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It is possible to see amazing views when traveling by air. There isn't much to see when you're cruising at 39,000 feet

Train travel is one of the most popular ways to travel around the world. It is generally a more relaxed way of getting from one place to the next, with trains going through scenic mountain valleys and connecting charming villages. Sometimes it's difficult to get a good view of the stunning landscapes that are offered by them.

Sometimes a journey by rail can be a trip in and of itself, even if you have to take a train. We scoured the globe, reviewed new itineraries and talked to experts about the world's most scenic rail routes.

11 of the most scenic train rides on Earth are from an Amtrak train that leaves New York City every morning to an ultra-luxury locomotive that transports people back to the golden age of travel.

Rocky Mountaineer in the American Southwest


The luxury train operator, known for its tours of Western Canada, just launched its first route in the U.S. On the two-day "Rockies to the Red Rocks" itinerary, travelers can travel from Denver, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, with an overnight in Colorado.

Travelers won't miss a moment of scenery from the glass-domed train cars with outdoor viewing decks as the towering Rocky Mountains give way to Utah's almost Martian desert landscape because the train only operates during the day. The Arches National Park is named after the sandstone arches and rock formations of the area.

There is a one-night hotel stay included in the rates.

Sri Lanka Railways in Sri Lanka

Views from the train journey between Kandy and Ella in Sri Lanka. JOHN CRUX PHOTOGRAPHY/GETY IMAGES

The ride between the two places will take you past colorful villages, lush rolling hills, tea plantations and more. The locals in my car were singing and clapping all night. It's a good idea to hang out the window and watch the world.

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The ride takes seven hours and is a great way to see the country. If you choose a second-class fare, you can look out the window and see the view.

You can get your ticket secured in advance by booking through an agency. You don't have to worry about having a seat reserved for you on the train if you purchase tickets at the station.

Pilatus Luzern in Switzerland


If you book any train in Switzerland, you will get a panoramic view of the Alps, charming Alpine villages and glasslike lakes. You can go to Alpnachstad to ride the Pilatus Luzern, which is the highest railway in the world, but it only takes 30 minutes to get there.

You will be rewarded with spectacular views from the summit of Mount Pilatus and the surrounding mountains and valleys. The average round-trip fare is about $74.

There are 12 things that surprised me about my first train ride.

The Northern Explorer in New Zealand

The Northern Explorer traverses the lush New Zealand landscape three days per week. TONI GREAVES/GETTY IMAGES

The Northern Explorer is the longest running passenger train in the country and it runs through Hamilton, Otorohanga, National Park, Palmerston North and Paraparaumu. You can see everything from volcanic peaks to the rugged coast in New Zealand by rail.

Elen Turner said that he needs to get between the two places but hasn't been in a hurry. It isn't the fastest way to travel around New Zealand. Don't be surprised to see a leisurely ride. For adults, the prices start at about $125.

Rocky Mountaineer in Western Canada


The luxury train's original and best-known itineraries include traveling through the Canadian Rockies. It will take you through some of the most remote areas you could ever get to. You won't get a cell signal or have onboard wi-fi access during your journey, so be prepared for a forced digital cleanse since you won't get a cell signal or have onboard wi-fi access frequently.

The tour crosses the Continental Divide and goes through the so-called Spiral Tunnels into the Rockies. Four meals, three nights in hotels, a tour and national park pass, as well as station transfers and luggage handling, will be included in the fares in 2023. The cost for a short journey is around $1,300 per person.

Belmond Andean Explorer in Peru


The Andean Explorer, which travels from Cusco to Puno on Lake Titicaca, and the gleaming white stone city of Arequipa are examples of luxury train experiences.

Oxygen tanks and masks are available for passengers who find the high altitude uncomfortable. Entry level cabins can be found for $2,000 per person with meals and tours included.

The Blue Train in South Africa


The Blue Train has carried travelers between Pretoria and Cape Town in luxury cars with panoramic windows since the 1920s.

The Blue Train was taken by a South African friend of Nadine's. It felt like being transported back in time to an elevated, bygone era of travel, with a dress code for dinner and a tub in the bathroom. It felt like the whole of the Milky Way was visible when I saw so many stars.

$2,500 to $3,000 per person is the average cost for rates in the year 2023.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad traveling along the Animas River from Durango to Silverton with some of Colorado's striking canyon scenery in San Juan Mountains. ROZANNE HAKALA/GETTY IMAGES

Swanette Smith, also known as Grandma Points, said she will always remember the unique Colorado vistas, cliffs and being surprised by what was around the next bend.

You can take a ride on a vintage coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive that will take you to the edge of the mountains.

The 45 mile, 3 1/2 hour ride is short and scenic, according to the executive news director of the company. There are tickets starting at $105.

Shinkansen in Japan


A ride on Japan's bullet train is great for seeing the country's scenery while traveling between Tokyo and Kyoto.

If you're lucky, you can spot the famous Mount Fuji. If you are coming from Tokyo, you should be able to see the mountain about 40 minutes into the journey.

Christie Matsui, the former senior executive assistant of the company, said that you should pick up a bento box at the train station. There are seven-day Japan Rail passes.

Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland


Passengers on the Jacobite steam train feel like they are on their way to Hogwarts, according to Johanna Read. After starting at the base of Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, the train passes by Scotland's moors and lochs and then slows for photos as it traverses the 21 arches of the curved Glenfinnan Viaduct. Mallaig is the end of the line.

Travelers on a budget should consider the "less magical" ScotRail train. You can take a photo of the Jacobite engine as it leaves Mallaig and then hop on your own train.

The cost for a round-trip ticket on the Jacobite steam train is about $58.

Denali Star in Alaska

Denali National Park. TRAVEL ALASKA

If you want to see the highest peak in North America, you can take the train to the gates of the national park.

In the summer season, there is a 12-hour, 356-mile journey that traverses the Knik River, navigates the Healy Canyon, passes hundreds of feet over Hurricane Gulch and boasts mountain vistas. In the summer, the Alaska Railroad has popular coastal itineraries.

The Aurora Winter Train travels through the back country from September to May. One-way fares start at $218 for people from Alaska to Alaska.

Maximizing train travel

It is easier to redeem points for train travel through the Cape Winelands than it is for flights.

If you are booking a trip on the Pacific Surfliner or Adirondack route in the U.S., earning and using points is still an option.

You can earn 2 points and miles per dollar on your train trips with the Capital One Venture rewards credit card, and 3 points and miles per mile on the Ink business credit card.

Credit card protection is still relevant when booking an adventure by train.