10 Scariest Train Rides In The World

Traveling by rail can be one of the most relaxing and most scenic journeys you could take. You’re sure in for a remarkable experience as you will be passing through postcard-perfect places. But don’t count so much on the “relaxing” part with these ten scariest train rides in the world. With zig-zagging tracks, vertical hills, narrow bridges over cyclone-prone locations, these train rides will get your heart pounding faster. Let’s start with…

 
1. TREN A LAS NUBES, ARGENTINA

Known to be one of the highest railways in the world, Tren a las Nubes (or Train to the Clouds) in Argentina, takes passengers 13,850 ft up to the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes Mountain Range.

scariest train rides - tren a las nubes (1)

Flickr / Alicia Nijdam

scariest train rides - tren a las nubes (2)

Juan Mabromata / AFP / Getty Images

The approximately 16-hour trip leaves from the province of Salta (lowest point) to the La Povorilla Viaduct (the highest). The vertigo-inducing train ride passes through 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, two spirals, and 2 zigzags.

scariest train rides - tren a las nubes (3)

Juan Mabromata / AFP / Getty Images

scariest train rides - tren a las nubes (4)

Flickr / Liliana E. Ramirez

2. WHITE PASS AND YUKON ROUTE RAILROAD, ALASKA

Also called “the railway built of gold”, the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. The narrow-gauge railroad connects the port of Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon.

scariest train rides - white pass and yukon route railroad (1)

Wikimedia

The trip takes you on one of the most scenic in the world as you will be riding on the vintage-style cars while enjoying breathtaking views of mountains, gorges, glaciers, and waterfalls. That, of course, comes with a price in the form of cliff-hanging turns and steep climbs – almost 3,000 ft in just 20 miles.

scariest train rides - white pass and yukon route railroad (2)

Flickr / HBarrison

scariest train rides - white pass and yukon route railroad (3)

Wikimedia

3. RAMESWARAM EXPRESS, INDIA

The main route to the town of Rameswaram, a holy Hindu site in Pamban Island, India will take you on an unforgettable train-over-sea ride aboard the Rameswaram Express, across the Pamban Bridge. The 6,776-feet-long railway bridge is considered the pride of the Indian railways.

scariest train rides - rameswaram express (1)

Flickr / Tracy Hunter

scariest train rides - rameswaram express (2)

Flickr / Vegpuff

Pamban bridge is located in a cyclone-prone, high wind velocity zone which regularly weathers gusty winds. According to the newspaper, The Hindu, a cyclone in 1964 wiped out the town of Dhanushkodi and also caused tidal waves that washed away a train on the bridge.

scariest train rides - rameswaram express (3)

Wikimedia

scariest train rides - rameswaram express (4)

Wikimedia

 
4. QUTENIQUA CHOO-TJOE TRAIN, SOUTH AFRICA

Quteniqua Choo-Tjoe is an officially preserved railway in South Africa. Its route offers passengers a spectacular 42-mile ride on the Garden Route with scenic views of the Indian Ocean.

scariest train rides - outeniqua choo-tjoe train (1)

Wikimedia

“The railway crossed the Gwaiing and Malgate rivers, winded its way to the Malgate Valley, plunged into a cutting, snaked through a tunnel, and offered beautiful views of seaside resort towns.”

scariest train rides - outeniqua choo-tjoe train (2)

Wikimedia

Quteniqua Choo-Tjoe’s scariest points include a crossing on the 118-foot high Kaaimans Bridge. In 2006, floods severely damaged the tracks. Three years later, the train ceased operations making it the last scheduled passenger steam train in South Africa.

scariest train rides - outeniqua choo-tjoe train (3)

 
5. MINAMIASO RAILWAY, TATENO BRIDGE, JAPAN

Japan’s Minamiaso Railway runs along the southern part of the Mount Aso caldera in Kumamoto. The train ride may be short but it follows a scenic trail with views of sometimes-smoldering Mount Aso volcano, and runs across the Tateno Bridge, which offers heart-stopping views of mountains and forests.

scariest train rides - minamiaso railway (1)

Flickr / Norio.NAKAYAMA

scariest train rides - minamiaso railway (2)

Flickr / Norio.NAKAYAMA

 
6. GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD, COLORADO

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is located in the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County, Colorado. The 4.5 mile-long route ascends an elevation of 640 ft, passing through mountainous terrain.

scariest train rides - georgetown loop railroad (1)

Flickr / markbyzewski

The railroad connects the towns of Georgetown and Silver, Plume, which lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon, which is mainly responsible for the railroad’s “corkscrew” route design.

scariest train rides - georgetown loop railroad (2)

Flickr / markbyzewski

scariest train rides - georgetown loop railroad (3)

Flickr / Slideshow Bruce

 
7. KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY, AUSTRALIA

The Kuranda Scenic Railway is considered one of Australia’s most amazing feats of engineering. Built in 1891, the 23-mile line takes passengers on a scenic route that slices through the rainforest, past picturesque waterfalls, and across steep ravines to get from Cairns, Queensland, Australia to the nearby town of Kuranda.

scariest train rides - kuranda scenic railway (1)

Wikimedia

scariest train rides - kuranda scenic railway (2)

Wikimedia

Unique attractions along the way, including bustling markets, Bird World (internationally renowned Rainforestation), and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary makes up for the hair-raising ride.

scariest train rides - kuranda scenic railway (3)

Flickr / El Tren

 
8. NARIZ DEL DIABLO, ECUADOR

The Nariz del Diablo or ‘Devil’s Nose’, offers a short journey to the Ecuadorean Andes. Considered one of the steepest rail trips in the world, the train passes through dramatic and treacherous routes from Alausi to Sibambe, as it zigzags down the mountain Nariz del Diablo, descending from a steep 7,545 ft to 5,905 ft above sea level.

scariest train rides - nariz del diablo (1)

Flickr / Fran Am Main

Passengers used to ride on the train’s roof to enjoy the best views of mountains, rivers, and colorful villages. However, this is no longer allowed due to accidents.

scariest train rides - nariz del diablo (2)

Flickr / Fran Am Main

 
9. BURMA – THAILAND RAILWAY

Also known as the “Death Railway”, the Burma-Thailand Railway was completed by 180,000 laborers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) in 1943. Around 90,000 laborers and 12,399 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project.

scariest train rides - burma-thailand railway (1)

Wikimedia

The railway’s most famous portion is the bridge over the River Kwai or Bridge 277, which was built over a stretch of river, then known as part of the Mae Klong. According to the Telegraph, a ride on a surviving section of the route (rickety wooden bridges on sheer cliffs) is now a popular tourist activity.

scariest train rides - burma-thailand railway (2)

Wikimedia

scariest train rides - burma-thailand railway (3)

Wikimedia

 
10. GLENFINNAN RAILWAY VIADUCT, SCOTLAND

Harry Potter fans won’t have a hard time recognizing Scotland’s Glenfinnan Viaduct. Built in 1898, the viaduct is located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Highlands of Scotland.

scariest train rides - prev railway (1)

Wikimedia

It stands almost 100 feet above the ground, overlooking the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel.

scariest train rides - prev railway (2)

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

scariest train rides - prev railway (3)

Wikimedia

SHARE this with your friends by clicking below!