Which are longest and most iconic train journeys in the world


April 29, 2018

Which are longest and most iconic train journeys in the world

From the Trans-siberian to the Canadian, these are known for being the longest and most iconic train journeys in the world

Taking a train has always a special charm. It sounds classic, adventurous and somehow its never boring. How about long and iconic train rides, Would do dare to take one day the Trans-siberian Express or The Canadian?

These are the longest and most adventurous train journeys in the world. All of these journeys can take several number days and cover thousands of kilometers. Although I have not been able to test any of them, it is definitely something on my bucket list for years to come.

Here are the longest and most iconic train rides in the world.

Trans Siberian Express Railway stopping for a short break
Trans Siberian Express stopping for a short break in Central Russia

Trans-Siberian and Trans-Manchurian Express

Distance: 5,722 miles

Duration: 6 days +

Price: Trans-Manchurian Express line: 450-500 EUR – 2nd Class
Trans-Siberian Express line: 150 EUR – 3rd Class

The longest rail journey in the world starts in Moscow and finishes in Vladivostok. First of all, it takes over 6 days to complete. Passengers on this European journey go through multiple time zones. Landscapes on this journey include the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal.

Trains for this journey depart every 48 hours and travelers can select between two routes: either the Trans-Siberian line or the Trans-Manchurian line

And while the Trans-Siberian is complete inside Russia (ending up in Vladivostok), the Trans-Manchurian line is probably the one we heard about the most and can go either through Mongolia or Russia and ends up in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Here we found a map of the Trans-Siberian railway and all its several options.

Read more: How to pack for a train ride

longest train rides in the world - Trans Siberian and Trans Manchurian Express
Trans-siberian routes starting from Helsinki until Beijing or Vladivostok .
Source: Transiberianrailway

Eastern & Oriental Express

Distance: 1,200 miles

Duration: 3+ days

Price: 3000 EUR

Not to be confused with the iconic Orient Express from the Agatha Christie novel, this iconic train ride doesn’t even depart from Europe.

This journey travels through Southeast Asia from Bangkok to Singapore. The train stops at River Kwai and  Kuala Kangsar. Duration of the journey is either 3 or 4 days. Additionally, journeys usually take places on weekends. Furthermore, the accommodation is private and nicely decorated.

Because the accommodation is compact it is best suited for solo travelers. However, take into consideration that the Eastern & Oriental Express is one of the most expensive train rides in the world and traveling alone could increase its price up to 50%

Read more: Tips for backpacking South East Asia

The Eastern & Oriental Express train goes all the way from Bangkok to Singapore.

Trans siberian Express
The Eastern & Oriental Express train goes all the way from Bangkok to Singapore.

The Canadian Rail

Distance: 2,700 miles

Duration: 3 days

Price: Starting 300 EUR

Probably one of the most epic train journeys in North America, the Canadian is a trip of a lifetime.

First of all, there is no WIFI on this transcontinental journey. So, be prepared to spend time looking at the scenery: The mountains, forests and other Canadian landscape you will see is breathtaking.

The iconic journey starts in the eastern Canadian city of Vancouver and ends in Toronto and while it does not cover all Canada, it is a journey train lovers have to do. Enjoy the comfortable sleeper cars, whilst you get glimpses of moose, deer and even bears.

Read more: Road trip in Nova Scotia – Visiting Canada’s easternmost province

Scenic views of Alberta are the highlight of The Canadian Rail
Scenic views of Alberta are the highlight of The Canadian Rail

California Zephyr

Distance: 2,348 miles

Duration: 51 hours

Price: Starting 500 EUR for 2 people on coach

The California Zephyr is probably one of the most notorious train rides in the United States. It goes all the way from Chicago, IL to San Francisco, CA and departs daily.

This journey is most noteworthy as it is the longest in the US and covers beautiful scenic locations such as the pioneers, the Rockies, and canyons.

The key stops on this journey are the cities of Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, and Sacramento.

Read more: How to make the most when traveling alone by train in Europe

The California Zephyr crossing the landscapes of Utah on a clear day

Trans Siberian Express
The California Zephyr crossing the landscapes of Utah on a clear day

Indian Pacific

Distance: 2,704 miles

Duration: 65 hours

Price: Starting 500 EUR

This journey features the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world and is a complete unique experience itself.

Firstly, Passengers get to experience the width of Australia, which most of us can barely imagine. Additionally, some of its wonderful scenery includes waterfalls, forests and blue mountains.

Because of its length, there are many key stops on this route. The stops include Broken Hill, Adelaide, Barossa Valley, Kalgoorlie, Cook, and Rawlinna.

Read more: Can you recognize these Australian landscapes?

Indian Pacific Rail in Australia
Indian Pacific Rail in Australia
Source: Flickt

Vivek Express

Distance: 2,633 miles

Duration: 82 hours

Price: Starting 14 EUR in SL Class

Similarly to the Indian Pacific, this journey might not be considered by some as iconic as The Canadian or the Trans-Siberian Express, but it is the longest train journey in India.

It covers the entire length of India with an average speed of 32 KM per hour, expect to spend a long time watching the scenery outside or playing cards with your friends.

In contrast to other long and iconic train journeys, travelers in the Vivek Express can cover long distances for a very small price. However, we do recommend to book the highest class possible, as trains in India can get overcrowded very quickly and the journey of a lifetime can turn into a nightmare in just one stop.

Prices for the Vivek Express from North to South India in 2020 are following:

2A Class: 4290 INR (54 EUR)
3A Class: 2845 INR (36 EUR)
SL Class: 1084 INR (14 EUR)
GN Class: 645 INR (8 EUR)

2A Class is known for having 6 berths in each compartment. Only 2 berths are there on each side of the compartment and there is no middle berth.

Read more: How to find new friends when traveling?

Vivek Express Route from Kanyakumari to Dibrugarh
Vivek Express Route from Kanyakumari to Dibrugarh
Prices for this route go from 8 EUR in general class to 54 EUR in 2nd Coach

Paris-Moscow Express

Distance: 1,998 miles

Duration: 48 hours

Price: Starting 313 EUR

While this train is the longest trans-European route it only takes 2 days to complete. The train leaves from the French capital, crosses all central Europe passing by Frankfurt, Berlin and Warsaw and ends up at Russia’s capital, Moscow.

If you are planning to take this journey, remember that it travels through Belarus you might need a Belarus visa to travel. Of course, Russia is also one of the least visa free accessible countries for the western world and all visa processes have to be done beforehand.

Read more: Interrail guide for travelers in Europe

Crossing German landscapes while traveling the Paris-Moscow Rail
Crossing German landscapes while traveling the Paris-Moscow Rail

And? Have you done any of these trips already? Which one is your favorite or which one would you definitely want to do?




Planning a Visit to Victoria Falls National Park


Planning a visit to the White Desert and Black Desert in Egypt


Planning a Gorilla Trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest


Planning a safari at Masai Mara Natural Reserve


Planning a visit to Saxon Switzerland National Park