Train travelling is becoming more and more popular for all the good reasons. People are becoming more conscious about the carbon footprint of their travels and start choosing trains over planes, especially over short haul flights. Plus, the new high-speed routes being built around the world are bound to make train travel even more convenient. So here are 10 train journeys to take around the world in 2023.
1. Switzerland’s GoldenPass Express
Switzerland‘s newest panoramic train took its first journey on 11 December. The GoldenPass Express offers a smooth and even more comfortable travel experience on one of the country’s most beautiful rail routes, between the cities of Interlaken and Montreux. It is possible to make the entire journey in 3 hours and 15 minutes without changing trains. The new scenic train, operated by Montreux Berner Oberland-Bahn AG, is expected run up to four times a day (from June 2023) and at all times offer breath-taking views of a dazzling landscape.
2. Indonesia’s bullet train
Indonesia’s bullet train, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, is on track to become operational in 2023. A 142 km railway is being built to connect capital Jakarta with Bandung, one of the country’s largest cities. The trains will reach speeds of up to 350 km/h, which would take the current travel time between Jakarta and Bandung from 3 hours to just 40 minutes. With more than 80 km of the tracks being on elevated structures, it will surely offer some dazzling views as well.
3. Orient Express
The famous Orient Express will return in 2023 to dazzle train lovers in a journey that will bring back reminiscences from the past. This time around, named the Orient Express La Dolce Vita, the luxury train will feature six trains that will lead passengers on itineraries spanning more than 14 regions and beyond. The revamped vintage carriages will take travellers across Italy during the night in 2023, with plans to expand to Paris, Amsterdam, Split and Istanbul from 2025.
4. Panda Panoramic Express
In 2023, China will open a new panoramic train route, connecting Dujiangyan to a panda reserve and the Mount Siguniang in the Sichuan province. While part of the itinerary will only open in the second half of 2023, once it is fully operational, which is expected to happen in 2026, the new train will cut travel times between Dujiangyan and Siguniangshan from five to just two hours.
5. UK’s highest railway
The UK’s highest railway is expected to return to service early in 2023, after being non-operational for almost five years. Reinstating the funicular railway at Cairngorm Mountain is the major element in a program of investment to make the destination a successful year-round attraction. In a place of unique natural beauty, the funicular will certainly offer spectacular glimpses of the wild mountain environment that is home to many examples of flora and fauna.
6. New Zealand off the beaten path
Train operator Great Journeys New Zealand launches multi-day tours in 2023, with local guides and overnight stays in the most beautiful locations. “As your Tour Director leads you beyond the well-beaten paths and highways, you’ll become immersed in authentic New Zealand culture”, the operator promises.
7. London to Stockholm in less than 24 hours
The EuroNight train from Hamburg to Stockholm is now operational. There are other highlights to discover along the way, such as the Danish capital of Copenhagen, Sweden’s southern coastal city of Malmö and the history-rich university city of Lund. Connecting to other train services such as Germany’s Deutsche Bahn and Eurostar, travellers are able make the whole journey between Stockholm and London in roughly one day.
8. Tren Maya
The Mayan Train project will be one of the most important infrastructure works in the history of Mexico’s rail network. The first 1,525 km long section, connecting the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, will start operating in December 2023.
9. Prague – Zurich sleeper route
Having started in December, the new ‘Canopus’ night train connects Prague and Zurich via Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Basel. “We want to give night traffic another boost,” Michal Krapinec, chairman and CEO of Czech Railways told Rail Journal. “That is why we have prepared a new brand for services related to night travel.”
10. Ski Express
Tui Group has partnered with Green City Trip, a Dutch start-up offering rail travel across Europe, to create the Ski Express nigh train, connecting the Netherlands to ski destinations in the Austrian Alps. The service started running just before Christmas and will be taking tourists to their favourite ski resorts until 31 March.
If you turn 18 in 2023 and plan on taking a train trip across Europe, remember to apply for the free DiscoverEU passes.