Ditch Adventure Parks And Dare To Take These Hair-Raising Train Journeys Across The World Instead

Photo of Ditch Adventure Parks And Dare To Take These Hair-Raising Train Journeys Across The World Instead 1/1 by Shipra Shekhar
Photo by Josh Nezon

You know that exhilarating ride you once took in an adventure park? The one that gives you the chills whenever you think about it. Well, you will forget about it when you take an extreme train journey that chugs through dense forests, deserts and steep valleys, barely missing waterfalls and you cannot beat the one that runs on the foothill of an active volcano!

Here are some of the most thrilling and daring train adventures you can plan for yourself instead of a trip to an adventure park:

Touch the clouds when you take this exciting train journey in Argentina

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Tren a las Nubes, Salta, Salta Province, Argentina by Shipra Shekhar

The Tren a las Nubes, that translates to "train to the clouds" is a heritage train service that connects Salta in the Argentine northwest with La Polvorilla on the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range over 4,220m (13,850ft) above mean sea level. It began services in the year 1948 and is one of the highest railways in the world. The train journey comes with a dining and bar carriage and has a capacity of 170 passengers. There are several stops along the way and some of them have markets selling artisan goods and locals offering regional cuisine. It departs from Salta every Saturday at 7.05am, and returns around midnight.

What makes this train journey the adventure of a lifetime?

On this impressive train ride, you will pass through 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, two spirals and two zigzags. You will get a glimpse of the surreal Lerma Valley, colourful Quebrada del Toro, Tastil ruins and San Antonio de los Cobres before reaching an unbelievable viaduct spanning a desert canyon at La Polvorilla.

Fare: $185/₹11,840 for an adult and $138/₹8,832 for a child

Book your tickets here.

Feel the thrill of being part of the Gold Rush when you take this glorious train ride in Canada

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of White Pass & Yukon Route, 2nd, Skagway, AK, United States by Shipra Shekhar

This 110 mile-long White Pass and Yukon Route was born as the result of the Klondike Gold Rush, when about 100,000 gold seekers migrated to the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1896 and 1899. It connects Skagway in Alaska and Whitehorse in Yukon Territory, Canada. It was opened in the year 1900, but closed in 1982 following the collapse of the mining industry. In the year 1988, it was reopened as a heritage railway for tourists.

What makes this train journey the adventure of a lifetime?

On this thrilling train journey, you will enjoy the steep gradients, cliff-hanging turns and the dramatic backdrop of mountains, glaciers and breathtaking waterfalls. The rail route ascends up as high as 3,000ft in 20 miles and also includes two tunnels. You will cross the 110ft-long cantilevered Captain William Moore Bridge that was built in 1901 on this journey.

Fare: $122/₹7,808 adult and $61/₹3,904 child

Book your tickets here.

Live life on the edge when you take this gnarly train ride in India

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Pamban Bridge, Pamban, Tamil Nadu, India by Shipra Shekhar

This 2.345km long bridge is a part of the railway route that connects the city of Chennai to the pilgrimage town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island in south India. Built in the year 1914 over the Indian Ocean, it took close to 14 years to be completed, and is India's first cantilever bridge. It was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in the year 2010. Around 143 concrete piers support the bridge, but strong ocean currents and cyclones often pose a serious threat to both the bridge and train.

What makes this train ride the adventure of a lifetime?

On this journey, the train will cross the one-of-a kind Pamban Bridge which opens up in the centre to allow the movement of ships and ferries. The train tracks are located without any buffer, just a few metres above the ocean. If you never thought a train can make you seasick, let this journey surprise you.

Fares: ₹350 to ₹2,500

Find more information and to book tickets, click here.

Hear your heartbeat quicken as you take this scenic train journey above the wilderness in Myanmar

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Gokhteik, Shan, Myanmar (Burma) by Shipra Shekhar

The Goteik Viaduct opened in the year 1900 and is a railway trestle between the two towns of Pyin Oo Lwin and Lashio in the beautiful country of Myanmar. It is the highest bridge in Myanmar and the largest railway trestle in the world. The bridge is located about 100km northeast of Mandalay. Some sources estimate the height of the bridge to be 820ft and due to technical and natural conditions, Goteik viaduct is considered a masterpiece by world standards.

What makes this train ride the adventure of a lifetime?

This is not a luxury train ride. You will be travelling in a train that will sometimes sway from side to side. Though this is not very far from how most railway passengers travel in India, but of course it is not the same experience. The train will climb up a steep gradient, so don't be surprised if your train starts going in reverse suddenly. No safety instruction will stop you from taking your head out of the train window to experience the man-made feat of Goteik viaduct as your train passes over it.

Fares: $2-4/₹128 to 256

Book tickets here.

Get a glimpse of an active volcano when you take this stunning train ride in Japan

Source: Youtube

Photo of Takamori, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan by Shipra Shekhar

The Takamori Line is the Japanese railway line that passes through the region of Kumamoto, connecting Takamori to Tateno Station in Minamiaso. The line was opened in 1928, runs next to the foothills of the Mount Aso volcano and visitors might witness an eruption at any time, making it Japan's most dangerous train journey. The Minamiaso Railway Takamori Line has a station with the longest name in Japan called Minamiaso Mizu-no-Umareru-Sato Hakusui-Kōgen Station.

What makes this train ride the adventure of a lifetime?

On this adventurous journey, the train will cross the southern part of Mount Aso, which is the nation's biggest active volcano and is one of the largest in the world. You can see hot lava burning in the forest close to the tracks and during fall season, steam can be seen rising from the volcano.

Fares: ¥2130-4000/₹1,241-2,331

Find more information here.

Forget every waterpark adventure when you take this wondrous train ride through waterfalls in Australia

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Cairns station, Bunda Street, Cairns City, Queensland, Australia by Shipra Shekhar

This scenic railway line that runs from Cairns, Queensland, Australia, to the nearby town of Kuranda, passes through the dense tropical rainforest of the World Heritage-listed Barron Gorge National Park and the Macalister Range. Kuranda Scenic Railroad is an engineering feat of enormous magnitude and was completed in the year 1891. It passes through 15 handmade tunnels, 93 curves, and more than 40 bridges during its one hour and 55 minute one-way journey.

What makes this train ride the adventure of a lifetime?

This wild train ride will take you through the dense tropical forest and the tracks sometimes run a few meters away from gorgeous waterfalls, so be ready to get wet when this happens. The train has a stop at a lookout spot from where passengers can enjoy sweeping view of Barron Falls.

Fares: $112-148/₹7,170-9,475

Book tickets here.

Have you experienced any such extreme train journeys in your life? Share your story and help our community of 25+ million travellers plan their adventure.

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