5 little-known rail journeys

5 little-known rail journeys
By admin


The Kuranda Scenic Railway in Far North Queensland

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Fancy a train trip which passes through steaming jungle, over sheer drops and even chugs past jaw-dropping waterfalls? If this sounds like your cup of tea, then a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway is going to have you brimming over with excitement.

Running from Cairns to the small town of Kuranda, the scenic line winds along a 37km route and takes a leisurely one hour and forty five minutes to complete. The line includes 15 tunnels, dozens of bridges and 93 curves. Highlights along the way include a stop to check out the precipitous Barron Falls – not to mention a slow pass of the smaller, but no less spectacular Stoney Creek Falls.

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The rail deal:

A day trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a feature of Queensland Rail's 14-day Grand Coastal Explorer. The itinerary takes clients from Brisbane to Cairns and back again over two weeks. Prices start from $3225. For more information, visit www.queenslandrail.com.au

Visit Dracula's Lair on The Danube Express

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The beauty of Eastern Europe and the elegance of a luxury rail journey – sounds like a pretty good match, right? Your clients can experience it all plus a visit to the home of one of literature's most notorious figures with a trip on the Danube Express. Departing from Budapest and arriving in Istanbul after four days passing through Bulgaria and Romania, the Transylvanian itinerary is a trip like no other. Guests will see Istanbul's Blue Mosque, enjoy a climb over the Carpathian Mountains and visit the 14th century Bran Castle – known as Dracula's Castle.

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The rail deal:

Passengers travel in deluxe sleeping cars with private bathrooms. Prices start from $4038 for The Transylvanian journey, which includes selected sightseeing tours, all meals and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks, served in the restaurant and lounge cars. For more information, visit www.railplus.com

See Mexico's Copper Canyon with Adventure World

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Given it descends even deeper than the fabled Grand Canyon, it's somewhat surprising that Mexico's Copper Canyon isn't better known. Happily, there is a perfect way to get to know this geological wonder – by rail. With a route through the Sierra Madre Mountains, between Los Mochis and Chihuahua, the Copper Canyon by Train itinerary will have you gaping in awe at the majesty of the peaks and canyons as they pass by. Along the way, guests soak up the culture of the Tarahumara Indians, visit the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas on the canyon's rim and call in at the historic lumber town of Creel.

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The rail deal:

The trip runs for five days with days two, three and four spent on track, with accommodation provided on the first four nights. Guests travel in first class and some meals and transfers are included. Prices start from $684. For more information, visit www.adventureworld.com.au

Scale the Tops of Switzerland with Rail Plus

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The Swiss Alps are a renowned ski destination, but for those who lack the required dexterity, why not see the magnificent Alps via a toasty warm carriage with a glass of wine in hand? Taking in the picturesque towns of Lucerne and Interlaken plus the peaks of Jungfraujoch and Mt Pilatus, your clients will be living the high life indeed. Fresh air, alpine scenery and stunning mountaintop views are the selling points on this five-day trip – the perfect add-on for those who have a few extra days to kill while in Europe.

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The rail deal:

Commencing in Interlaken and concluding in Lucerne, the itinerary includes five first class rail transfers including excursion transport, four nights' accommodation and breakfast daily. Prices start from $1014, staying in three-star properties. For more information, visit www.railplus.com

Epic Thailand on the Eastern & Oriental Express

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Ask any rail buff to name some of the most famous railway destinations around and chances are Thailand won't be on the list. But once word gets out about voyages like the Epic Thailand itinerary that might well change. This trip takes guests on a journey through some of the country's lesser known regions – Isan village, Prasat Sikhoraphum, Phanom Rung, Chiang Mai and Khao Yai National Park – making it a far cry from the flop and drop beachside holiday that the country is renowned for. On this trip, luxury rail travel mixed with cultural immersion in the serene countryside is the order of the day.

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The rail deal:

This six-night trip runs from Bangkok to the country's north and returns to Bangkok. It can be enjoyed in either a state cabin or, for those looking to splash out, a Presidential Suite. The itinerary includes meals and drinks plus sightseeing and excursions with prices starting from $9600 in a State Cabin. For more information, visit www.orient-express.com

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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