A red Double Fairlie engine passing by a row of stone houses at Tanygrisiau. On the right you can see some of the village and the factory in the background
Ewrop Heritage Railways North America Teithio

The Ultimate Worldwide Train Bucket List

Yeah I might love a bit of trains. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved trains. Yes a lot of it was to do with the fact that the Ffestiniog Railway ran behind the house. Also cartoons played a part – obviously Thomas the Tank Engine was a major player but I’ve recently realised that another cartoon had an impact – Around The World With Willy Fog (see episode 19 The Stampede). Anyway I digress…. here’s my Worldwide Train Bucket List.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, North Wales, UK

A red Double Fairlie engine passing by a row of stone houses at Tanygrisiau. On the right you can see some of the village and the factory in the background

This is top of the list. If you’ve never visited the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways then it’s a must! Yes I am completely and utterly biased (and a volunteer) but with two lines which cover almost 40 miles of narrow gauge track through the beautiful Eryri (Snowdonia), how can it not be top of the list?

The Ffestiniog line was originally created to carry slates from the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site if you please!) to the port at Porthmadog. From here the slate would be shipped worldwide.

(The Welsh Highland line was also created for the same reason but it has a much more complex history which I won’t go into here. You can read all about it at the F&WHR website)

Durango and Silverton Railroad, Colorado, USA

A train crossing a bridge on the Durango and Silverton Railroad
Used with kind permission of Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Durango and Silverton Railroad is operates old style American steam locos (as well as diesel traction) running along 45 miles of track connecting the towns of Durango and Silverton. The scenic round trip takes you up into the Rocky Mountains where you get to see beautiful mountains and rocky ravines. Having looked at the photos on the website this most certainly the one that was in Around The World With Willy Fog. The  you will experience the iconic Horseshoe Curve, High Bridge and all of the Animas River Gorge including all of the spectacular views from the High Line.

Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne, Australia

Photo used with kind permission of Puffing Billy Railway

We’ve all seen those photos of people hanging out of the side of a carriage on a trestle bridge right? And all of us have thought how can they do that? Well at Puffing Billy Railway you can do just that! Their wonderful open-side carriages have the capability for you to sit with your feet dangling over the side which gives a unique experience that most other railways would think is a H&S nightmare! But it’s all part of the charm of the Puffing Billy Railway… for me at least!

Ah but really, what draws me in is the scenery of Dandenong Ranges – beautiful lush rainforest, river and creeks. And imagine seeing all of that from a steam train running along some fabulous timber trestle bridges*… spectacular!

* I do like trestle bridges.. it’s one thing the FR don’t have.

Glacier Express, Chur, Switzerland

Landwasser Viaduct and surrounding area

One word… SNOW! Is there anything more magical than snow? Ok let me go one better… is there anything better than travelling through snow capped mountains on a train? The answer is no and this is what makes the Glacier Express a must see. In the photo above you can see one of the most iconic scenes of the line – the Landwasser Viaduct. But that’s not all to be seen, the route takes you through alpine village of Zermatt with the view of the Matterhorn, to the luxury resort of St Moritz, and through the Rhine Valley which has been dubbed “the Grand Canyon of Switzerland”. An epic journey!

(Actually there are a fair few must sees in Switzerland… I have a blog post about my Swiss Rail Bucket List)

The Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Credit: The Rocky Mountaineer

Since forever I’ve always wanted to travel through the Rocky Mountains by rail. Not entirely sure why but I think it’s to do with the grand vistas and canyons. Amazing scenery! The Rocky Mountaineer offer a number of routes to choose from but I think the one I would choose is the one that takes you from Vancouver through to Jasper route.

What’s on your Worldwide Train Bucket List? 

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