When it comes to luxury train travel, finding the fastest route between two points is not the goal. It is more about settling back in one’s seat and savoring the ever-changing view whizzing past the window.
And while we can't physically hop aboard some of the world's most luxurious and scenic rail journeys right now, settling in for a virtual trip from the couch is the next best thing. Virtual train journeys offer a glimpse into once-in-a-lifetime adventures that may be hard to reach normally, whether that's gliding past Alpine villages in the Swiss Countryside or chugging slowly by spectacular Peruvian canyons.
There's something for every type of wanderluster, from epic seven-hour journeys to micro but spectacular rides too. So get comfy, pour yourself something delicious, and find a luxury, scenic train ride to hop aboard from home.
Bernina Express, Switzerland
From ski country in the Alps down to the palm trees of Italy, this legendary UNESCO heritage listed railway is one of the best ways to experience Europe. Tune in to see the Bernina line running from St. Moritz to Tirano the highest transalpine railway and one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world.
The Flåm Railway, Norway
Norway's famous train is considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. Hop aboard the Flåm Railway virtually to go on a 12-mile jaunt in 4K UltraHD along Norwegian landscapes, see the world’s deepest fjord, and pass by picture-perfect mountains and waterfalls.
Ferrocarril Central Andino, Peru
While not a luxury train in the traditional sense, the Ferrocarril Central Andino offers some of the best views in the world from the comfort of your own seat. Twist through Andean mountainscapes and vertigo-inducing bridges aboard one of the world's most scenic railroads. The 12-hour journey is split into four-parts. Part one begins at the foothill of the Andes, Chosica, heading up towards the massive Puente Carrion bridge. Part two climbs from Matucana to San Mateo, it's one of the most scenic parts of the line. Part three continues northbound to Casapalca, passing through tight canyons and the famous Puente Inferillo. The fourth and final part takes place in Peruvian mountain country, the second-highest point on any railroad in the world at 15,681 ft.
Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland
Is there a more luxurious way to glide through the Scottish Highlands than the Belmond Royal Scotsman? We think not. The "palace on wheels" may not have a full virtual tour but get a quick glimpse of the glamorous mahogany-lined, whisky-filled journey, is enough to kickstart a little wanderlust.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Colorado, United States
It may look like a fantasy train set, but Colorado's historic Durango steam train is real. This three-part journey largely follows the path of the Animas River, cutting a dramatic 45 miles course from Durango to Silverton, passing sheer cliff faces, Colorado mountains and passing through Wild West towns.
Hue to Da Nang, Vietnam
Pass rice fields, palm forests, sandy beaches, and rocky coastlines aboard one of Vietnam's most spectacular train journeys.
There's just something magical about Nordic train rides. And if you're looking for an epic journey, this seven-and-a-half hour virtual trip from Bergen to Oslo is it. The journey whizzes past snow-covered mountains, beautiful fjords, forests, and lakes.