World's 10 Greatest Train Journeys

For so many people, there is something undeniably romantic about the idea of train travel. Of the many great train journeys to be found around the world, we picked 10 of the most scenic and unforgettable; some expensive and luxurious, others historic and rustic. From Siberia to South Africa, Switzerland to Singapore, these are trips that will whisk you back in time, and away through some of the world's most stunning countryside.

1. The Blue Train: South Africa

South Africa's famous Blue Train is just what it sounds like, a beautiful blue train. It bills itself as "a window to the soul of South Africa," and it does give you a literal window onto the ever-changing 1,000 miles of countryside that stretch between the coastal city of Cape Town and the inland capital, Pretoria. A five-star hotel on wheels, the Blue Train is outfitted with elegant bed linen, marble floors and gold fittings in the bathrooms, and cocktails, high tea and fine cigars can all be had on board. Dine on fresh meals prepared by top chefs as the train winds its way through the country's diverse and gorgeous landscapes.

2. The Settle-Carlisle Railway: England

This 72-mile journey takes you through some of England's most scenic countryside, among hills and villages, over arches and through tunnels. From the Yorkshire Dales, with its lush green hills, distinctive limestone cliffs and grazing sheep, through the lakes and streams of Cumbrian Falls and over the impressive 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Settle-Carlisle Railway is equally famous for its scenery, and the Victorian architecture along the route. The journey ends at the city of Carlisle, along the Scottish border. Hop off and explore, or turn around and head back through the countryside. Either way, your eyes will find plenty to feast on.

3.Trans-Siberian Railroad: Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railway is, arguably, the world's most famous train experience. There are three routes to choose from: the Trans-Manchurian or Trans-Mongolian, both of which take you from Moscow to Beijing, or the epic Moscow to Vladivostock, which crosses seven time zones and deposits you on the coast near Russia's border with China and North Korea. The legendary trip covers more than 6,000 miles and takes a full week to complete. Whichever route you choose, you are assured of an unforgettable journey, through soaring mountains and the Siberian tundra, past rivers, lakes, rolling hills, forests and picturesque villages. It is truly the trip of a lifetime.

4. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Europe

Earlier this year, Vanity Fair called the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express "the train against which all other luxury trains are measured." A trip on one of these trains is almost as much about the elegant meals, ornate carriages and plush decor as it is about the magnificent scenery speeding by outside. With nine different departures and destinations across Europe, the Orient-Express offers a tantalizing variety of incredible trips from which to choose. There are the comparatively short journeys like London to Paris, or Venice to Rome, and then there are the routes that are destinations in and of themselves, like one that will take you from Paris to Budapest to Bucharest to Istanbul. Swiss Alps? Venetian canals? French countryside? Why not all three?

5. The Rocky Mountaineer: Canada

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