Launched in 2016, a new range of European rail journeys by Travelmarvel have been released, featuring famous trains and epic rail networks operating throughout Europe. From fantastic heritage railways to futuristic high-speed trains zipping from city to city, your experience will be so much more than your average train ride.
Known as the world’s slowest express, this bright red train meanders through the hypnotic landscapes of the Swiss Alps, travelling between glamorous St Moritz and car-free Zermatt. There is a good reason for the leisurely chug of the Glacier Express: it must navigate 91 tunnels, 291 bridges and the 2,000-metre-high Oberalp Pass. Skylights and panoramic windows frame the rugged splendour of the Alps – craggy peaks, forested mountainsides and lush meadows make the picture nothing but perfect. In 2016 you can experience a 12 day journey starting in London and travelling aboard the Glacier Express through Switzerland, or how about the 14 Day Grand Alpine Explorer rail journey from Munich to Zurich!
The original Orient Express became the hallmark for Art Deco elegance. When the railway first opened in 1883, the world changed forever. Today, it still embodies the grandeur of the golden age of travel in Europe, everything from the familiar train whistle to the uniformed, white-gloved attendants helping on the platform. Whether you’re a fan of Agatha Christie or James Bond, or simply drawn to the dazzling yesteryear of the 1920s and 30s, this legendary journey is sure to capture your imagination.
Defined by rushing waterfalls, deep ravines and mountain farms clinging to the slopes, the Flam Railway is a little line that bravely traverses some of Norway’s most remote scenery. Not only is it one of the world’s steepest railways, it’s also one of the boldest examples of engineering in Norwegian railway history. Tunnels twist and swirl in and out of the mountains as you’re whisked through the Flam Valley via the largest fjord in Europe, the Sognefjord.
If you’ve always dreamed of reaching great heights, Switzerland’s Jungfrau Railway is your ticket to achieving this goal. This popular cogwheel line takes train-goers to the Jungfraujoch – Europe’s highest railway station.
Mount Etna is the commanding presence of Sicily’s skyline. Running a 110-kilometre circle around the volcano’s base is the charming Circumetnea train, a narrow-gauge railway once used by farmers to reach their land further afar. Otherworldly lava fields make for a truly exhilarating ride.
West Highland Line
It was on the train from Manchester to London when J.K. Rowling first imagined the magical world of Harry Potter. Her famous Hogwarts Express would later be captured on film as part of Scotland’s wonderful West Highland Line, with the Jacobite Steam Train as its star. Known as the ‘Iron Road to the Isles’, this route doesn’t leave from Platform 9 3/4, but from Glasgow, making its ascent through highland valleys, past romantic glens and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
Completed in 1897, the historic Kyle Line was an expensive feat for its time. The final leg between Stromeferry and Kyle of Lochalsh required 31 cuttings and 29 tunnels, all carved out of solid rock. The result? A striking railway taking you from Scotland’s east to west, descending to the unwrinkled waters of Loch Carron.
High-Speed Rail Networks
Europe is big, really big. You can relax knowing this continent is well-connected by a stunningly efficient rail network. The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) and InterCityExpress or ICE trains can only be described in one word: fast. These networks have revolutionised rail travel, with stylish, comfortable and aerodynamic trains criss-crossing all throughout Europe.