Iconic Scottish train journey voted one of the best in the world

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ONE of the Scotland’s most picturesque rail routes has been voted the SEVENTH best in the WORLD.

The revelation comes as more and more of us are looking for holidays closer to home and for alternative transport options, with search demand for rail travel up 21 percent in the past year.

The Jacobite Steam Train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct

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The Jacobite Steam Train crosses the Glenfinnan ViaductCredit: Alamy
The Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, was used in the Harry Potter movies

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The Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, was used in the Harry Potter moviesCredit: Getty
Just one of many Carribean-esque beaches you will find near Arisaig on the Jacobite Steam Train route

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Just one of many Carribean-esque beaches you will find near Arisaig on the Jacobite Steam Train routeCredit: Alamy

Now a new study by InsureMyTrip has analysed the best railway journeys for intrepid travellers.

Researchers at the insurances giant wanted to find out which train journeys can be considered the best. From the frequency of the train and the number of national parks they traverse, to the quality of the journey, and value for money.

And only one UK railway route made the top ten and it’s right here in Scotland.

The Jacobite Steam Train journey beat iconic trips including The Ghan in Australia, the Alaska Railroad in he USA and the Canadian which takes travellers from one side of Canada to the other.

The Jacobite Steam Train is an 84 mile round trip from Fort William to Mallaig and back and is often named as one of the greatest journeys in the world.

It passes many famous landmarks. From Loch Morar, the deepest fresh water loch in Scotland, passing the shortest river in the country, the river Morar, down to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis.

But, of course, it’s most famous for travelling over the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter movies.

It puffs passed Loch Shiel, AKA the Dark Lake, and Dumbledore’s final resting place at the isle of Eilan na Moine.

Beyond Glenfinnan you’ll find the stunning villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. Ask the guard to let you off at Arisaig, where on a clear summer’s day, you can see the “Small Isles” of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye.

The stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise water will make you think you’ve landed in the Caribbean and not Scotland.

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The train continues on from here passing Morar and more silvery beaches used in the films “Highlander” and “Local Hero”.

We told recently how fears over new safety compliance rules could mean the end of the famous route but operators West Coast Railway (WCR), are considering switching outdated carriages to coaches that are compliant with the new safety laws.

The Bernina Express is revealed as the ultimate railway journey. The four-hour scenic trip from Chur or St. Moritz to Tirano, Italy takes passengers over 76 miles of the spectacular Swiss Alps, crossing an impressive 196 bridges and a UNESCO world heritage site.

The iconic swiss Bernina Express train along Landwasser viaduct at Filisur, canton of Graubunden, Switzerland

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The iconic swiss Bernina Express train along Landwasser viaduct at Filisur, canton of Graubunden, SwitzerlandCredit: Getty
Aguas Calientes, Railway by the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu, Peru

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Aguas Calientes, Railway by the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu, PeruCredit: Getty
The Napa Valley Wine Train offers spectacular scenery and fabulous food and wine

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The Napa Valley Wine Train offers spectacular scenery and fabulous food and wineCredit: AP

In second place is another Alpine route in Switzerland – this time the Glacier Express. The eight-hour service winds through mountain forests and gives travellers the most spectacular views of the snow-topped Swiss Alps.

The shortest journey overall, the Inca Rail in Peru. At only 90 minutes long from start to finish, it delivers incredible views of the infamous Inca Trail and allows passengers to see Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

The three hour Napa Valley Wine Train from Napa to St. Helena, through the stunning wine region of California came fourth. It offers an incredible wine selection and a gourmet dining experience when onboard.

Ranked fifth was the Pacific Surfliner, which runs for 350 miles of California’s coastline, stretching from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.

The longest rail journey comes in at number 20, the Palace on Wheels in India, a mammoth eight-day and seven-night journey in unrivaled luxury that starts and ends in New Delhi, visiting historical spots such as Jaipur Udaipur and Agra among others.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

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NINTCHDBPICT000885487301Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Sarah Webber, Director of Marketing at InsureMyTrip said: “Railway journeys are no longer about getting from A to B, it’s about the experience. This study provides travellers with options of train-adventures so they can take in the sights of some of the most beautiful destinations around the world.

To view the full study, click here.

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