THERE’S no doubt about it, you just can’t beat the spectacular views offered by some of the world’s most picturesque train routes.
You’ll miss most of the moments if you’re behind the wheel and air travel just doesn’t compare unless you’re flying over the Indian Ocean on a seaplane.
Rail travel also offers fantastic photo opportunities as you traverse stunning sights and one of the most sceneic journeys is right here in Scotland.
To discover some of the top scenic train journeys across the globe, the experts at JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass) analysed a selection of the world’s most popular scenic train routes, comparing factors like ticket price, popularity, traveller reviews, and journey time to come up with the top trips across the globe.
And the journey from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh came in at a pretty impressive number four, just behind the famous Bernina Express and spectacular Glacier Express, both in the Swiss Alps.
The Kyle Line, which costs just £32, traverses some of the most breathtaking and remote landscapes in the Highlands, getting a rightly deserving score of 8 out of 10.
The near three hour journey actually has the highest traveller review rating out of all the routes on the list, with an average rating of 9.44 out of 10, and it’s easy to see why.
Passengers are treated to panoramic views of mist-covered mountain including Ben Wyvis and the Torridon Peaks, serene lochs, including Loch Luichart, picturesque glens filled with herds of deer, and charming villages.
The JR Pass experts said: “Unlike some more touristy routes, the Kyle Line takes travellers through remote and less-explored regions, allowing passengers to experience the untamed beauty of Scotland.
“The journey offers a real sense of authenticity and solitude that is highly sought after by those looking to escape the crowds.”
The Bernina Express, from Chur or St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy, scored 8.8 out of 10, earning the coveted title of the world’s best scenic train journey.
The leisurely four hour journey takes passengers through the stunning Swiss Alps, offering fabulous views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and pristine alpine lakes from the panoramic carriages, with glass roofs designed to maximize the views.
In second place, with an overall score of 8.2 out of 10 is the Flåm Railway in Norway, renowned for its awe-inspiring views of Norway’s dramatic landscapes from Flåm to Myrdal, where passengers are treated to breathtaking panoramas of deep fjords, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and lush valleys.
Back in Switzerland, The Glacier Express came third, scoring 8.1 out of 10. Boasting a long journey time of around eight hours, it proudly holds the title of the world’s slowest express train as it travels along iconic routes, including the Albula Line and the Bernina Line, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Sagano Romantic Train, in Kinki, Japan came fifth, with a score of 7.9 out of 10. It meanders through the scenic beauty of the Sagano Arashiyama region, renowned for its lush bamboo groves and traditional Japanese landscapes.
Haroun Khan at JR Pass said: “No matter the destination, travelling by rail is one of the most efficient, cost-effective and rewarding ways to immerse yourself in a country’s rich cultural heritage and take home memories that will last a lifetime.”