There's something magical about a scenic railway journey... leaving driving behind allows you to focus on the landscapes and soak up the culture. If you're as bigger fan of scenic railway journeys as I am, then you'll love these less famous I've discovered across the world...
There are many scenic railways in Germany, but one to catch is the Sauschwänzlebahn - which translates as pig tail train. This runs right through the most beautiful part of the Black Forest and passengers can see the Kommental, the Wutachtal and the geologically interesting Mühlbachtal and can take pictures of idyllic villages, wild water rivers and many viaducts & tunnels.
The Sauschwänzlebahn runs from April through October and for more information visit here.
Widely regarded as as one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine travels from Christchurch to Greymouth, crossing from one coast of New Zealand to the other. The fields of the Canterbury Plains, valleys of the Waimakariri River, the Southern Alps and Arthurs Pass National Park are just a few of the highlights on this train journey. The new coaches on the service feature panoramic windows, an on-board licensed café and GSP triggered at-seat radio commentary.
TranzAlpine offers Greymouth Break package starting from NZD$379 based on two adults sharing and includes travel one way between Christchurch and Greymouth on TranzAlpine, one night stay at the Kingsgate Greymouth Hotel including breakfast and transfers between the railway station and hotel.
For more information visit the website here.
2014 sees the 10th anniversary of The Ghan completing its extended route all the way from Adelaide to Darwin. Named after the pioneering cameleers - many of them Afghans or Ghans as they were more commonly known - who were the first to establish a permanent trail to the Red Centre over 150 years ago. When the train departed Adelaide on its inaugural journey to Darwin, it was the longest passenger train in Australia's history, stretching more than 1km with two locomotives and 43 carriages.
Today The Ghan is a truly iconic railway journey, offering the chance to explore some of Australia's most fascinating towns and landscapes. In just three days and two nights, covering 2,979km, travellers can make their way leisurely from the Northern Territory's capital of Darwin all the way to Adelaide. On board The Ghan travellers have time to soak up and enjoy the moving landscapes as they change from lush green when leaving Australia's Top End to dust red as the train makes its way through the heart of the Red Centre and then return to green as it travels through the vineyards surrounding Adelaide.
For further information on the Ghan visit www.greatsouthernrail.com.au.
2014 was Brazil's year, and despite not really having a great amount of train lines, the country has a wonderful day train ride in the south of the country - the Serra Verde Express.
The line runs from Curitiba to the sea with a stop at the gorgeous village of Morretes and cuts through the Atlantic rainforest with some incredible vistas.
The journey is featured in an impressive 10 day excursion of Brazil's southern highlights in the 'Southern Explorer' from Bespoke Brazil. Its available from £3440 per person based on 2 people travelling with international and internal flights, all accommodation and activities included.
In Part 2 I'll have more Scenic Railway Journeys from across the world including Central Europe, Canada and the United States.