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Train travel is back. That’s because trains were — and are —about the journey being as important and exciting as the destination. Here are our favorite five from around the world.

Train travel is back. That’s because trains were — and are —about the journey being as important and exciting as the destination. Here are our favorite five from around the world.

» Rovos Rail
www.rovos.com
These beautifully restored, classic steam trains are billed as the most luxurious in the world — and few would argue this claim. A maximum of 72 passengers are whisked across South Africa’s plains, mountains and grasslands in grandeur which seems to belong to another age. All compartments have their own en-suite bathroom, telephone, television and air-conditioning. Plus, professionally trained butlers are on call 24 hours a day. The 19-day “African Collage” trip from Pretoria to Cape Town costs upwards of $6,000, but it may well be the most sublime way to travel yet devised by humans.

» Venice Simplon Orient-Express
www.orient-express.com
The Orient-Express has become a byword for unparalleled locomotive romance. And, assuming you have reasonably deep pockets (with about $4,000 in them) it will absolutely not let you down. Everything from the cutlery to the waiters screams quality. Destinations include London, Venice, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Budapest — a checklist of pretty much every romantic city in Europe.

» Palace on Wheels
www.palaceonwheels.net
The Palace on Wheels is another self-conscious blast from the past where handsomely dressed attendants graciously serve delicious food as you trundle across the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Book the seven-day tour out of New Delhi, through Jaipur, for an “elephant welcome” lunch at the Lake Palace in Udaipur and a camel safari near Jaisalmer. It finishes at Agra and the Taj Mahal.

»Glacier Express
www.glacierexpress.ch
The beauty of this trip between Zermatt and St. Moritz, Switzerland, will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The train rises and plummets nearly 5,000 feet, crosses 291 bridges, travels through 91 tunnels and precariously traverses the 6,700-foot Oberalp Pass. All this and one of the most luxurious dining cars in the world.

» Trans-Siberian Railway
www.expresstorussia.com
This is neither the most glamorous nor the most luxurious journey, but it is the daddy of them all. Construction of the Trans-Siberian was overseen by three Tzars and many more Soviet leaders. Riding from Vladivostok across Siberia to Moscow and St. Petersburg in 19 days — you know you are sitting amid real history.

 
 
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