Touring the world by rail may seem a little old-fashioned, and perhaps images of Paul Theroux in his famous travel book “The Great Railway Bizarre” slugging his way across Europe and Asia in the 1980’s on slow and antiquated trains pulled by gritty steam locomotives was once the fate of the average long distance train traveler but there has been a railway revolution and the humble train is back on the travellers radar. When planning your holiday this year I’d like to offer six reasons to give trains a try:
- See the sights. When you’re traveling from A to B by plane, you’re stuck with the same old view for hours on end. Travel by train and you’ll experience all of the rich beauty that the country has to offer, from sprawling fields to rolling mountains. You can also plan your trip specially to ensure that you catch the region you’re visiting in the right season for the views you want to see.
- Travel in comfort. Heritage trains are equipped for tourism, so they’re bound to have comfortable amenities, seats you can actually fit in, and even sleeper carriages so you can take a break and lie down when the traveling starts to tire you out. No more red-eye exhaustion for you. The new breed of hotel trains like the Palace on Wheels, Golden Eagle and Orient Express have raised the bar on train travel to a whole new level.
- Feel the nostalgic charm. Traveling the world by train gives you a warm feeling of nostalgic joy that you won’t get on any other mode of transportation. You can soak up the history of the railway line and chat with your fellow passengers, making life-long friends and taking a trip down memory lane.
- Save on cash. Let’s be honest; budget is always going to be a consideration when it comes to planning your annual holiday. Trains are an inexpensive option compared to flights and cruise ships, usually offering reasonable prices and stable fares that won’t drastically jump up and down from day to day. This allows you to budget properly and save cash for those thrilling day trips.
- Jump off and on. When you tour a country by train, you can choose package tours that stop and start at various towns and landmarks throughout the region. This allows you to get on and off, seeing a wide range of sights and tailor your own itinerary to fit in all of the stops you want to make.
- Love to travel, love the planet. Traveling can sometimes be a real drain on our planet’s environmental resources, but opting to take your journey by train is one of the most eco-conscious choices you could make. Most trains have lower carbon dioxide emissions per passenger than airplanes or cars, cutting down your carbon footprint and making this a truly environmentally friendly way to see the world. Take a tour through Japan by Rail and you not only save on carbon emissions but you do so at 300km per hour!