Slow Travel Scenic Railway Journey

‘Slow Travel’ and the Joy of Journeying by Train

Jessica Morris, Creative Copywriter

Jessica Morris

As Creative Copywriter at Blue-Roads Touring, Jess is lucky enough to combine her love of words and passion for travel on a daily basis. An unapologetic history buff, nature enthusiast and foodie, her favourite destinations are those that offer a wealth of diverse cultural experiences.

19th February 2020

‘Slow Travel’ and the Joy of Journeying by Train

You may have heard of the ‘slow travel’ trend that’s emerged over recent years – the notion that the best holidays are often as much about the journey as the destination, and that slowing the pace and savouring every moment is key to connecting with each stop on your route.

Here at Blue-Roads Touring, we couldn’t agree more. Whether in Europe, the USA or Asia, our itineraries are meticulously planned to ensure our guests have plenty of time to take in their surroundings, to embrace the local culture and to enjoy the company of the people they’re travelling with – and in our opinion, nothing encapsulates the essence of ‘slow travel’ more so than a scenic train journey.

Read on to find out more about a handful of our favourite Blue-Roads Touring rail adventures around the globe…

The Black Forest Railway, Germany

Black Forest Railway

There’s no better way to get to the heart of South Germany’s mountainous Black Forest region than aboard a famed Black Forest Railway train. Home to the cuckoo clock, the stories of the Brothers Grimm, and of course, the decadent gateau, the Black Forest is just as charming as you’d expect; and as you wind your way past thick pine forests, dizzying rock faces and chocolate-box villages, you can’t fail to be struck by the region’s staggering, fairytale-like beauty.

Joining us on A Journey through Germany? On day 5 of your tour, you’ll travel the Black Forest Railway from Hausach to Sankt Georgen – admiring the area’s stunning scenery (and passing through a grand total of 37 tunnels) along the way.

The Bernina Express, Glacier Express and Mt Rigi Railway, Switzerland

The Bernina Express, Switzerland

Three scenic railway journeys reign supreme in Switzerland: the Bernina Express (part of which is so magnificent, it’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed), the Glacier Express (known as ‘the slowest express train in the world’) and the Mt Rigi cog railway: Europe’s first mountain railway. All three are famous for their iconic red carriages – not to mention the captivating natural beauty that can be found along each soul-stirring route.

Piqued your interest? Blue-Roads Touring offers two tours that include majestic Swiss rail journeys: Vistas of Italy and Switzerland and Mountains, Valleys and Lakes of Switzerland. The only question is, which will you choose?

The Mt Washington Cog Railway, USA

Mt Washington Cog Railway, USA

The first of its kind in the world, the Mt Washington Cog Railway has been carrying passengers to the top of New Hampshire’s highest peak since 1869. And today? It still offers the same exhilarating experience as ever – complete with charming steam locomotive, wonderful views over the White Mountain National Forest, and plenty of time to explore the summit. A three-hour round trip, this slow-moving train ride is a unique way to take in New England’s quintessential beauty.

You may be interested to know that Blue-Roads Touring offers two tours that include railway journeys to Mt Washington’s summit: Charming New England: Scenic Summer and Charming New England: Fall Foliage.

Flåm Railway, Norway

Flam Railway, Norway

Prepare to set your sights on some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Norway. From snow-capped peaks and bewitching valleys to birch forests, mountain lakes and thundering waterfalls, the Flåm Railway is the perfect vantage point from which to take in the dramatic, heart-stealing scenery only Norway can deliver. Weaving down from mountain to sea-level fjord, the route is filled with hairpin bends designed to make the most of the vistas on offer.

On our Norway: Fjords and Glaciers tour, you’ll board a train at the highest point on the railway, Myredal, and make the spectacular journey (which was recently named the ‘world’s most beautiful’) down to Flåm itself.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, USA

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, USA

A heritage railway that’s been in operation since as far back as 1882, the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad traverses a stretch of scenic wilderness that’s inaccessible by any other means of transport. Travelling along the very same historic tracks once used by the miners, cowboys and early settlers of the Old West, this is a truly unique train ride that offers a rare opportunity to see beautiful backcountry, soaring mountains and plunging canyons.

Want to take a step back in time to discover this nostalgic slice of Old West history? Our Stories of the Southwest tour features a two-night stay in Durango, plus tickets for this coal-fired, steam-powered train journey.

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Wales

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Wales

Romantic and timeless, a journey along the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways is one of the most awe-inspiring ways to experience the magical scenery of Wales’ Snowdonia National Park. Age-old oak forests, dramatic coastlines and towering mountains are just some of the wonders you’ll see unfolding outside your carriage window as you travel the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway by traditional, 150-year-old steam engine.

Interested in immersing yourself in the great Welsh outdoors? Our The Wonders of Wales tour features a Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways journey from Portmeirion to Pembrokeshire that’s sure to capture your imagination.

Bullet train, Japan

Bullet Train, Japan

A shining example of Japan’s trademark cutting-edge technology, the Shinkansen (colloquially known as ‘bullet train’ in English), is a type of high-speed train that’s admired around the world for its notoriously efficient service. Connecting distant parts of the country with Tokyo, the Shinkansen allows travellers to discover more of Japan’s islands conveniently and comfortably – and though it doesn’t necessarily fall under the banner of ‘slow travel’, it’s an unforgettable railway experience, all the same!>

Our two new Japan tours, Gardens of Japan and Highlights of Japan, feature several rail journeys by bullet train to help our guests explore the country in depth.

Feeling inspired by the ‘slow travel’ trend? Visit our How We Travel page to find out more about the Blue-Roads Touring touring experience.