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10 Once-in-a-Lifetime Train Trips | Condé Nast Traveler

Glacier Express, Switzerland

For a front-row seat to a view of the Swiss Alps, opt for the Glacier Express. Along this journey—which starts near the Matterhorn in Zermatt and concludes in the resort town of St Moritz—travelers can soak in breathtaking views through the panoramic windows. The Glacier Express offers one of the most dramatic views of the Rhine Gorge, crossing rocky mountains past the Upper Rhone Valley and the Oberalp Pass (the highest point of the trip at 7,000 feet), and elegant villages and scenic streams along the way. On this train, there’s an Excellence Class that comes with a multi-course meal, local wines, and a special seating area. If you plan to travel from Switzerland to Italy, give one of Europe’s highest tracks a try—the Bernina Express. This alpine route takes passengers from Tirana in Italy to St Moritz in Switzerland, making its way through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges, past pristine lakes, and stunning mountaintops that appear within reach from its panoramic carriages.

TranzAlpine Train, New Zealand

One of the most beautiful ways to explore New Zealand, KiwiRail’s TranzAlpine rightfully deems this 11-hour, round-trip, coast-to-coast route between Christchurch and Greymouth as one of their Great Journeys. Expansive stretches of farmland dotted with sheep and cattle, deep gorges and steel bridges, views of waterfalls and one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels await travelers on this spectacular ride, which cuts through the mountains that partition New Zealand’s South Island. Panoramic windows, skylight, and reclining seats make it a trip to remember.


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