6 Virtual Train Rides From Around The World You Can Take Right Now

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I love traveling by train. From the clicking of sleepers to the continually changing scenery as the countryside gently slips by your window, train journeys can be magical experiences. 

Unfortunately, going on a scenic train journey isn’t in the cards for me (and most people) right now. Luckily, a network of train journey enthusiasts has been posting train travel clips on YouTube for years. So to help recreate the best bits of train travel, I scoured the ‘net and collected six of the world’s most iconic and scenic virtual train journeys for your enjoyment.   

The Bernina Railway

Switzerland’s Unesco listed Berninabahn (Bernina Railway) is one of the world’s most spectacular mountain railways. It contains some of the highest (over 7000 feet) railway crossings in Europe and is one of the steepest railways in the world. This relaxing two-hour-long virtual journey takes you through the section between St.Moritz in Switzerland and Triano in Italy. The alpine mountains make a spectacular backdrop to this trip. 

Line 7, NYC Subway 

While the number 7 NYC subway express line might not be among the prettiest train journeys in the world, for real and wannabe New Yorkers, it remains a cultural experience. The route offers some iconic views of the New York City skyline in its above-ground sections. This virtual train journey takes you on the Manhattan-bound leg of the train line nicknamed the “international express” due to the number of ethnic neighborhoods it crosses. The unique front-facing view in the video also gives a pleasantly calm feel to a rush-hour commuter train journey. 

The Nagaragawa Railway

When you think of Japanese trains, the first thing that likely comes to mind might be the super-fast bullet trains that remain one of Japan’s cultural icons. However, Japan also possesses a vast network of rural railway lines that take its citizens and visitors nearly everywhere in the country. This journey takes you, via 4k video, on the Nagaragawa Railway in Gifu Prefecture and winds through a snowy winter wonderland surrounded by high mountains. Grab some ramen or a bento box to complete the feeling of traveling through Japan in the middle of winter.

The Flåm Railway

The Flåm railway line is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. Although only 20 kilometers long, it packs a massive amount of dreamy Norwegian mountain scenery into a short space of time. It’s also one of the steepest standard gauge railways in the world as it climbs up through remote mountain villages in Norway’s Vestland province. This 40-minute virtual train ride takes you along the windy, steep, and breathtaking route from the train driver’s point of view. 

The Belgrade to Bar Railway

The Belgrade to Bar railway, which takes travelers from Serbia’s capital city to the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, is one of the world’s greatest feats of railway engineering. The line, which crosses the region’s mountainous terrain, has 254 tunnels and 234 bridges. This journey takes you on the final section of the route from Bijelo Polje to Bar and brings you through high mountain ravines down a 3000 feet elevation change before stopping just short of the coast. You can also recreate the same journey in winter to see how snow changes the landscape. 

VIA Rail Canada

Traveling from Toronto to Vancouver by train takes at least three days and four nights. If you fancy making the same journey in twelve minutes, then this compressed account of an epic trans-Canadian railway journey is worth checking out. The comprehensive video showcases the highlights of a three-day railway journey from a passenger’s point of view. It includes shots of meals, sleeping arrangements, and some fantastic scenery. The pleasant ambient background noise alone makes this worth watching.