6 Reasons Why Travelling by Train is the Best

June 21, 2016 by Tessa Watkins

For most of us, the journey to our destination is a chore. Whether it be hanging around an airport for hours or embarking on an absurdly long drive; often, it feels like travel does nothing but stand between us and the start of our holiday. Yet sometimes, there really is nothing better than sitting back in a comfortable carriage and watching the landscape slowly change before your eyes as you pass from one region to the next. Here we reveal why travelling by train really is the best:

The Rocky Mountaineer, en route from Vancouver to Jasper (Image: Alexandra Gregg)

The Rocky Mountaineer, en route from Vancouver to Jasper (Image: Alexandra Gregg)

There are so many great train journeys

From Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer to The Ghan, which winds through Australia’s Red Centre – our Journeys feature some of the greatest train rides around. Board the Toy Train in India and chug through spectacular mountain scenery to Kalka and Delhi; take a seat on the famous TranzAlpine Railway in New Zealand and marvel at native beech forests and the Southern Alps; or experience Peru’s vast landscape onboard a train to the access point for Machu Picchu. Whichever route you pick, you are pretty much guaranteed scenery that other modes of transport won’t have access to.

The Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train

You can sample gourmet food and wine onboard

Forget about reheated plane food and limp packaged sandwiches grabbed from a garage – travel by train and you can dine on some of the best cuisine around. Board The Napa Valley Wine Train in California and sample delicious tipples during a scenic 36-mile loop, or journey from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific, all the while experiencing fine dining at the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. Here you’ll feast on locally-produced beef and lamb and sumptuous Margaret River cheeses, drinking in wondrous vistas as you do…

The train to Machu Picchu's access point

The train to Machu Picchu’s access point

You pass through awe-inspiring scenery

Which brings us onto our next point – the jaw-dropping scenery. On some journeys, you pass through some of the most spectacular landscapes on the globe – and you get to gaze at it from the comfort of your plush seat, through giant windows. Take in the scenic mountain panoramas on the way to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, or enjoy the magnificent views from Cape Town to Pretoria in South Africa onboard The Blue Train. Renowned for its opulence, your scenery gazing will be accompanied by gourmet dining, butler service and gold-tinted windows.

India's Toy Train

India’s Toy Train

It can save you money

Pocket the cash you’d spend on an extra night at a hotel and experience a sleeper train instead. If you’re a sceptic like me, you’re probably imagining an uncomfortable night on a rickety bed with 10 people to a dorm, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Onboard the Reunification Line in Vietnam, spacious cabins comfortably sleep four passengers. Better yet, you’ll nod off in bustling Hanoi and rise in charming Hue. What could be better than waking up to an entirely new landscape to explore?

The Ghan railway tracks

The Ghan railway tracks

It’s a soothing way to travel

Train travel has long been known as one of the most soothing modes of transport, and with good reason. There are no blaring horns, choppy seas, or jerky turbulence – and not a queue of traffic in sight. As the carriages gently wind through spectacular scenery, towering cities will slowly give way to beautiful coastlines and rolling fields. You will also get a peak of real life in your destination – families playing in backyards, youngsters waving frantically at the train – a scene which cannot be witnessed by a car passenger on the highway or from the height of a plane.

The view over Waimakariri River Gorge from the TranzAlpine Railway

The view over Waimakariri Gorge from the TranzAlpine Train

There’s more space

Often, we dread travelling to our destination of choice – the thought of eight hours on a plane with minimal legroom and the continuous thud of a child’s foot connecting with the back of your chair is enough to make you wish teleportation had been invented. But train travel, done the right way, is an experience unlike any other. We’re not talking overcrowded tubes and packed commuter trains – instead, we’re talking iconic, cross-country rail journeys with capacious cabins, plenty of room for your luggage and that all-important space to stretch your legs – not to mention breathtaking views just around the bend.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the greatest modes of transport around.


Fancy taking a ride on the rails? Speak to one of our Travel Experts today about the extensive range of train journeys that feature in our tailor-made holiday itineraries.


You might also like:

Behind the Scenes of Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer with Train Manager David Aboud

All Aboard South Africa’s Franschhoek Wine Tram

About Tessa Watkins

Formerly a local news editor and reporter covering court cases and crime stories, I’m obsessed with all things travel. Often found exploring a new city and seeking out the world’s best beaches, there are a plethora of destinations I remain desperate to discover. Tweet me @tess1977