels, not on the train. This means it takes 4 night and 3 days! This is not for budget travellers – the train is brand new and the service in board is impeccable. The atmosphere on the train and the views of Ecuador daily life are marvellous. I travelled with Sunvil holidays from the UK.
We travelled from Germany to Copenhagen in Denmark. The scenery was great but my favourite part had to be when the train drove onto the ship, parked and let the passengers out to view the North Sea from the top deck of the ship. Once we had arrived in Denmark, it was down to the bottom deck, back onboard the train and off we went! Truly amazing!!
I have three trips. One is from Graz to Salzburg, particularly at twilight in the winter time when the snow lays thick. And then, maybe not quite so majestic but equally beautiful, is from Swansea to Tenby, particularly the line from Swansea to Carmarthen. Finally, Edinburgh to Perth, crossing the Forth Bridge as the sun comes up..beautiful.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Coimbatore to Ooty is one of my favorite journeys
The 27-hour train ride from Johannesburg to Cape Town is one of the best rail deals on the planet (and yes, absolutely safe to use, even for single females).
Depart from Joburg’s Park Station in the evening, watch the sun set over the Highveld as you have a decent, cheap meal in the restaurant car, and wake up in the Karoo desert with the mountains in the distance. Then the train pokes through a series of tunnels to emerge in the stunning mountainous winelands, and slowly descends to Cape Town. There you can just walk into the city centre. The trip is especially good in spring (Sept/Oct) when the Karoo desert flowers bloom.
The price? Just 43 euros one way, in a sleeper car.
The train often arrives a few hours late, but with such scenery that’s not a problem. Photos and information at http://www.seat61.com/SouthAfrica.htm.
My favorite rail route is the Transalpina (Bohinj Railway) connecting Italy to Slovenia, especially the part from Jesenice to Nova Gorica. It crosses the Julian Alps and so from the train you can enjoy one of the most scenic landscapes of Slovenia (including the popular lake Bled). It is also the train I took when I went to Slovenia for my very first time and the view from the train window must have been pretty impressive if then I moved to Slovenia and stayed there for 2 years!