I recently took a ride on Rhätische Bahn in Graubünden, Switzerland and was the best choice.
The views from a train are mesmerizing and completely different from what you can see from your car or bus. You can truly take in the scenery and enjoy every moment of your trip without being worried about driving, navigating and being stuck in traffic. They can take you to places, corners, heights that you might not be able to reach otherwise. Travelling by train really adds to your journey!
Everybody can find the right fit to their itinerary, the services they need and the budget they have. Thankfully there is a large variety already in many countries and continents.
Where the service is not available, communities and businesses are encouraged to put pressure on local policy makers to work on a solution. It is also true that hygiene, punctuality, scheduling and overall quality largely varies all around the world, some areas and train companies are really in need of serious change and uplift. The demand is there due to many reasons, not just for tourism, but for local use as well. Therefore I believe more attention and action is needed to make travel by train more affordable, comfortable and available for a growing audience.
There are incredible train itineraries and journeys around the globe, which is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of. Some views around the globe might only be appreciated and enjoyed the most from the seat of a local train. Think about the glacier express rides in Switzerland or in Alaska; the ride through the Canadian Rockies; the journey crossing Australia from Adelaide to Darwin; a ride covering South Africa’s diverse landscapes, history and culture; a windy way up to Macchu Picchu; a glamourous experience to travel through the heart of Europe on a luxury train from Venice to London; the discovery of Lake Baikal and the endless steppe of magnificent Russia. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the variety of options available. Practically you can travel any and all continent on a remarkable train ride offering unparalleled experiences.
It is also tour operators and tour product developers’ responsibility to research and co-operate with train companies and include local or foreign train programs in their portfolio. The more attention, encouragement and acklowledgement this form of travel gets, the more people will be intrigued, curious to try, and the greater impact it will make. There is enourmous additional value it brings also to local service providers, simply because you can easily package the train trip with additional transfers, accomodation, excursions, culinary experiences, combination programs with other land or sea offers. The more precisely you work out the details in your program proposals, the better value you provide to your customers and partners – and consequently to your business as well.
An exticing, comfortable and conscious alternative all travellers and tour operators should consider and should encourage their clients to try. It is not only the unique experience, but also your contribution to making travel more sustainable that will complement your ride.