World’s Best Scenic Train Trips in Winters

“Winter is not a season. It is cheer and celebration, for every good reason.”-Tusharika

Winter is around the corner and so is holiday time. Ring into the season with festivities, celebrations, and enthusiasm. Beautiful places become more stunning once winter rolls around. And the keen traveler in you yearns to enjoy the winter charm. How do you make the most of a winter trip? Visit the destination of your bucket list and have fun? But there are times when the journey is more beautiful than the destination itself. So, how about satiating your wanderlust with a train journey? Enjoy panoramic views through the large train window while sipping on hot cocoa.

So, we bring you the world’s best scenic train trips in winters across the world. Soak in the visual delight of lovely landscapes, snowy-misty mountains, glass-like rivers, and white vistas. Here goes the countdown of these scenic train journeys –

10. The Flam Railway, Norway

An incredible town, Flam is renowned for its breathtaking fjord landscapes during winter. The journey on Flam Railway is one of the most scenic rides in the world, which takes you from the high mountains and to fjords. This trip takes you through one of the steepest rail routes of Europe. In winters, the route is covered with a blanket of snow that transforms Flam into a winter wonderland.

Best Time: November to March

Train Route: Flam – Myrdal – Flam

Distance Covered: 20 km

Travel Time: 1 hour (approx.)

9. West Highland Line, Scotland

A journey from the Scottish Highlands to Central Scotland is among the most scenic train rides in the world. This journey through miles of thick snow and mountainscapes. Stay watchful as you never know when you will spot a red deer. Highlights of the train journey include Glenfinnan Viaduct, mighty Ben Lui, and steep-sided Monessie Gorge.

Best Time: December to February

Train Route:

Route 1: Glasgow – Dalmuir – Dumbarton Central – Helensburgh Upper – Garelochead – Arrochar and Tarbet – Ardlui – Crianlarich – Tyndrum – Dalmally – Loch Awe – Taynuilt – Connel Ferry – Oban

Distance Covered: 96 km

Travel Time: Glasgow to Oban – 3 hours, 20 minutes (approx.)

Route 2: Glasgow – Dalmuir – Dumbarton Central – Helensburgh Upper – Garelochead – Arrochar and Tarbet – Ardlui – Crianlarich – Tyndrum – Bridge of Orchy -Rannoch – Corrour – Tolluch – Roy Bridge – Spean Bridge – Fort William – Banavie – Corpach – Loch Eil – Glenfinnan –Arisaig – Morar – Mallaig

Distance Covered: 150 km

Travel Time Glasgow to Mallaig – 5 hours, 30 minutes (approx.)

8. Semmering Railway, Austria

Starting at Gloggnitz and leading over the Semmering to Mürzzuschlag, Semmering Railway is considered as one of the greatest feats of civil engineering. Built over 41 km of high mountains, crossing over 16 viaducts and passing through 15 tunnels, Semmering Bahn is renowned for winter sports. The train ride offers the most awe-inspiring views of the snow-clad Austrian Alps. This is the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage-listed railway.

Best Time: November to March

Train Route: Gloggnitz – Semmering – Mürzzuschlag

Distance Covered: 41 km

Travel Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (approx.)

7. Aurora Winter Train, Alaska

One of the most amazing trains, Aurora Winter Train is a seasonal train and runs only in winters. Rolling through the deep winter wildness in Alaska brings you spectacular scenery. The train ride offers enchanting views of Alaska’s backcountry. Large windows reward you with breathtaking views of Mount Denali (America’s tallest peak) and the sight of a moose in the wild.

Best Time: Mid-September to Mid-May

Train Route: Anchorage – Wasilla – Talkeetna – Hurricane Flagstop Area – Healy – Nenana – Fairbanks

Distance Covered: 570 km

Travel Time: 12 hours (approx.)

6. Bernina Express, Switzerland

Bernina Express takes you through the incredible landscapes and offers unobstructed views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and frozen brooks. For most of its journey, it runs along the Albula Line and Bernina Line, which were jointly declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During the journey, the train travels across 196 bridges, through 55 tunnels, and across the Bernina Pass, is one of the most amazing train trips in winter.

Best Time: December to February

Train Route: Chur – Pontresina – Tirano

Distance Covered: 122 km

Travel Time: 4 hours (approx.)

5. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, USA

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a heritage railroad, which is among the top scenic train trips in winters. There are a variety of trips and special event trains running on this route. Polar Express is one such seasonal train, which offers a memorable experience. This train departs from Bryson City (North Carolina) and the ride offers scenic excursions through the mountains along the rivers, across valleys, and through tunnels. It takes you through snowy terrains and the ride ends at the North Pole. The mesmerizing view of the snow-packed mountains adds charm to the train ride. Passengers can enjoy warm cocoa and cookies while reliving the magical story of ‘Polar Express’.

Best Time: Mid-November – December

Train Route: Bryson City – North Pole – Bryson City (Polar Express)

Distance Covered: 122 km

Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.) – round trip

4. Canadian Rockies Rail Journey, Canada and Alaska

A joy ride with the Canadian Rockies train and experiencing stunning vistas of verdant valleys, lush rainforest, and deep canyons is another level of adventure. During this railroad adventure, you will get an opportunity to marvel at some of the most dramatic scenery and experience the best of the Canadian wilderness in winters. Twist and turns of the Canadian Rockies offer an enchanting view of the snow-covered trees, panoramic views of the towering mountains, and the breathtaking landscapes at every turn.

Best Time: MidApril – Mid-October

Train Route:

Route 1: Vancouver – Kamloops – Banff

Distance Covered: 900 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 2 days

Route 2: Vancouver – Kamloops – Jasper

Distance Covered: 800 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 2 days

Route 3: Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper

Distance Covered: 1,100 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 3 days

See More:

Classic Rail Journeys in the World

3. Trans-Siberian Express, Russia

Stretching over 9,000 km from Moscow to Vladivostok, Trans-Siberian Railway is just not any other rail journey. Traveling on the world’s longest train route is surely not for the faint-hearted, but Russian winters are worth experiencing. The train passes through 87 towns and cities, and crosses 16 major rivers. It brings you an opportunity to experience the beauty of winters – streets full of snowbanks, frozen lakes, snow-capped mountains, and the fairyland beauty of Russia and Siberia. Milky-white snow glitters outside and piled up on vehicles, houses, and it covers everyone and everything. View from the window of the Trans-Siberian Railway will leave you captivated and hypnotized by its breathtaking beauty.

Best Time: November to March

Train Route: Moscow – N. Novgorod – Perm – Yekaterinburg – Omsk – Novosibirsk – Krasnoyarsk – Irkutsk – Ulan-Ude – Chita – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok

Distance Covered: 9,288 km

Travel Time: 7 days

2. Maharaja Express, India

One of the most lavish trains in the world, Maharaja Express is among the world’s best scenic train trips in winters. The large windows allow you to delight in the enchanting beauty of India. During the trip, you will get an opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and several other architectural marvels.

Best Time: October to April

Train Route:

Route 1: The Indian Splendour (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai)

Distance Covered: 2,700 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 7 days tour

Route 2: The Heritage of India (Mumbai – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra and Delhi)

Distance Covered: 2,800 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 7 days tour

Route 3: The Indian Panorama (Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Orchha and Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi)

Distance Covered: 2,300 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 7 days tour

Route 4: Treasure of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi)

Distance Covered: 900 km (approx.)

Travel Time: 4 days tour

1. Glacier Express, Switzerland

Glacier Express makes it to the top of the list!

To travel in a Glacier Express is a journey of a lifetime. Connecting two major mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz in the central Swiss Alps, the Glacier Express route is one of the most spectacular in the world. The train takes you through the picture-perfect hamlets, high terrains, and alpine meadows. It is among the world’s best scenic train trips in winter. During a day-long trip, the train goes over staggering 91 tunnels and 291 bridges while offering breathtaking views of the snow-carpeted route.

Best Time: December to February

Train Route: Zermatt – Brig – Andermatt – Disentis – Chur – Filisur – Davos Platz – St. Moritz

Distance Covered: 290 km

Travel Time: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Snowy, cold, and crisp winters are amazing to think about. But when the chilly wind hits an arrow in your ear or numbs your toes, fun vanishes. However, the scenic delight that it brings can’t be ignored. Enjoy the winter-kissed views by going on a train journey. With some of the best winter train journeys in the world above, enrich your travel stories. So, curl up on your berth, throw a blanket over your shoulders, and admire the scenic charm from the window. What’s your favorite train journey?

Interested in more names? Check out our article on Top 20 Luxury Train Journeys in the World.

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A travel enthusiast and emerging from an engineering background Tusharika is a travel writer by profession. Go through her penned down travel experiences on

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