The 20 Best Virtual Train Rides Around the World [Asia, Europe, Peru, U.S.]

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Times are certainly much different right now, especially as it pertains to travel. The spread of COVID-19 has most of us stuck at home with what amounts to a laundry list of now canceled flights, hotel stays, and summer vacations.

But for those of us itching to get back out there in search of new places and experiences, luckily there are a few options that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. In past articles, we’ve covered the best virtual tours of museums, National Parks, top tourist attractions, field trips for kids, and even Disney rides! Now we’re setting our sights on the world’s best virtual train rides for both travel junkies and train enthusiasts alike.

Let’s jump straight into it! All aboard!

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles, U.S.)

Amtrak Southwest Chief
Head out west to California on Amtrak’s third longest route. Image Credit: Amtrak

Year Opened: 1974

Line Length: 2,265 miles (3,645 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 28 minutes

The Southwest Chief is Amtrak’s third longest route and transports customers between Chicago and Los Angeles, passing through 8 states along the way. Touted as one of the most scenic Amtrak rides you can take, the Southwest Chief offers views of the Painted Desert and the red cliffs of Sedona, as well as the plains of Iowa, Kansas, and Colorado. While the full journey takes about 43 hours, this edited down video experience provides all of the highlights in about an hour and a half.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Badulla-Nanu Oya (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka Train
Experience the beautiful landscape of Sri Lanka. Image Credit: Egle Sidaraviciute via Unsplash

Year Opened: 1864

Line Length: 94 miles (151.27 km)

Watch Time: 2 hours and 14 minutes

Take a (virtual) ride on Sri Lanka’s famous train route! The incredible scenic journey showcases incredible views as the train makes its way from Badulla to Nanu Oya. Better yet, due to the way this video experience is filmed, you will feel like you’re actually inside the train and along for the 2-hour ride!

To view the video train ride, click here.

Belgrade-Bar Railway (Montenegro)

Belgrade–Bar Railway
The best way to travel through the Balkans. Image Credit: Lonely Planet

Year Opened: 1976

Line Length: 296 miles (476 km)

Watch Time: 3 hours and 26 minutes

Connecting the Serbian capital of Belgrade with the town of Bar, this railway travels 3,386 feet (1,032 meters) above sea level and over the highest railway bridge in Europe — the Mala Rijeka Viaduct. The 4K cab view ride takes you throughout the whole of Montenegro, from the Adriatic Sea to the galleries and tunnels in the mountainous part of the country.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Bernina Railway (Switzerland/Italy)

Berina Express
Experience breaking views of the Swiss Alps aboard the Bernina Railway. Image Credit: Swiss Railways

Year Opened: 1908

Line Length: 37.71 miles (60.69 km)

Watch Time: 2 hours

The Bernina railway is a railway line that links the spa resort of St. Moritz, in the Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, with the town of Tirano, in the Province of Sondrio, Italy. The Bernina railway reaches a height of 7,392 feet (2,253 meters) above sea level, making it the highest railway crossing in Europe. The video experience provides the full 2-hour ride from St. Moritz to Tirano, and all the beauty in between, in stunning 4K.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Brienz Rothorn Bahn (Switzerland)

Brienze Rothorn Bahn
The Brienz Rothorn Bahn boats views that look like they belong on a postcard. Image Credit: Switzerland Tourism

Year Opened: 1892

Line Length: 4.7 miles (7.6 km)

Watch Time: 50 minutes

The Brienz Rothorn Bahn is the only daily steam train and the fourth-highest railway in all of Switzerland. The route passes autumn treelines into the rugged mountainside for more dramatic views across the deep valleys and snow-covered peaks of the Swiss landscape.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (Colorado, U.S.)

Silverton Narrow Durango Train
Experience a National Historic Landmark on the D&SNG. Image Credit: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Year Opened: 1881

Line Length: 41 miles (65.98 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 51 minutes

Often abbreviated as the D&SNG, the railway is a federally designated National Historic Landmark and is also designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The route was originally opened to transport silver and gold ore mined from the San Juan Mountains. The video tour is divided into 3 parts and makes you feel like you too are passing through the mountainous regions of Colorado.

To view the video train ride, click here for part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Ferrocarril Central Andino (Peru)

Ferrocarril Central Andino
Take a ride on one of the world’s most scenic train rides through the mountains of Peru. Image Credit: David Gubler via Wikipedia

Year Opened: 1851

Line Length: 332 miles (535 km)

Watch Time: 2 hours and 22 minutes

Linking the Pacific port of Callao and the capital Lima with Huancayo and Cerro de Pasco, the Ferrocarril Central Andino is considered to be one of the world’s most scenic train rides. The line also crosses through the Galera Tunnel, which is the second-highest railroad tunnel in the world. The full ride is divided into 4 parts for those looking to experience a certain portion of the ride.

To view the video train ride, click here for part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

The Flåm Railway (Norway)

The Flåm Railway
Take a virtual ride on one of the steepest train rides in the world. Image Credit: Visit Flam

Year Opened: 1941

Line Length: 12.6 miles (20.2 km)

Watch Time: 42 minutes

The Flåm Railway is regarded as one of the steepest and most beautiful train rides in the world, and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway. The video offers a 4K HD experience of a ride from Flåm to Myrdal as it climbs over 2,840 feet (865 meters) above sea level.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Geibi Line-Fukuen Line (Japan)

Geibi Line Fukuen Line
Image Credit: RSA via Wikipedia

Year Opened: 1915

Line Length: 98.9 miles (159.1 km)

Watch Time: 3 hours and 41 minutes

The Geibi Line is a railway line operated by West Japan Railway Company in the mountainous area of the Chūgoku region of Japan, which later connects to the Fukuen Line in Hiroshima Prefecture. In this video experience, you can view over 3 hours of the beautiful Japanese countryside in 4K.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Jacobite Steam Train (Scotland)

jacobite steam train
Take a virtual ride on the Jacobite Steam/Hogwarts Express Train. Image Credit: Scottish Tours

Year Opened: 1984

Line Length: 41 miles (65.98 km)

Watch Time: 9 minutes

Operating over part of the West Highland Line in Scotland, the Jacobite Steam Train is easily one of the most famous trains in the world. Does it look familiar? If so, that is because the Jacobite Steam Train was used as the Hogwarts Express in the “Harry Potter” films! Enjoy views of the beautiful Scottish Highlands while making your way from Fort William to Hogwarts, err… Mallaig!

To view the video train ride, click here.

Nordland Line (Norway)

nordland railway
Take a winter wonderland ride on the longest railway in Norway. Image Credit: Great Rail Journeys

Year Opened: 1882

Line Length: 453 miles (729 km)

Watch Time: 9 hours and 56 minutes

The Nordland Line is the longest in Norway and transports passengers through the counties of Trøndelag and Nordland. This line is perfect for those looking for a “winter wonderland ride,” as the nearly 10-hour virtual ride was recorded in the middle of winter as the train heads towards the Norwegian Arctic Circle.

To view the video train ride, click here.

North Wales Coast Line (Wales)

Coast Line of North Wales
Take in breathtaking views of the North Wales coastline. Image Credit: Neil Thomas via Unsplash

Year Opened: 1850

Line Length: 84.38 miles (135.8 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Also known as the North Wales Main Line, the North Wales Coast Line runs from Crewe to Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey. The video ride offers viewers nearly 2 hours of scenic views of a late summer day in Northern Wales.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Odontotos Diakofto (Greece)

Odontotos Diakofto
Take a virtual ride on one of Greece’s most historic railways. Image Credit: odontotos.com

Year Opened: 1891

Line Length: 13.88 miles (22.34 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 1 minute

The Odontotos Diakofto Railway is a historic railway located on the northern Peloponnese and runs from Diakofto through the Vouraikos Gorge and up to Kalavryta. The line climbs to 2,362 feet (720 meters) above sea level and passes by the Mega Spilaion monastery, the oldest monastery in Greece dating to 362 A.D.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway (Colorado, U.S.)

Pikes Peak Cog Railway
This quick virtual ride will take you 14,000+ feet above sea level in a matter of seconds! Image Credit: The Broadmoor

Year Opened: 1889

Line Length: 8.9 miles (14.3 km)

Watch Time: 2 minutes

Located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Pikes Peak Railway pass through the well-known mountain of the same name. The Pikes Peak Railway is the highest in North America and traverses 14,115 feet above sea level. The fast motion video train ride takes you to the top of the peak in just minutes and allows you to see far and wide with 360° functionality.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Royal Gorge Route (Colorado, U.S.)

Royal Gorge Route
Experience a video train ride right alongside the Arkansas River. Image Credit: Canon City Daily Record

Year Opened: 1999

Line Length: 24 miles (38.62 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 36 minutes

Ready to experience all of the beautiful sights of the Colorado Rockies? From the Grand Canyon to the rushing Arkansas River, to the engineering masterpiece known as the “hanging bridge,” the full video experience takes about an hour and a half. After it concludes, you’ll be itching to book your ride on the Royal Gorge Route.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Sarajevo-Ploče Railway (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia)

Sarajevo Ploče Railway
Enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Balkans on the Sarajevo-Ploče Railway. Image Credit: Rail Pass

Year Opened: 1891

Line Length: 121 miles (194 km)

Watch Time: 2 hours and 43 minutes

The Sarajevo-Ploče railway connects the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, with the Croatian city Ploče. This 4K virtual cab view showcases the beautiful landscape of these Balkan countries for nearly 3 hours and passes through 99 tunnels and 65 bridges.

To view the video train ride, click here.

South Western Railways (England)

South Western Railways
Image Credit: Rail Advent

Year Opened: 1840

Line Length: 142 miles (229.8 km)

Watch Time: 1 hour and 17 minutes

The South Western Main Line is quite a large railway that stretches between Waterloo Station in central London, all the way to Weymouth on the south coast of England. Since the train covers such a long distance, operating speeds are relatively high, with large stretches reaching up to 100 mph (160 km/h). This 4K virtual tour does not cover the entire line, but it does showcase the sights of Southern England from Waterloo to Southampton Central.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Venice Simplon Orient-Express (Italy-England)

Venice Simplon Orient Express
Experience ultimate luxury train travel on the Orient Express. Image Credit: Luxury Train Club

Year Opened: 1883 (Original Orient-Express), 1982 (Venice Simplon route)

Line Length: 919 miles (1,497 km)

Watch Time: 20 minutes

Perhaps the most famous train service of all time, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express is a private luxury train service from London to Venice and other European cities. The original Orient-Express route dates back to 1883 and transported passengers between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul). During the early days, the Orient-Express was by far in a way the pinnacle of luxury travel, especially during a time when long-distance travel was quite dangerous.

Today, the Orient-Express still offers much of the opulence that it did during its early days and is an excellent option for travelers looking for a way to traverse Europe with old-world charm. While this video experience is done in a vlog style and is less focused on the ride and more on the features and amenities of the Orient-Express, it really gives you a first-hand look at what travel on the Orient-Express might have looked like in its heyday.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Wengernalp Railway (Switzerland)

Wengernalp Railway
Take in a snowy getaway on the Wengernalp Railway. Image Credit: David Gulper via Wikipedia

Year Opened: 1893

Line Length: 11.87 miles (19.11 km)

Watch Time: 32 minutes

Looking for a ride that passes through unique Swiss villages and snow-covered mountains as you make your way from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg? Then you will love the driver’s eye view virtual ride on the Wengernalp Railway.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Wuppertaler Schwebebahn (Germany)

Wuppertaler Schwebebahn
Have you been on a suspension railway? Try out the video ride on the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn. Image Credit: Max Grobecker via Wikipedia

Year Opened: 1901

Line Length: 8.3 miles (13.3 km)

Watch Time: 53 minutes

For those who prefer a more urban style ride, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn is a perfect option as, unlike traditional locomotives, it is a suspension railway that travels through the city of Wuppertal, Germany. The Schwebebahn transports around 25 million passengers a year and gives you a perfect vantage point above the city from 39 feet (12 meters) above the ground.

To view the video train ride, click here.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — 20 fantastic virtual train ride options covering over a combined 5,000 miles (8,046 km) and over 38 hours footage, and you can enjoy every minute of from the comfort of your home!

Whether you’re stuck at home train buff, travel enthusiast, or simply looking for a new experience, there is a virtual train ride that is perfect for you!


Frequently asked questions

What is the most beautiful train ride in the world?

It’s difficult to pick just 1 as it largely depends on what sort of scenery you find most beautiful to look at. We recommend the Bernina Railway, which offers breathtaking views of Switzerland and Italy, or the Flåm Railway offering incredible views of Norway.

What is the most famous train in the world?

It is difficult to know exactly as it depends on who you ask. But 1 train that is definitely in contention is none other than the Jacobite Steam Train of Scotland, better known for its portrayal as the Hogwarts Express in the immensely popular “Harry Potter” films.

What is the most luxurious train ride in the world?

Our vote would be for the Venice-Simplon Orient Express as it offers both old-world charm and a truly opulent experience for all of its passengers.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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