Riding the rails is a scenic experience

Here are some favorite routes in Europe

Scenic Routes in Great Britain – access all these routes with a BritRail Pass!  Of course this list isn’t exhaustive as there are so many scenic routes in the UK, but here are some suggestions to get you started.

  1. Scotland’s West Highlands Line: passing from Glasgow to Fort William, the train runs through the glens, and over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, to the little fishing port of Mallaig, where the ferry sails to Skye.
  2. England’s Settle to Carlisle Line: with 17 major viaducts spanning the ravines and 14 tunnels, travel along the impressive 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct and through the longest tunnel on the line at Blea Moor.
  3. England’s Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed Line: with views of the country coastline and the impressive city skylines of Durham and Newcastle, take in the sights of Durham Cathedral & Millennium Bridge across the Tyne.
  4. Wale’s Conwy Valley Line: runs from Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Breathtaking scenery unfolds, from Gethin’s viaduct, to the 12th century Dolwyddelan Castle and the high peaks of Snowdonia.
  5. England‘s Riviera Line: from Exeter to Newton Abbot, the railway sweeps along the sea wall and offers spectacular views of the River Exe estuary, and red cliffs.  Continue on to Torquay or Plymouth if you like.

Scenic Routes in Europe – some of these routes can be traveled with a Eurail Pass valid in the mentioned country, whereas others are special scenic ride routes requiring their own ticket (**).

  1. Norway’s Flåm Railway: an incredible journey from Myrdal, to Flåm station nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord. Enjoy being surrounded by steep mountainsides, roaring waterfalls and deep valleys (**).
  2. Germany’s Black Forrest Line: view stunning scenery of the Black Forest, between the upper Rhine valley and the Lake of Constance, this link from Offenburg to Konstanz is one of the oldest mountain lines in the world.
  3. Switzerland’s Glacier Express: from Zermatt to St. Moritz enjoy panoramic windows with the best Alpine scenery, from the Mattertal Valley to the 6,704-foot-high Oberalp Pass and Rhine Gorge (Where Eurail Passes include Switzerland, the famous Glacier Express, is valid between St-Moritz and Disentis, but not between Disentis and Zermatt.  Holders of a Eurail Pass are entitled to a 25% reduction on the additional ticket for this section.)
  4. Norway’s Rauma Line: starting from Oslo, the Rauma Line takes you through picturesque mountains, over bridges, through tunnels and past the tallest rock-face in Europe; the Trollveggen (**).

Austria’s Semmering Line: a UNESCO World Heritage railway, it runs over 16 viaducts and through 15 tunnels between Gloggnitz and Semmering.  Its claim to fame – making areas of great natural beauty more accessible.

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