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9 Longest Train routes in the World

A long, snake like metal structure, pacing itself through the huge cities, mountains, forests, deserts and deathly snows; this manmade monster is called a train. In our modern world, transportation plays a very important role. The speed, cost and convenience are always at war with the people but train services have allowed mankind a safe and cheap transportation anywhere on the planet. The technological development has caused the trains to operate on longer and longer routes. Some of the longest trains in the world cross borders on a regular basis. Here we will look into the 9 longest train routes in the world. Let these magnificent machines tell their tale.

1. Yiwu–Madrid railway line; 10,044 kilometers

Yiwu–Madrid railway line; 10,044 kilometers
Picture: Metro/Myles Goode

The new longest train route in the world is the Yiwu-Madrid railway line which covers a distance of 13,000 kilometers (approximately); it has beaten the previous record of the Trans-Siberian. The train carries cargos and no passenger car is available. A handful of freight trains take this track to go from Yiwu, a trading centre 300 km south of Shanghai, to the Spanish city of Madrid.

The journey takes 21 days in total and goes through, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France. An alternative route would be a sea journey but it would take six weeks for any ship to reach its destination. On the other hand road trips will produce three times the CO2 pollution caused by trains. It is also cheaper as it takes less fuel. As from 2016 it literally has connected the west of the Eurasian terrain to the Far East.

2. The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR); 9,289 kilometers

The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR); 9,289 kilometers

The legendary train route starts from Moscow and ends at Vladivostok, Russia. The Journey Takes more than three full days and covers a distance of 9,289 kilometers. It was built between the year 1891 and 1916 for easy access to the central part of Russia from the west.

The railway consists of several routes and many of them are still expanding. The railway used to hold the record of being the longest train route in the world until the Yiwu-Madrid track. These tracks convey both the passenger trains and the cargos.

Passengers of these routes are never to get bored because the staggering scenarios keep coming one after the other. The route goes around the northern Ural Mountain and when the extraordinary landscape with white snow capped mountain in the background fades into the horizon, the passengers onboard get to witness the captivating beauty of the Lake Baikal, the largest fresh water lake in the world. The route then goes into the voids of Siberia; miles after miles of snow covered forests of birch trees without the slightest touch of civilization.

To this day, Trans-Siberian railway serves as the most important transport link within Russia. Around 30% of all the goods produced in the country travels through this route to their destinations.
For a passenger train, a single ticket will cost about £500 to £10,000.
The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR); 9,289 kilometers

3. The Canadian; 4,466 kilometers

The Canadian; 4,466 kilometers

This trans-continental train runs between the route of Union Station in Toronto, Ontario, and Pacific Central Station in Vancouver, British Columbia. It connects the west and the east side of the country; one single trip takes up to three days. This railway was launched 24 April 1955.
The forests of maple trees provide the most brilliant scenario, one that only falls short when put next to the Canadian Rockies. Thanks to the low population density of Canada, most of its landscapes are still free from human infiltration; the view from the train is nature at its purest form.

The moose, deer and also some bears can be seen from the windows of the comfortable sleeper cars. If someone has a desire to witness the breathtaking beauty of Canada, this train route is certainly the best way for him as it has the dome shaped cars with windows all around, so that, one can see the outstanding beauty of the land.

This dome shaped cars were first introduced in the 1949 and was used in the American railways. The Canada also introduced it after the World War II.

The traveling cost for this train is high and sometimes it exceeds the cost of air travel. This is because of the heavy subsidizing by the government. Cost saving is possible by using the Canrailpass (Canadian railway pass) or travelling on discounted Tuesdays. There’s another curious way of cutting charges, there is an ‘Artist on Board’ service which allows artists to entertain other passengers. This will significantly decrease the price of the tickets. Normally an economy class ticket will cost about £194 and the price goes up along the luxury scale to £1550.

4. Texas Eagle 4,390 kilometers

texas eagle one of the longest railway routes

The famous track began its journey on 2 October 1981. Equipped fully for a cross country trip, the eagle portrays the true American spirit.

The train has first class dining cars and special Sightseer Lounge, the Café Car, is the perfect car for viewing the spectacular scenery along the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited route. Large panoramic windows and informal seating provide the perfect atmosphere for sightseeing and making new friends. The Café is located on the lower level of this car and features sandwiches, snacks, beverages, and other light fare.

This luxurious ride will take between 32 to 68 hours, depending on the route it takes. Chicago - San-Antonio route will take 32 hours but the Chicago - Los-Angeles will take 68 hours.

To this day, Texas eagle serves as the backbone of the railway system that connects Chicago to the farthest region of the west, Los-Angeles.

5. Shanghai to Lhasa; 4,373 kilometers

Shanghai to Lhasa; 4,373 kilometers one of the longest railway route in the world

The world knows china for its massive population and trade based economy but lurking behind this veil of money, there are some exotic places which are worth visiting and one formidable way to enjoy its beauty is a train journey which originates in Shanghai and ends at Lhasa, a place for the spiritual pilgrims, while crossing a distance of 2717 miles or 4,373 kilometers: ranking as the fourth longest train route in the world.

The train goes through the central China which is not much populated and its scenic beauty is charming to the minds of the passengers. It passes through the former imperial capital of Xi’an then it rises to the mountains of Tibet before reaching Lhasa.
Significant landmarks during the trip would be the glacier of Tangula Mountains. The track over the mountain, Qingzang railway, is one of the highest situated train track in the world; operating at 5072 meters above sea level. Another landmark would be the Cuona Lake.

A regular economy class ticket costs £47 and a seat in the sleeper cars takes £132. The price is significantly lower than other countries.

6. Indian Pacific; 4352 kilometers

Indian Pacific; 4352 kilometers

This railway track is the longest stretch of train lines in the world. The name, Indian Pacific, was given because it connects the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The journey starts from Sydney and ends four days and three nights later at Perth. In the long journey a passenger on board gets to witness the outstanding contrast of the Australian outback, the Blue Mountains and forests and vast expanse of desert and dusty abandoned goldmines in the barren lands of the Nullarbor.
The tickets will cost about £480 to £2000.

7. The Vivek Express; 4282 kilometers

longest railway routes in the world

The Vivek express is a railway system in India which operates on various routes and with multiple trains. The name has come from the famous Indian philosopher, Swami Vivekananda.

The route between Dibrugarh and Kanyakumari is the longest stretch of railway track in India. The trip runs a course of 4,282 kilometers and takes four days to finish just one trip. This is caused by the very low speed of 50 kilometers per hour and frequent stops.

The passengers of this train are mostly the common people. The train provides them with cheap transportation; this is why the train cars are always jam packed. This is not a train for sightseers but for serious people with serious jobs.

The tickets are sold at £6.50 and if a reserved cabin is required then it will cost £45.

8. The Trans-European Express; 3483 kilometers

The Trans-European Express; 3483 kilometers one of the largest routes in the world

The train route connects the capital of France with the capital of Russia. The extraordinary journey along this railway takes two whole days to finish. The luxurious cars of the train and outstanding scenic beauty give the passengers an experience of the lifetime.

The train will go through Belarus and some other important stops would be Brussels, Cologne, Berlin, Warsaw and Minsk.
A one way trip will cost between £175 and £650.

9. The Ghan; 2979 kilometers

ghan railway route one of the largest railway route in the world

The ninth longest train route in the world belongs to the Ghan which connects the Southern and Northern regions of Australia. The train runs between Adelaide and Darwin. The name Ghan has a curious history. It was named Ghan as a tribute to the Afghan people who helped the Australians getting deeper into the desert like middle portion of the land. They provided them with camels and the modern Australia thanks those gracious people of the Far East by naming a train after them.

A single ticket for one trip will cost about £453and for a platinum service will cost £1755.

Our list ends here, the quest to find nine of the world’s longest train routes is done but not for long. The ever developing technology will soon allow trains to go farther and farther. As an inseparable tool to build a civilization, trains will go on pacing around the world, making people’s lives easier and happier.