Where I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, we don’t travel by train very often. Sure, the railroads once helped to build America, bringing thousands of immigrants westward. But sadly, over the years, trains have been replaced by airplanes and automobiles. Though Amtrak, our national rail line, has tiny veins throughout the nation, most long-distance trains in America are relegated to moving cargo.
But that’s not the case in other countries. Train travel is alive and well in nations around the world. And often, traveling by rail offers a unique experience that is sometimes as rewarding as the destination itself. Whether they’re luxury high-speed railways or multi-use cargo cars, trains open up a window into the local culture. The seats are filled with daily commuters, schoolchildren and other people living out their normal lives. Where else can you view such an honest, up-close picture of the culture you’re visiting?
This month, Go World Travel celebrates train travel. Sticking to a budget, Catherine Skrzypinski takes the night train from Beijing, while Molly Beer climbs aboard the roof of a train in Ecuador as it winds through the Andes. Jim Soliski learns first-hand that train travel has its own rules, and Amanda Kendle meets some interesting folks on the Trans-Siberian line.
For travelers in search of adrenalin, Linda Gettman dives into shark-infested waters in the Bahamas, and Bob Ecker runs with the bulls in Pamplona this month.
Not all travel is about the fast life, however. Terri Gonzalez drives through the Alaskan wilderness, spotting moose and hooking “a big one” along the way.
We cover more than 15 destinations around the globe this month in Go World Travel, and there hundreds and hundreds of travel articles available here online. We hope you enjoy the journey!