These train journeys hold records as the top ten longest in the world. Read on to learn more about these mammoth treks across the land.
In this article, we invite you to join us on an extraordinary exploration of the planet’s top ten longest train journeys. These remarkable odysseys span continents, cross borders, and reveal the breathtaking beauty of diverse terrains.
From luxurious expeditions to rustic adventures, these train journeys offer a unique lens through which to view our world.
The World Bucket List’s top tips for booking the world’s longest train journeys:
- These journeys often require a lot of planning. Secure your tickets early, as they can sell out quickly.
- Research the best time to travel based on weather and scenery. Some routes are more picturesque during specific seasons.
- Decide between standard and luxury class. Luxurious options offer more comfort but often come at a much higher cost.
- Bring plenty of entertainment for the journey, like books, music, or movies, to pass the time during long stretches.
- Consider travel insurance for unexpected events or delays.
- Check visa requirements for countries you’re passing through or entering.
10. Blue Train: Pretoria to Cape Town (South Africa) – a luxury train journey
The Blue Train is celebrated as one of the world’s most luxurious and extensive train journeys. It transports travellers on a two-night adventure across South Africa.
Passengers are pampered with plush accommodations, exquisite fine dining experiences, butler service, and even Cuban cigars.
The train’s golden-tinted picture windows offer passengers breathtaking views of the diverse African subcontinent, showcasing picturesque farmlands, lush forests, and verdant vineyards.
This journey traverses 1,600 km (994 miles), takes two days, three hours, 40 minutes, and costs 10,120 South African Rand ($548.38).
9. Eastern and Oriental Express: Bangkok to Singapore – one of the world’s longest train routes
Embark on a three-night odyssey aboard the Belmond Eastern and Oriental Express, a journey renowned for its opulence. Travelling from Bangkok to Singapore, this train offers an enchanting blend of ancient wonders and modern cosmopolitan cities.
Richly adorned accommodations beckon solo travellers and wanderers seeking adventure. Passengers can experience afternoon tea while basking in lush jungle landscapes and quaint villages.
This journey traverses a distance of 2,019 km (1,254 miles), takes two days, 16 hours, 40 minutes, and costs up to $3,121 (£1,560) per person.
8. The Ghan: Darwin to Adelaide (Australia) – an unforgettable journey
The Ghan, a legendary train journey, provides a gateway to the best of Australia‘s tropical north and south while lavishing passengers with regional-inspired menus and fine wines.
The itinerary includes an exploration of historic legacies and unique environments, with key stops at Alice Springs and Katherine. These pristine wilderness destinations offer an opportunity to become enchanted by Australia’s remarkable beauty.
The journey covers a distance of 2,979 km (1851 miles), takes two days and six hours and costs $1,919.
7. Paris-Moscow Express: Paris to Moscow – reasonable train tickets
A unique aspect of this journey is the train’s transition at Brest, where its wheelsets are changed to accommodate the shift from standard European track gauge to Russian gauge.
While sipping hot coffee or tea, passengers can gaze out at the enchanting beauty of the ever-changing Trans-European landscapes on one of the longest train journeys in Europe, featuring endless panoramas and awe-inspiring views.
The journey covers a distance of 3,483 km (2163 miles), takes one day, 14 hours, 47 minutes and costs between €313 and €1145.
6. California Zephyr: San Francisco to Chicago (USA) – experience the beauty of the Utah Desert
The California Zephyr is a captivating North American train journey, offering travellers the opportunity to traverse the scenic landscapes from San Francisco to Chicago.
The journey takes passengers through captivating locales like Reno and Sacramento, eventually leading to Denver and the vast plains of Nebraska.
Along the route, passengers can witness the snow-capped Sierra Nevada and traverse through the heart of the Rockies. The train journey also unveils the vivid hues of the Utah Desert, providing a splendid way to experience the true majesty of America.
It covers a distance of 3,924 km (2,438 miles), takes two days, three hours, 40 minutes, and costs between $134 and $235.
5. Vivek Express: Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari (India) – covering a huge distance
The Vivek Express takes passengers on a mesmerizing journey spanning more than 4,200 km, making it India‘s longest train journey.
The route stretches across seven Indian states and offers an array of accommodations, including AC coaches, sleeper coaches, unreserved coaches, and catering facilities.
The journey begins in Dibrugarh in the northeastern region of India and concludes in Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the country, where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean converge.
Along the way, passengers have the opportunity to experience the hidden beauty of India in daylight and observe the country’s rich cultural diversity.
This journey covers a distance of 4,219 km (2,621 miles), takes three days, 12 hours, and five minutes and costs between 2810 Indian Rupees and 730 Indian Rupees ($22.76 and $8.77).
4. Indian Pacific: Sydney to Perth (Australia) – a remarkable voyage
The Indian Pacific takes passengers on a mesmerizing transcontinental journey, traversing the vast expanse from Sydney to Perth.
The journey includes traversing the awe-inspiring Blue Mountains, the arid regions of New South Wales, and the unique desert landscape of Broken Hill. An hour-long tour in Broken Hill offers a chance to explore the Living Desert Sculptures and the Pro Hart gallery.
This journey covers a distance of 4,352 km (2,704 miles), takes five days and six hours, and costs $1,819.
3. Shanghai to Lhasa (China) – the longest train journey in China
Also known as Z164, the Shanghai to Lhasa train journey ranks not only as the longest in China but also as one of the world’s most extended train trips.
Spanning across eight provinces, the Shanghai-Lhasa train passes through mountainous terrains, offering breathtaking scenic beauty. The train’s itinerary features one of the most scenic train journeys globally, starting from the lower plains and ascending to higher plateaus.
Passengers can enjoy captivating views of the Qinghai Lake, Tanggula Mountains, and Nagchu Grasslands during the voyage.
It covers a distance of 4,373 km (2,717 miles), takes three days and six hours, and costs between 1,310.5 Chinese Yuan and 402.5 Chinese Yuan ($178.70 and $55.22).
2. The Canadian: Toronto to Vancouver (Canada) – magnificent views
The Canadian is a trans-continental train journey celebrated as one of the world’s most incredible travel experiences. This epic journey spans four nights, taking passengers from Toronto to Vancouver.
The train journey unfolds the stunning beauty of Canada, featuring diverse landscapes encompassing endless prairies, the magnificent Rockies, and the tranquil West Coast.
Whether sipping fine wines or savouring the world’s finest coffees, passengers can gaze out at enchanting views, from endless blue skies to golden fields of canola and serene coastlines along the Vancouver shoreline.
This journey covers a distance of 4,446 km (2,762 miles), takes three days and 12 hours, and costs between $4,655 PP and $444.
1. Trans-Siberian: Moscow to Vladivostok (Russia) – the longest train journey in the world
The Trans-Siberian is celebrated as the longest passenger train journey globally. This extraordinary journey serves as an exceptional way to explore the vastness of the world’s largest country, Russia.
Passengers are treated to an ever-changing tableau of landscapes that unfold across Russia, China, and Mongolia, revealing the endless beauty of Siberia.
The epic adventure includes crossing 16 major rivers, 497 bridges, 87 major cities, 876 stations, three countries, and two continents. Passengers cross an impressive eight time zones, effectively travelling backwards in time while progressing from east to west.
This mammoth journey covers a distance of 10,214 km (6,343 miles), takes seven days, 20 hours, and 25 minutes, and costs between $805 and $1,600.
Your questions answered about the longest train journeys in the world
Which is the longest train journey route in the world?
The longest train journey route in the world is the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.
What is the longest distance travelled by train?
The longest distance travelled by train on a single journey is approximately 10,214 kilometres (6,343 miles) on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
What is the longest train journey in the US?
The longest train journey in the United States is the California Zephyr, which runs from Emeryville (San Francisco) to Chicago.