A railway journey is a unique kind of journey. Drift through the past as you make your way through old towns, tunnels, forests, and the endless countryside. The train has watched everything around it change and grow, yet the tracks remain the same, just as they did decades ago. You may say that the surroundings stay still as the train moves ahead, but is it not the other way around? Trains pass by, as the times pass on. It is the duality of now and then. A train journey is a scenic adventure, as well as a simple and trusted form of transport. From people to lumber, the train carries all. Even as the modern trains approach hundreds of miles an hour, the novelty of rail transport will always remain.
You may opt for a cross country sleeper cab journey from one end to the other in the United States. You will witness plenty of diverse lands along the way. Similar long journeys can be found all across other continents and the views are always breathtaking. Trains move at a steady, not too fast pace. Try something faster and make the connection from city to city within mere hours or less. Their fast trains are making their world debut within the last several decades. Fewer places support highspeed TGV, bullet trains, and maglevs, but that is changing quickly. Better yet, hop on the subway found under many large cities around the globe. This is a unique experience all in itself, though you won’t have much to look at until you reach the station. What a sight it will be, as every station is a work of art in some of these subway systems. Be prepared for unusual and complex sounds as you make your way through the tunnels. You can even hop on light rails or trams that crawl through the busy city streets. Immerse yourself in the liveliness of crowded main street. Of course don’t forget the cable cars through the mountainous terrain!
Maybe you will make your way through the narrowest cutout path through the woods. Maybe you will be on the longest stretch of desert that you have ever seen. You might end up on a tall bridge weaving through the mountains. You may even be traversing the coast as the train tracks will be right near the edge of the water. Your trip might end up being in a winter wonderland as you pace yourself through the tundra. There are many themes to the ultimate railway journey.
As the train rocks back and forth and as the wheels scrape against the metal tracks, you are well on your way. Usually, you will have a starting point, and an end point. City to city is the usual plan. You may live in the modern city, and probably travel to a similar modern one. These tracks go through large train stations and past tall high-rises. You will pass everything from traffic to graffiti. Along the way, you will encounter many small towns. Some of these towns never changed. Some of these towns stood still as time passed them. These are the same towns that saw the first arrival of the railroads. There is so much to see as you pass by. Old ghost towns, abandoned hillside mines, and overgrown villages in the woods. There is no shortage of hidden treasures.
Before your adventure begins, you have to choose what type of train you are interested in. How about Amtrack to explore the USA? What about the Russian Elektrichka to traverse the Eastern Bloc? Fly through Japan on the bullet train. Quickly commute across Spain, Germany, and of course, France, via the TGV. Relax in the ultimate comfort of the Maharajas Express. Fly into the air, figuratively, as the Peruvian Central Railway takes your higher than ever. The choices are limitless, just like the destinations.
The world moves on rails, and everyone has a destination. Although sometimes it’s okay not to have any at all. Its ok to get yourself a ticket and just go where the heart wants. Look up and down those tracks, they look endless. After all, train tracks really never end, because they are coupled together. The journey is for life, and it is unforgettable.