Graham Forster, Inspired by:

Graham Forster
4 min readMay 10, 2022


The world’s most incredible rail journeys.

Graham Forster shares a recent CNN Travel feature about incredible Rail Journeys.

Graham Forster idea of an Incredible Train Journey #1

Free from the rigors of the daily commute, traveling by train is by far the most civilized way to get around and really get to know a new country.

We all have our favorite journeys, whether it’s conquering the Alps on a cogwheel railway or streaking across the rooftops of Tokyo on a futuristic Shinkansen “bullet train.”

And traveling by train is good for the planet, too.

“If all domestic and intra-EU flight routes that can be completed by train in less than four hours were replaced, 36 million tonnes worth of carbon emissions would be saved each year,” Naren Shaam, founder and CEO of travel tech company Omio, tells CNN Travel.

“Trains are magical, and when I travel on one, I feel an immediate sense of calm as I gaze out the window. Trains are inclusive too, they adapt to everyone’s needs and, if you’re lucky, you can sit by a large window, daydream and enjoy the view.

Tempted? Here are 10 amazing trips every rail adventurer needs to cross off their to-do list once borders are fully open again.

Graham Forster idea of an Incredible Train Journey #2

West Highland Railway, Scotland

Regularly topping the charts as the world’s favorite scenic rail journey, the outstanding West Highland Railway Line is a “greatest hits” of the best landscapes Scotland has to offer.

Running for about 193 kilometers (120 miles) from Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis — the UK’s highest mountain — it delivers an ever-changing panorama of lochs and glens, desolate moors and brooding mountains.

Not content with this, the line extends for a further 41 unforgettable miles (66 kilometers) to the west coast port of Mallaig, taking in some of the country’s most beautiful lochs and the stunning curved viaduct at Glenfinnan, as featured in the “Harry Potter” movies.

The line can be enjoyed via the comfortable Caledonian Sleeper night train from London to Fort William, with the last stretch of the journey, across lonely Rannoch Moor, accompanied by breakfast. Remember to keep an eye out for stags, a Scottish icon, as they survey their kingdom.

Between April and October, the sleeper also connects with another famous train, the daily Jacobite steam train running from Fort William to Mallaig and back, offering the chance to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace on a beautifully restored piece of railway history.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India

Nicknamed “The Toy Train,” this wheezing relic of the British Empire remains one of the world’s greatest railway experiences. Climbing around 2,134 meters (7,000 feet) over a tortuous 89-kilometer (55-mile) route between New Jalpaiguri and the hill station of Darjeeling, the narrow gauge DHR uses every trick in the railway engineer’s book to gain altitude.

Six zig-zags (where trains reverse several times to gain height) and five loops extend the railway’s length, ensuring that the gradients are not too steep for trains to climb.

The railway was built in 1879–81 to improve access to the cooler mountain climate of Darjeeling in northeastern India, allowing the British colonizers to escape the stifling heat of Calcutta (now Kolkata).

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Although much of the railway’s traffic now moves by road, several trips a day operate, including the “Red Panda” tourist service from Darjeeling to Kurseong via the line’s 2,258-meter (7,407-foot) summit at Ghum.

The line’s most famous residents — the legendary B-Class steam locomotives built between 1889 and 1925 — still haul occasional special trains but most services are now hauled by diesels.

Read about the other 8 amazing Train Journeys here.



Graham Forster

Graham Forster- a “Railfan”- though it can be model or full size. Love all trains.