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Five of Europe’s most scenic railway lines

24 March 2015
Black Forest Line, Germany
Black Forest Line

Germany's Black Forest region enchants and surprises in equal measure with a line that runs through a sparsely settled German countryside - basking in hues of green through its rolling hills, intersected by forested ravines and calming lakes. Fabled as a fairytale land through the works of the Brothers Grimm the occasional gingerbread castle perched on a hillside certainly lends to that façade. It generates an antiquated atmosphere that continues throughout the line and develops in a synthesis of forests and wood-panelled houses. 

Bernina Express, Switzerland
Bernina Express

The Bernina Express runs through majestic Alpine vistas from Switzerland to Italy on a line that not only enjoys mesmeric Alpine scenery - but also utilises some of Europe's greatest rail architecture. Particular highlights include mirror like Lake Bianco which reflects the sky in a perfect symphony of blue-green grace, and the magnificent Landwasser Viaduct that fuses with the mountainside as a remarkable monument to manmade architecture.

Centovalli Railway, Italy & Switzerland
Centovalli Railway

Centovalli means '100 valleys' so it's no surprise that this aptly named line traverses an abundance of photogenic scenery. Clear lakes and the backdrop of the Alps frame this railway's vistas to perfection.  The line winds its way to Locarno, a quaint town characterised by narrow streets and grand Alpine views which complement the architecture of Locarno's Old Town admirably.

Glacier Express, Switzerland
Glacier Express

Switzerland features prominently on this list and perhaps its best known train is the Glacier Express, which is in itself a premier example of Alpine scenery. This line runs through vibrant Alpine meadows juxtaposed by rugged peaks and punctuated by stunning blue-green lakes. The train's panoramic carriages offer unbroken views of the scenery on the 'slowest express train in the world', passengers have time to savour the splendour of this beautiful region throughout the line's gradual ascent.

The Rauma Railway, Norway
The Rauma Railway

The Rauma Line runs down the imposing Romsdalen valley through pretty meadows and past gargantuan mountains it comes to the spectacular Kylling Bridge which crosses 59 metres above the crashing flow of the Rauma River, and showcases breathtaking views over the valley. Another particular highlight of this scenic line is the Verma Waterfall which passes like a crystalline stream below the train and into the valley beyond.