Train travel around the world

The Ghan Train

Train travel is fast, convenient, and usually cheaper than flying. As an added benefit, you get to see the beautiful countryside you're traveling though, and don't have to deal with airport security. Or that horrible airplane food. Here's a rundown of the most important rail systems of the world and how to book.

North America

Shinkansen bullet train in front of Mt Fuji, Japan

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Eurail has the most extensive, but occasionally costly, network. Every European country also has its own rail network or special discount tickets.

Note that in some countries, especially Italy and Spain, shorter train journeys tend to be cheaper when bought on the day of travel rather in advance over the website.

Europe by country

Shinkansen bullet train in front of Mt Fuji, Japan

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Chinese train travelFind timetables and buy tickets viaHyperdia; or get a prepaid railpass for Japan from Japan Railpass (official reseller), or Japan Railpass (official site)

The Seishun 18 Ticket (青春18きっぷ Seishun jūhachi kippu) is a discount rail ticket offered by Japan's JR network. When available (three times a year), it is easily the cheapest way to get around Japan, costing only ¥11,850 for five days of unlimited travel. If you need more travel days, buy a Japan Railpass from the links above.

The Ghan Train

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More information

A phenomenal resource for train and sea based travel is Seat61. It's the big daddy of rail travel information sites, and I highly recommend that you visit it.

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Rail fare deals

If you're looking for deals and offers on train fares in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, the U.S.A., or China, click over to ACP Rail.

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Eco-friendly travel

Trains are much more eco-friendly than flying, taking the car, or even travelling by bus. You can travel at least 7 times as far per ton of CO2 as on a full airplane. And if the train is electric rather than diesel, that rises to an enormous 73 times as far!

So please consider taking the train, and help save the environment for all of us.

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Last updated by on in Travel.

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Thank you, that section has been refreshed.

Jack on 23 January, 2017

Great list! Unfortunately, the link for Japan Railways is not valid anymore. You can read about them now in

Carlos Ponce on 23 January, 2017

I love train travel and have been on numerous train ride in the world and you are right the best part of train travel is no airport security or massive check points and you get to see the country side you never get to see if you fly. Love the article and the resources you have given for anyone who loves to take the train and leave the car behind.

Marc on 03 January, 2016

Great resources for rail travel! A great addition to that list would be ACP Rail International.

ACP Rail on 12 April, 2010


Exactly true, ya train journey offers you a enjoyable company with the neighbors.. and travelling is a part of your vaction enjoyment. It doesnt make sence going to a destination on this mornings flight and returining on the late nights filght. Infact you can carry lots of eatible and spend time with your family that make it a complete vacation.

Lets Go on 11 September, 2008



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