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3. Cusco to Machu Picchu

The Expedition train, which takes budget travellers from Cusco to Machu Picchu, used to be called The Backpacker, and despite the name change still has cheap tickets and extra rack room for bulky rucksacks.

The three-hour journey begins from Poroy in Cusco before winding 80km through the Sacred Valley, the Andean foothills, and then following the path of the Urubamba river to the 15th-century Inca site. Tickets from £40 one-way.

4. St Moritz to Zermatt

The Glacier Express is a giant misnomer if ever there was one.It’s not clear why the creators of this train, which is one of the slowest in the world, decided to give it such a zippy name.

At the glacial pace of 36kmph, this train takes nearly eight hours to cover 290km – but what a journey. 

The train rises and plummets nearly 1600m, through mountains, passing the Lake Lucerne and the glaciers of the Valais region. A one-way second-class ticket costs £120.

5. Seattle to Los Angeles

Travel in West Coast style from grungy Seattle to glamorous Los Angeles in the most eco-friendly way possible. The parlour cars in the Coast Starlight have been refurbished with 127cm plasma monitors to celebrate the region’s love of the silver screen.

When passengers aren’t having late-night movie viewings, they can watch the northern forests, snow-covered peaks, rural dairy farms and Pacific shoreline pass them by on this 35-hour journey.

Prices start at £122 one-way.


Photos: Thinkstock; Getty


Top 5 rail journeys: Travel the old-fashioned way, by train, to your next destination
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