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The Scariest Rail Journeys in the World

The Scariest Rail Journeys in the World
February 04
08:00 2016
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One of the best things about travelling by rail is that it is not only one of the safest ways to travel, but it will offer you some fantastic views that you can enjoy through the window as you travel. However, in some cases what you see passing by your window can cause a little more concern than the usual rolling hills or fields, with some views being downright frightening. If you are looking for a journey that will give you a view that is enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, then check out these trips to see if you can find a destination to get your travel senses tingling once again.

The Devil’s Nose, Ecuador

The journey from Quito to Guayaquil in Ecuador is one of the most scenic routes in South America, and as it passes through the Andes, it certainly has some impressive mountain views to enjoy. However, one particularly steep part of the route is particularly scary, as the train has to advance and reverse up a series of switchbacks to climb or descend this particular section of track, and the slow movements and creaking of the train on this steep mountainside help to make it really thrilling, or terrifying, depending on your perspective.

The Scariest Rail Journeys In The World

Hanoi to Long Bien Bridge, Vietnam

This short train journey from the central Hanoi station is only a relatively quick trip, but the surroundings of the route are what make this such a scary one, and anyone inside the train has to have a fear for those outside. The space on each side of the track is only a few feet until you reach the walls of houses and businesses facing on to the line, and while the trains aren’t running the tracks are a footpath, business marketing area and socializing spot, with everyone pressing against the walls as the trains go by, before continuing with their day back on the tracks.

The Scariest Rail Journeys In The World

Rameswaram To Chennai, India

This route begins in the city of Rameswaram on the island of Pamban, and the section that really adds the fear into the route is the long bridge that connects the island with the Indian mainland. Crossing the Palk Strait for over two kilometres, there is a cantilever section that opens to allow ships through at the centre of the bridge, and the rusting creaking metal of the bridge is always something that raises a concern.

The Scariest Rail Journeys In The World

READ ALSO: The Most Terrifying Airports to Travel Through in the World

Death Railway, Thailand

The building of this railway between Burma and Thailand is one that was driven by the Japanese occupation of the region, and is the story which was used in the film ‘The Bridge Over The River Kwai’, which traces the history of the building of a part of this line during WW2, when thousands of prisoners of war died. Today the line continues as far as Nam Tok, and there is no rail connection on to Burma, but the route today travels over several of the wooden trestle bridges, which hang over some of the rivers that are followed along the route.

Death Railway, Thailand The building of this railway between Burma and Thailand is one that was driven by the Japanese occupation of the region, and is the story which was used in the film 'The Bridge Over The River Kwai', which traces the history of the building of a part of this line during WW2, when thousands of prisoners of war died. Today the line continues as far as Nam Tok, and there is no rail connection on to Burma, but the route today travels over several of the wooden trestle bridges, which hang over some of the rivers that are followed along the route.

The Train To The Clouds, Argentina

Mountain terrain certainly makes for a challenge for engineers, and this amazing line is one that features some amazing engineering feats that had to be completed just to get the train up to the Andean highlands. These include a series of high metal bridges that give travellers the impression that they are crossing on air as they see huge drops to both sides of the train. There are also two spirals on the line, which are circular loops where the train crosses over the line it has just travelled over as it is climbing up the slope.

The Scariest Rail Journeys In The World

Minami Aso Railway, Japan

Traversing along the slopes of the Mount Aso volcano, this train travels a route from Tateno Station to Takamori on the island of Kyushu, the south westernmost of the four main islands of Japan. As well as travelling close to the volcano, the small train passes over several high metal trestle bridges, with a drop of hundreds of feet to each side.

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About Author

Michael - Go See Write

Michael - Go See Write

In late 2008, Michael closed down his legal practice of ten years to embark on a quest to circle the globe without getting on a single airplane. Sixteen months, six continents, and forty-four countries later, he succeeded and he has just kept going since. He is a permanent traveler that specializes in slower, overland travel all around the world. Go See Write

2 Comments

  1. Ky
    Ky February 05, 22:28

    There is no train link between India and Sri Lanka. The city of RAMESWARAM is located in Tamil Nadu at the end of the peninsula pointing towards Sri Lanka called Adams’s Bridge (but there is no bridge). You are probably speaking of the Pamban Railway Bridge.

    Reply to this comment
    • bravofly
      bravofly February 15, 12:03

      Thanks a lot for letting us know and apologies for the error – we’ve now changed it and updated the article!

      Reply to this comment

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