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You Can Take Virtual Train Rides Around The World

You Can Take Virtual Train Rides Around The World

Watching the world go by during a long train journey is one of life's simple pleasures.

Sadly, lockdown's travel restrictions mean we won't be taking an IRL train trip for a while, but the good news is that you can enjoy one from the comfort of your armchair.

Yep, when it comes to full length, immersive videos of train journeys, YouTube is a treasure trove.

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Generally, the videos have been uploaded by bloggers and train enthusiasts who have lovingly documented their entire journey.

In an instant, you can be whizzing past Sri Lanka's lush green paddy fields and tea plantations, or chugging your way through the craggy mountain ranges of Colorado.

YouTube is a treasure trove of immersive virtual train journeys from all over the world (Credit: Unsplash)
YouTube is a treasure trove of immersive virtual train journeys from all over the world (Credit: Unsplash)

Is it a bit, well, nerdy? Maybe, but who cares? The footage is often jaw-droppingly beautiful and strangely calming.

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We recommend using earphones for the full immersive experience.

Here are five of our favourite digitised train journeys.

Badulla to Nanu Oya, Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is a world-leading destination for scenic train travel and this 2 hour, 15 minute journey from Badulla to Nanu Oya is one of the country's most breath-taking routes.

Journey on rattling wooden carriages to climb high into rolling tea country and through stretches of dense forest.

Sri Lanka is a world-leading destination for scenic train travel (Credit: YouTube)
Sri Lanka is a world-leading destination for scenic train travel (Credit: YouTube)

Tall grasses and bobbing palms fronds sweep the sides of the train as it weaves its way along precarious ridges. The video is genuinely hypnotic, we could practically feel the balmy heat through the screen.

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Bergen to Oslo, Norway

This one's a biggie, with a 7.5 hour time commitment! You could always tune in for part of the route, though.

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The scenic train ride begins in Bergen on the Norwegian west coast, crossing the mountains to the capital of Oslo.

Journey from Bergen on the Norwegian west coast across the mountains to capital Oslo (Credit: YouTube)
Journey from Bergen on the Norwegian west coast across the mountains to capital Oslo (Credit: YouTube)
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Along the way, you'll travel through Voss, Myrdal, Geilo and Ål, drinking in crystal clear lakes and wooden mountains, quaint houses and ice-blue skies. Oh-so-soothing.

Royal Gorge Route, Colorado

Or how about this driver's eye view of the Colorado's famed Royal Gorge Route Railroad, a heritage railroad located in Cañon City.

The 2-hour scenic train ride is the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.

This 2-hour scenic train ride is the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (Credit: YouTube)
This 2-hour scenic train ride is the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (Credit: YouTube)

Journey through the craggy ranges and rust-red earth of the rockies, following the winding route of the Arkansas River, soaking up the soaring 1,000-foot granite cliffs.

In places the canyon is only thirty feet wide, requiring the railway to be suspended above the river on an engineering masterpiece known as the 'hanging bridge'. Yikes!

Wengernalp Railway, Switzerland

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, the modern electric Wengernalp Railway travels from Lauterbrunnen on a stunning trip to Kleine Scheidegg.

Pass pine forests jutting against azure skies, idyllic villages, deep valleys and snowy panoramas of mountain ranges.

In Switzerland, the modern electric Wengernalp Railway travels from Lauterbrunnen on a stunning trip to Kleine Scheidegg (Credit: YouTube)
In Switzerland, the modern electric Wengernalp Railway travels from Lauterbrunnen on a stunning trip to Kleine Scheidegg (Credit: YouTube)

Sound of Music-worthy stuff, for sure - and a speedy half-hour journey time.

Express Line, New York

Or how about a trip to the Big Apple? After all, city train routes have their own urban beauty too.

This cab-view will have you feeling like a New York commuter, making your way on the 7 Express Line from Queens through to Manhattan.

With underground and overground segments, the journey flits between shadowy tunnels and sky scrapers looming against the skyline.

Happy (virtual) train travels, people!

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: lockdown, Life, travel

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Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.