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SATW Travel Writers Select the World's Top Ten Train Rides




The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the world’s largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, recently polled its members to come up with the “Top 10” most exciting and scenic train rides in the world. 


SATW President Bea Broda states, “For many travelers, Edna St. Vincent Millay said it perfectly when she wrote: ‘My heart is warm with the friends I make, And better friends I'll not be knowing; Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, No matter where it's going.’” 


“Train travel,” according to Broda, “is romantic, scenic, a wonderful way to meet and mix with locals and equally important today, a very green way to experience a country.”


Listed in order of votes with comments from SATW writers are the world’s “Top 10” train rides:


1.      The Rocky Mountaineer ( offers spectacular two-day journeys through the Canadian Rocky Mountains from Vancouver to Banff or Jasper.    “The Rocky Mountaineer is humbling travel – both for the monumental landscapes it slices through and the appreciation of the workers who risked – and sometimes gave – their lives to build it.” Betsa Marsh, freelance travel writer


2.      The Glacier Express ( is the famous Swiss mountain railway from St. Moritz to Zermatt, a 7.5 hour railway journey that crosses 291 bridges and burrows through 91 tunnels.

“Take the Glacier Express in winter – you will pass by skiers, people playing golf in the snow and spectacular alpine settings.” James O’Reilly, publisher, Traveler’s Tales


3.      Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad ( winds through rugged canyons in the remote wilderness of Colorado’s two-million-acre San Juan National Forest.  The narrow-gauge train is pulled by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive along the same tracks traveled over a century ago by miners, cowboys and settlers of the Old West. 


4.      The Bernina Express ( from Chur, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy, makes the highest rail crossing of the Alps, passing from icy glaciers to palm-shaded piazzas in just a few hours.  It crosses 196 bridges and passes through 55 tunnels, while winding around countless spectacular switchbacks.   You can ta
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