Plenty of things come to our minds about train travel – scenic views, rivers, mountains, forests, food onboard, great time with family, friends, or other passengers, and a lot more we can think of. However, certain railway tracks in the world can take your rail journey up a notch and leave you spellbound.

10 World’s Most Dangerous Train Routes

  • Chennai – Rameswaram Route, India
  • Argo Gede Train Railroad, Indonesia
  • Aso Minami Route, Japan
  • Georgetown Loop Railroad, Colorado, USA
  • White Pass and Yukon Route, Alaska, USA
  • Tren a las Nubes, Argentina
  • Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Australia
  • Devil’s Nose Train, Ecuador
  • The Death Railway, Thailand
  • Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train, South Africa

If you wish to experience the thrill on the world’s most extreme railways, check out this list of the most dangerous train routes in the world.

1. Chennai – Rameswaram Route, India

Chennai-Rameswaram Route, India

Inaugurated in 1914, the Chennai-Rameswaram route crosses 2065 meters of stretch that runs over the sea. Starting from Chennai to Rameswaram, the Chennai Rameswaram train route runs on the Pamban bridge, which is the most dangerous railway bridge in the world. Passengers who have traveled on this route say the worst part of riding is the fragile bridge that wobbles with the train over the turbulent sea.

What makes Chennai – Rameswaram Route dangerous?

The most dangerous aspect of the Chennai Rameswaram route is the Pamban bridge train accident in 1964. A cyclone annihilated the town of Dhanushkodi located on the eastern tip of Pamban Island and swept a train off the Pamban Bridge.

2. Argo Gede Train Railroad, Indonesia

Argo Gede Train Railroad, Indonesia 

Lived through a dangerous train accident in 2002, Argo Gede Train Railroad Indonesia is a scary train that runs between Jakarta and Bandung. This three-hour journey between two cities lets you witness incredibly beautiful places, tea plantations, and mountain scenery. However, this relaxing ride transforms as it enters the sky-high Cikurutug pylon trestle bridge.

What makes the Argo Gede Train Railroad dangerous?

The journey between Indonesia’s popular places Bandung and Jakarta is extremely high. The Cikurutug bridge does not have any enclosures on either side, which makes it extremely dangerous.

3. Aso Minami Route, Japan

Aso Minami Route, Japan

Passing through an active volcanic area, the Aso Minami route is considered one of the dangerous railway tracks in the world. It connects Takamori to Tateno station in Minamiaso and crosses Mount Aso, the biggest active volcano in Japan. In addition, the train passes through the high fragile iron bridge, which is narrow and unfenced, and one wrong move of the driver can take passengers downhill.

What makes the Aso Minami Route dangerous?

As the train passes through the volcanic area Kumamoto, the volcanic eruption is unpredictable and can erupt at any time. It has burnt many beautiful places in the region, which makes it more frightening. Also, one might see burnt lava close to the tracks of this death railway.

4. Georgetown Loop Railroad, Colorado, USA

Georgetown Loop Railroad, Colorado, USA

An engineering marvel and an amazing railway track of the world, Georgetown Loop Railroad was built to access the silver mines in the late 19th-century. It is a 3 feet narrow gauge located in the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County. The rail covers the distance between Georgetown and Silver Plume with scenic views of the valley.

What makes the Georgetown Loop Railroad dangerous?

The 100 feet tall Devil’s Gate High Bridge falls on this route and strong winds from the front and sides of the rail make it a nerve-wracking journey for the passengers.

5. White Pass and Yukon Route, Alaska, USA

White Pass and Yukon Route, Alaska, USA

White Pass and Yukon Route let all the adventure seekers get the best train experience. It was built in 1898 at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush and has no direct connection to any other rail-head. Among the world’s most dangerous train routes, its 3 feet narrow-gauge railroad connects the port of Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon.

What makes the White Pass and Yukon Route dangerous?

The 3,000-foot climb up the mountains makes the White Pass and Yukon Route dangerous. Moreover, it was once used as a route for miners to reach the gold-rich Yukon for which they covered 3000 feet in less than 32 km.

6. Tren a las Nubes, Argentina

Tren a las Nubes-Argentina

As fancy as the name sounds, the train route is even more treacherous. Tren a las Nubes is a 217 km long stretch connecting Salta, Argentina and Polvorillo, Chile. It was initiated in 1921 and took 27 years to complete. It came into operation in 1948 and was among the unique railways in Argentina that passed through the highest mountains and the deepest canyons.

What makes the Tren a las Nubes dangerous?

The zigzag tracks passing through 21 tunnels on 13 formidable bridges make Tren a las Nubes one of the world’s most daring railway lines. Also, this rail journey takes 16 hours to complete which is insane considering it is among the dangerous train routes of the world.

7. Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Australia

Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Australia 

Kuranda Scenic Railroad is among this list of top most dangerous train routes in the world but is incredibly beautiful. Along with water splashing over from the close contact with the waterfalls, this train also passes through the Barron Gorge National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 37 km long stretch was built in the 19th century and takes nearly two hours to cover the distance.

What makes the Kuranda Scenic Railroad dangerous?

This long railway route of 15 tunnels, 93 hairpin bends crossing over 40 bridges, makes Kuranda Scenic Railroad a scary ride. Also, it passes near whirling cliffs and powerful waterfalls, forcing the train to move slowly.

8. Devil’s Nose Train, Ecuador

The Devil's Nose Train Ride

Also known as Nariz del Diablo, Nose of the Devil Ecuador is located at 9000 feet above sea level and is perhaps one of the scariest train rides in the world. Initiated in 1872, its construction took a long time to finish. Finally built-in 1905, it connected parts of the northern coast to Quito and continues to Cuenca. Also, its 12 km long stretch makes it one of the most impressive train experiences in Ecuador.

What makes the Devil’s Nose Train dangerous?

The name Devil’s Nose Train is given for a particular reason. At the time of its construction, the track was plagued by heavy rainfall, poisonous snakes, malaria, jaguars, frequent seismic activity, yellow fever, and dysentery, which delayed its progress.

9. The Death Railway, Thailand

The Death Railway, Thailand

Burma Railway, the Siam-Burma Railway, Thai-Burma Railway, whatever you want to call it, the Death Railway of Thailand is a 415 km long route that connects Ban Pong in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Burma. It makes its way through wild jungles and dangerous mountains, and among these, is the most famous division is the Bridge on the River Kwai.

What makes the Death Railway dangerous?

The Death Railway was used to supply troops and weapons in the Burma campaign of World War II. Moreover, during the construction of this rail route, a lot of Prisoners of War (POWs) lost their precious lives during WWII; hence, the name.

10. Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train, South Africa

Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train, South Africa 

Initiated in 1907, Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train was considered the world’s most extreme railway but later, it became much safer for travelers. A 3-hour journey across a 67 km long stretch, Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train ran between George and Knysna. Riding on this train impressed a lot of passengers but was somewhat risky across several parts of the Indian Ocean. However, this train ended its operation in June 2009.

What makes the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train dangerous?

The fact that it literally hangs on the Indian Ocean makes it one of the world’s most dangerous rail journeys.

Trains are a beautiful creation of mankind but riding on any of the above is just mind-boggling. “Life is a train, get on board” seems cool on captions but not while traveling on the most dangerous train routes in the world. Right? For frequent train travelers putting on Instagram captions “Forever Catching Trains”, we dare you to catch any of these ones. Choo Choo!

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