Tales from Wanderlust Readers: Memorable Train Journeys

On the Via Rail Canadian on the first day, I woke up and looked out the window at what looked like Narnia, snowy trees and frozen lakes with beaver dams! My travel companions during the shoulder season were a mix of tourists and locals, a couple returning home from a season playing ice hockey, young people returning home to see family from college, a family moving to the west coast, grandparents going to see the family the slow way because they could and the musicians would take us if they entertained us in the lounge car. Somewhere between Calgary and Winnipeg, early in the morning, drinking tea in the observation car, I watched a family of coyotes play in the prairies at sunrise. The next day, of course, while getting changed, we stopped at a distant stop with my window in the direct gaze of a trucker waiting at the crossing while my top was off. , prairie dogs, bighorn sheep and that incredible sight as the Rocky Mountains loom over the prairie like they’re on steroids. The downside, stopping while 200 grain trains were passing because they had priority over the tracks. Several times. One day. I wouldn’t change a thing about this trip from Toronto to Vancouver. In fact, I would like to repeat it.

Kat Clifford, Bristol

We traveled on the Sri Lankan train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella and were lucky enough to be invited into the driver’s cabin (after running along the track to get into the cabin!) The view was stunning and the driver even let us whistle!! He even made us stick our heads out the windows to take pictures of each other but warned us about nearby vegetation or approaching bridges, it was a great experience and must be one of the nicest train journeys to the world and even more special to get the sight of the driver’s eyes too.

Carol BurgessWinchester

A train ride from Barrow in Furness to Whitehaven hardly sounds appealing, but what a revelation it turned out to be, especially once it started to hug the coast at Ravenglass. The western part of the Lake District tends to be overlooked/ignored by most visitors, it comes across as a deal but there’s no better way to experience it than taking this train. You will discover: magnificent views of the Irish Sea and the Solway Firth; on a clear day, the view of the Isle of Man, and also of Scotland, in the distance; the surreal experience of stopping at Sellafield, reputedly the most secure facility in England, with a golf course adjoining its perimeter fence; the slow and careful navigation of the promontory south of St Bees. A revelation.

Eamon Wright, Fleetwood

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