Train travel: in Europe, 10 breathtaking railway routes not to be missed.
From the Scottish Highlands to Serbia and Montenegro, the European railway network is full of breathtaking routes. In this article we list some of the most attractive railway routes.
People usually consider train travel as a necessity to get from one place to another. What most of them don’t know is that Europe has some of the most beautiful train routes in the world. According to the Telegraph, of the 25 most beautiful train journeys, 11 are on the European continent.
Breathtaking rail journeys: Scottish Highlands
Let’s take a look at some of Europe’s most scenic rail travel.
West Highland Line, England
Crossing the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, the West Highland Line is one of the most scenic railway lines in Great Britain and in 2009 was crowned as Best Rail Journey at the Wanderlust Travel Awards.
The line was first opened in 1894 to connect Glasgow and Fort William, while the extension to Mallaig, which was built to connect the inland to the coast, was opened in 1901.
Train travel, West Highland Line, England
Glacier Express, Switzerland
The Glacier Express travels through the Swiss cantons of Valais, Uri, and Graubünden over the course of eight hours and is considered the slowest express train in the world, but that’s not a problem in this case as it allows you to peacefully admire the natural beauty that characterizes this route.
It was inaugurated in June 1930 with the aim of connecting the cities of St Moritz and Zermatt, which were becoming highly popular winter destinations among the European upper classes.
With modern panoramic carriages specially built in 2006, the Glacier Express is a luxury means of traveling throughout Switzerland, and with the option of the Excellence Class, you can travel in luxurious panoramic carriages with a five-course meal included.
Train travel, Glacier Express, Switzerland
Douro Line, Portogallo
Located in northern Portugal, the Linha do Douro (Douro Line) connects Porto to the village of Pocinho, spanning 175 km along the Douro River.
Considered one of the best railway journeys in Europe, the line has undergone modernization works starting from May 2020.
With an investment of 4 million euros, the railway infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal has completed three slope stabilization works to strengthen safety conditions along the line.
Semmering Railway, Austria
Built between 1848 and 1858 by the designer Carl von Ghega, the Semmering Railway, which is 41 km long, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Linking the towns of Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag, the Semmering Line was one of the first mountain railways ever built.
The railway, which includes 14 tunnels, 16 viaducts, 118 stone bridges and 11 iron bridges, offers spectacular views as it was designed to work in harmony with the environment.
In 2012, work began on a 27 km base tunnel, one of the longest railway tunnels in the world. The developments, which include parallel holes with a diameter of 10 metres connected by cross passages, cost EUR 3.3 billion and are expected to be completed by 2026.
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