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The world's scariest train rides

Last updated on: July 08, 2014 15:42 IST

The world's scariest train rides

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Two Indian rail services feature among the scariest train journeys in the world. While these trains take you through tall and steep bridges, dark tunnels and spiralling mountains, they also offer some of the most breathtaking sights.

Here are the 13 scariest and most exhilarating train journeys according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.

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Photographs: Courtesy, White Pass and Yukon

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Tren a las Nubes

Country: Argentina

The Tren a las Nubes is a touristic train service in Salta Province. The service runs along the eastern part of the C-14 line of the Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano, that connects the Argentine Northwest with the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range, over 4,220 metres (13,850 ft) above mean sea level, the fifth highest railway in the world, according to Wikipedia.

The railway line has 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 spirals and 2 zigzags.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Tren a las Nubes

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White Pass and Yukon Route

Country: Canada and US

This route connects the Alaska port of Skagway, now a popular stop for cruise ships, with Whitehorse, the capital of the Canadian territory of Yukon.

An isolated system, it has no direct connection to any other railroad.

When the construction began it 1889, the WP & YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in only 26 months and completed in 1900.

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Photographs: Courtesy, White Pass and Yukon
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Nariz del Diablo

Country: Ecuador

This is part of the national railway of Ecuador. Passing through Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose), the train travels between Alausi and Palmira.

Through Nariz del Diablo the train chugs along at a very leisurely pace, giving passengers plenty of time to enjoy the sight of Ecuador's ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ferrocarriles del Ecuador

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Georgetown Loop Railroad

Country: US

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a narrow gauge heritage railroad located in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, US.

The railroad operates summer tourist trains between the communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume, a distance of 3.2 km, according to Wikipedia. The railroad route is 7.2 km long and ascends an elevation of 640 feet (195.1 m) through mountainous terrain along with trestles, cuts, fills, and a grand loop.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Historic Rail Adventures, LLC

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The Death Railway

Country: Thailand and Burma

The Death Railway, is also called as Burma Railway and it runs between Thailand and Myanmar.

According to the various estimates, over 180,000 labourers and around 60,000 prisoners of wars (POWs) were used to construct this project. Of these, about 90,000 labourers and over 12,000 POWs died.

This bridge was immortalised by Pierre Boulle in his book and the film based on it called The Bridge on the River Kwai.

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Photographs: Naz Gassiep/Mrnaz/Wikimedia Commons

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Bamboo trains

Country: Cambodia

Bamboo trains, also called as norry, are a rail network created by Cambodians. These are built using bamboo and old abandoned parts. This is more popular in the Northwestern area of the country near Battambang.

The trains consist of a bamboo-covered platform and two detached axles with wheels. They run on regular tracks and are powered with engines adapted from portable electricity generators or ones used for water pumps, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Henry Flower/Wikimedia Commons

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The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Country: US

The narrow gauge heritage railroad runs between New Mexico and Colorado. It takes its name from the Toltec Gorge through which it passes.

Numerous loops, trestles and tunnels must be negotiated before the train passes through the Toltec Gorge and reaches its terminus at Antonito in Colorado, states The Telegraph.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

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Kurunda Scenic Railway

Country: Australia

The route, completed in 1891, runs from Cairns, Queensland to the nearby town of Kuranda. The tourist railway snakes its way up the Macalister Range and is no longer used for regular commuter services. It passes through the suburbs of Stratford, Freshwater (stopping at Freshwater Station) and Redlynch before reaching Kuranda, according to Wikipedia.

The railway is 37 km in length and it take about 1.45 hours to climb one way.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Kurunda Scenic Railway

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West Highland Line

Country: Scotland

The West Highland Line features journeys from Glasgow to Fort William. One of the viaduct (Glenfinnan Viaduct) through which this train passes is featured in Harry Potter movies.

The West Highland Line provides impressive views including the Erskine Bridge, Dumbarton Castle, glimpses of the Arrochar Alps and more.

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Photographs: De Benutzer Nicolas17/Wikimedia Commons

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Outeniqua Choo Tjoe

Country: South Africa

The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe is the last remaining continually-operated passenger steam train in Africa.

The 42-mile route takes around two hours, hugging the country's Garden Route coastline before crossing the lagoon at Knysna, according to The Telegraph.

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Photographs: Tim Giddings/Wikimedia Commonms

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Funiculars

Country: Chile, Switzerland and US

A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope.

These can be experienced in Chilean town of Valparaiso (pictured), Switzerland, California and Naples

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Photographs: Tony Hisgett/Wikimedia Commons

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Pamban Bridge

Country: India

This is a a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait and it connects Rameswaram on Pamban Island to the mainland.

Opened in 1914, it was India's first sea bridge, and was the longest in India till 2010.

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Photographs: Indiancorrector/Wikimedia Commons

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Mountain railways of India

Country: India

These are among the few of the narrow gauge systems remaining in the world.

Run by Indian Railways, Mountain Railways include Kashmir Railway, operational since 2005. While four of these seven: the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1881), the Kalka–Shimla Railway (1898), the Kangra Valley Railway (1924), and the Kashmir Railway (2005), are in the rugged hill regions of the Himalayas of Northern India, two are further down south in the Western Ghats: the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu, and the Matheran Hill Railway in Maharashtra; while the Lumding-Silchar line, built at the turn of the 20th century, lies deep inside Assam, in the Barak river valley of the Cachar Hills, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Golf Bravo/Wikimedia Commons

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