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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

Last updated on: January 4, 2012 08:38 IST

4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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When it comes to travel, nothing is as exciting as travelling by train.

Here we present 25 best trains in the world, according to The Society of International Railway Travellers.

Click NEXT to see which Indian trains have made it to the top 25...


Image: These are 25 best trains in the world.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons

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Name: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Country: India

Train Type: Steam

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the "Toy Train", is a 2 ft narrow-gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways.

DHR was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1999, becoming only the second railway in the world to have this honour bestowed upon it, the first one being Semmering Railway of Austria in 1998.

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Image: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a World Heritage Site.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Palace on Wheels

Country: India

Train Type: First-class

The Palace on Wheels is a luxury tourist train. It was launched by the Indian Railways to promote tourism in Rajasthan, and has been highly popular since its launch.

The train service was refurbished and relaunched in August 2009 with a new decor, itinerary and cuisine.

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Image: The Palace on Wheels is a luxury tourist train.

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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Deccan Odyssey

Country: India

Train Type: Luxury

The Deccan Odyssey is a special luxury train modelled on the Palace on Wheels to boost tourism on the Konkan route of the Indian Railways.

The route starts in Mumbai and travels to Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Ajanta-Ellora and then back to Mumbai.

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Image: Deccan Odyssey is a special luxury train.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Maharaja Express

Country: India

Train Type: Luxury

The Maharaja Express is a luxury train operated on the Indian Railways from early 2010. The Maharaja Express trains operate on four itineraries, all of which either begin or end in Delhi and include a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Each morning, the train arrives at a different station for off-rail excursions, including visits to monuments, heritage sites, shopping, palaces, forts, and hotels.

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Image: Maharaja Express trains operate on four itineraries.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Ghan

Country: Australia

Train Type: First-class

The Ghan is a passenger train operating between Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin on the Adelaide-Darwin railway in Australia.

Operated by Great Southern Railway and with locomotives provided by Pacific National, the entire journey takes 48 hours to travel the 2,979 kilometres and around half that (24 hours) to the mid-point at Alice Springs.

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Image: The entire journey takes 48 hours.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Indian Pacific

Country: Australia

Train Type: First-class

The Indian Pacific is a twice-weekly passenger rail service running between Perth and Sydney, Australia. The train first ran in 1970 after the completion of gauge conversion projects in Western and South Australia.

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Image: The train first ran in 1970.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Sunlander

Country: Australia

Train Type: First-class

The Sunlander is a three times a week long distance passenger rail service running between Brisbane and Cairns, Queensland, Australia, a total distance of 1,691 kilometres.

The service is a locomotive hauled train at present with plans to introduce a new Tilt Train on The Sunlander service in the future.

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Image: The service is a locomotive hauled train.


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Name: Al Andalus

Country: Spain

Train Type: Luxury

Southern Spain's opulent, broad-gauge Al Andalus is scheduled to return to the rails in May, with its 1920s-era cars newly renovated.

The Al Andalus includes bar, tea-room and two dining cars, as well as all-en-suite cabins.

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Image: Al-Andalus is scheduled to return to the rails in May.


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Name: Canadian

Country: Canada

Train Type: First-class

The Canadian is Rail Canada's flagship train. It runs between Toronto and Vancouver three times a week.

The main delight is exclusive access to the great dome cars for seeing the sites day or night.

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Image: The main delight is exclusive access to the great dome cars for seeing the sites day or night.


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4 Indian trains among world's best railways

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Name: Rocky Mountaineer

Country: Canada

Train Type: First-class

Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian tour company offering Western Canadian vacation packages that operates trains on four rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta.

It was awarded the World's Leading Travel Experience by Train in 2005, 2006 and 2007 at the World Travel Awards, has been listed among the World's Top 25 Trains since 2005 by The Society of International Railway Travelers, and was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the World's Best Journeys in 2007.

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Image: It has won numerous awards.


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Name: British Pullman

Country: Europe

Train Type: Luxury

The British Pullman is a luxury, vintage day train that completes the British leg of Orient-Express journeys between Paris and London.

Passengers from the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express debark in Calais, France, and board a special Orient-Express bus for the short "piggyback" train ride through the Eurotunnel to Folkestone.

There, they board the British Pullman for the ride to London's Victoria station.

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Image: British Pullman is a luxury, vintage day train.


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Name: Blue Train

Country: South Africa

Train Type: Luxury

The Blue Train travels 1,600-kilometre journey in South Africa between Pretoria and Cape Town. It is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world.

It boasts butler service, two lounge cars (smoking and non-smoking), an observation car, and carriages with gold-tinted picture windows, in soundproofed, fully carpeted compartments, each featuring its own en-suite (many of which are equipped with a full-sized bathtub).

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Image: Blue Train travels 1,600-kilometre journey.


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Name: El Transcantabrico

Country: Spain

Train Type: Luxury

The 52-passenger Clasico El Transcantabrico train, which traverses Northern Spain, started in 1983. The train set has six sleepers, each with four double compartments with en-suite facilities.

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Image: The service started in 1983.


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Name: Andean Explorer

Country: Peru

Train Type: First-class

The Andean Explorer makes the 9.5-hour trek from Cusco to Puno and Lake Titicaca. You depart Cusco at 8am, arriving Puno about 5.30pm.

This addition covers one of the highest standard-gauge rail routes in the world, reaching altitudes up to 14,150 feet. A highlight is riding at sunset the few miles before Puno alongside Lake Titicaca.

The views are nothing short of spectacular.

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Image: The views are nothing short of spectacular.


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Name: Hiram Bingham

Country: Peru

Train Type: Luxury

The gleaming blue-and-gold cars of the Hiram Bingham makes the 3.5-hour trip between Cusco and Machu Picchu every day but Sunday.

The train has two 42-seat dining cars serving excellent Peruvian specialties for brunch on the journey to Machu Picchu, and for dinner on the evening return to Cusco. The train also has a gorgeous bar/observation car.

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Image: The train has two 42-seat dining cars.


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Name: Bernina Express

Country: Europe

Train Type: First-class

The Bernina Express is an express train connecting Chur (or Davos) in Switzerland with Poschiavo and Tirano in Italy, by crossing the Swiss Alps from north to south.

For most of its journey, the train also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes.

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Image: The train also passes along and through the World Heritage Site.


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Name: Flam Railway

Country: Norway

Train Type: First-class

The Flam Line is a 20.2-kilometre long railway between Myrdal and Flam in Aurland, Norway. As a branch line of the Bergen Line, it runs through Flamsdalen and connects the mainline with Sognefjord.

The line's elevation difference is 2,831 ft.

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Image: The line's elevation difference is 2,831 ft.


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Name: Bergen Railway

Country: Norway

Train Type: First-class

The Bergen Line, also called the Bergen Railway, is a 371 kilometres standard gauge railway line between Bergen and Honefoss, Norway.

The name is often applied for the entire route from Bergen via Drammen to Oslo, where the passenger trains go, a distance of 496 kilometres.

It is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe, crossing the Hardangervidda plateau at 4,058 ft above sea level.

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Image: It is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe.


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Name: Glacier Express

Country: Switzerland

Train Type: First-class

The Glacier Express is an express train connecting railway stations of the two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps.

The train is operated jointly by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn and Rhaetian Railway.

For much of its journey, it also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes.

The Swiss proudly hail the Glacier Express as the world's slowest express.

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Image: Swiss proudly hail it as the world's slowest express.


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Name: Shangri-La Express

Country: China

Train Type: First-class

The private Shangri-La Express is not a luxury train, despite its name, but it is the best way to see China and much of its spectacular scenery.

The Shangri-La Express is modern, air-conditioned and has first-class sleeping compartments with two bunk-style twin beds.

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Image: It is the best way to see China.


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Name: Danube Express

Country: Europe

Train Type: First-class

Danube Express is a private train operating in Central and Eastern Europe. It was inaugurated in September 2008 and operates landcruises on various itineraries and routes in Central and Eastern Europe from its home base in Budapest, Hungary.

Itineraries take the train through Hungary, Romania including Transylvania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Germany.

The operating season is from around April to October.

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Image: The operating season is from around April to October.


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Name: Eastern and Oriental Express

Country: Asia

Train Type: Luxury

The Eastern and Oriental Express carries passengers in luxury between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The train travels through dense rainforests and towering mountains past golden temples; rubber plantations and fields of frangiapani, tapioca, sunflowers and mango orchards; and remote towns and villages.

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Image: It travels through three countries.


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Name: Royal Canadian Pacific

Country: Canada

Train Type: Luxury

All trains are based out of Calgary, Alberta, at the former Via Rail station near CPR's corporate headquarters.

A typical excursion would be a 1,050 kilometre route from Calgary through the Columbia River Valley and Crowsnest Pass, before returning to Calgary.

Such a trip would take six days and five nights with no operating at night in order to preserve the sight-seeing of mountain scenery during the daylight hours.

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Image: A typical excursion would be a 1,050 kilometre route.


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Name: Royal Scotsman

Country: Scotland

Train Type: Luxury

The Royal Scotsman is a Scottish luxury charter train run by Orient-Express Hotels Limited.

The train is composed of nine cars; two dining cars, five state cars, one crew car, and one observation car. The two dining cars are named 'Victory' and 'Raven' with seating for sixteen and twenty people respectively.

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Image: Royal Scotsman is a Scottish luxury charter train.


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Name: Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Country: Europe

Train Type: Luxury

No question about it: there is no better way to see Siberia. The all-ensuite Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express was launched in 2007 to much fanfare in Moscow.

The United Kingdom operators of this train have made a huge push to up the ante on with a new Imperial Suite, as well as Gold and Silver Class accommodations, all with en-suite bathroom.

The train also has two dining cars and a lounge car. It plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as special tours of the Silk Road, Russia's Arctic and the Crimea.


Image: It was launched in 2007.


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