Iconic Rail Journeys

Here at Arena Travel we offer journeys on some of the most iconic railways in the whole world. From the Glacier Express, offering breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, to the Poppyline, showcasing Norfolk's best scenery - there's an unforgettable journey to be had on any of our rail holidays.

Glacier Express

Switzerland

Don’t be fooled by its name, the Glacier Express is not an ‘express’ train but a journey of discovery through some of Switzerland’s most breathtaking scenery. It is in fact the slowest express train in the world.

Passing over almost 300 bridges and through 91 tunnels, the train travels 291km from St Moritz to Zermatt. Its panoramic windows mean guests travelling aboard can truly embrace the views of the passing alpine meadows, mountain brooks, glacial peaks and sights such as the famous Landwasser Viaduct and the Overalp Pass. With the option to enjoy a delicious three course meal, which is served to you at your seat – surely there’s no better way to see Switzerland than on board the Glacier Express.

The Glacier Express features on four of our Swiss rail tours.

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Wales

The Snowdon Mountain Railway began offering journeys from Llanberis, to the summit of Mount Snowdon, in the year 1896. It is a truly unique experience and offers some of the world’s most spectacular views.

The narrow gauge, rack and pinion mountain railway covers 7.53km and it is the only one of its kind available to the public in the UK. It is a 1085m climb to the summit and as the little steam train chugs along up the tracks it offers views of rocky valleys, rolling green hills and an abundance of wildlife to those onboard– before reaching the UK’s highest visitor centre, Hafod Eryri.

See our Snowdon, Portmeirion & Welsh Mountain Steam holiday to find out more

Centovalli

Italy

Linking the Swiss canton of Locarno with the Italian region of Domodossola, the narrow gauge Centovalli railway offers one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.

Crossing through Italy’s One Hundred Valleys, the journey will take you past glorious countryside, green vistas, tiny hilltop villages and over thrilling viaducts. It is the quickest way to get from Bern in Switzerland to the Italian Lake of Maggiore and has been in operation since 1925.

The Centovalli railway features on our Lake Maggiore & Borromean Islands tour.

Mont Blanc Express

France

Over 110 years old, the famous Mont Blanc Express has been travelling from St Gervais Le Fayet in France, all the way through the Chamonix Valley, and on into Martigny in Switzerland since 1908.

The mountain train crosses varied terrains as it travels from the wild Trient Gorge and ascends breath-taking heights as it reaches Chamonix. Travellers will then see waterfalls, shady forests and cosy hilltop villages before reaching the mighty Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak.

See the mighty Mont Blanc by train on the Lake Annecy and the Mont Blanc Express rail tour.

Vulkan Express

Germany

Taking over an hour to travel just 11 miles, the Vulkan Express is all about sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the ride. Travelling between Brohl and Engeln the line first opened in 1901 but it was forced to close in 1961 due to the dwindling freight services.

Luckily for us though, a group of rail enthusiasts appealed for it to be reopened as a tourist train, and in 1977 the Vulkan Express carried its first load of commercial passengers.

Passing volcanic rock formations and fairytale castles, it’s no surprise that the Vulkan Express remains a firm favorite with tourists to this day.

Check out our Little Trains of the Rhine Valley tour for more on this and other trains in Germany.

Poppy Line

UK

First opened in 1887, The Poppy Line, also known as the North Norfolk Railway, is one of England’s most popular rail routes. Each year many people descend on the East coast from all over the country, to enjoy a journey on this scenic heritage railway.

The steam train, with its vintage carriages, offers a 10.5mile round trip, running from Sheringham to Holt. It’s the best way to experience the delightful Norfolk scenery, as poppy fields and wooded hills offer a treat for the eyes. Each train station along the route also provides a unique history lesson and an atmosphere of a bygone age.

Explore Norfolk by rail on our Little Trains of Norfolk rail holiday.