Today, traveling by train allows us to enjoy the trip in a relaxed way while watching the countryside go by. Without the added pressure of driving or navigating airports, traveling by train is a fast, efficient and comfortable way to get to your vacation destination. But there are some routes which are really dangerous and can bewitch you when crossing them. These train journeys are available all over the world in which some offer spectacular views and others offer dangerous sections.
1. Minami Aso, Japan
- Headquarters: Japan
- Track guage: 3 ft (914 mm)
- Length: 137.30 km2 (53.01 sq mi)
This train crosses an active volcanic region of Kumamoto, Japan and connects Takamori to Tateno station in Minamiaso. Visitors are at risk of witnessing a volcanic eruption anytime they are on the train, as it is unpredictable. The train tracks are next to the foothills of the volcano and the lava streams are a great scene for passengers. The train also crosses other beautiful regions. While part of the line is closed due to damage it received in the 2016 earthquake, the train still runs; as of 2018 costs about ¥1,400 (approximately $13 USD) to ride. Visitors recommend showing up about an hour to two hours before departure to get a good seat, as they are assigned when you buy your tickets.
2. Chennai Rameswaram Route, India
The railway line connecting the Indian cities of Chennai and Rameswaram, a popular pilgrimage location, features a 2.3km-long bridge that was built into the seabed in 1914. The train includes the Pamdan Bridge that represents the hard work and creativity of Indian Engineering. The bridge is elevated above the water to allow ships and ferries to pass beneath. However, despite being sustained by 145 concrete pillars, the track is often flooded by the ocean. Strong whirlwinds coming from the sea also endanger the crossing, forcing trains to slow to speeds of just four metres per second. The route is situated extremely low. All you can see around is sea and no path or road for a long time. This experience gives people Goosebumps and mesmerizes them at the same time.
3. Georgetown Loop Railroad
- Headquarters: Georgetown, Colorado
- Track guage: 3 ft (914 mm)
- Length: 4.5 mi (7.2 km)
Georgetown Loop Railroad was one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions completed in 1884. It is a three-foot narrow gauge railroad that was considered an engineering feat at the time. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a 3-foot narrow gauge US railroad located in the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County, off Interstate 70 in Colorado. This tourist train connects the communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume, a distance of 2 miles. The train crosses through the clear creek count and was made with the intention to make the people be able to reach the silver mines situated in that area. One of the scariest parts of this railroad route is when the train passes the Devil’s gate bridge where the train is required to move as slowly as possible so that the bridge doesn’t fall.
4. Pilatus Railway, Switzerland
- Headquarters: Pilatusbahn
- Track guage: 800 mm (2 ft 7 1⁄2 in)
- Length: 4.6 km (2.86 mi)
The Pilatus Railway is a mountain railway in Switzerland and is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, with a maximum gradient of 48% and an average gradient of 35%. The line runs from Alpnachstad on Lake Alpnach to a terminus near the summit of Esel du Pilatus at an altitude of 2,073 m, making it the highest railway in the township of Obwalden and the second highest in central Switzerland after the Furka Line. Eduard Locher, an engineer with a lot of practical experience, then proposed an alternative project with the maximum score increased to 48%, reducing the distance in half. This design eliminated the possibility of the cogwheels coming out of the luggage rack and kept the car from tipping over, even in strong crosswinds common in the area. The system was also able to guide the car without the need for flanges on the wheels. This is because the early Pilatus cars did not have flanges on the running wheels, but they were added later to allow the cars to be moved on tracks without rack rails during maintenance. The line was opened by steam traction on June 4, 1889 and electrified on May 15, 1937, using an overhead power supply of 1550 V DC.
5. Maeklong Railway, Thailand
- Headquarters: Bangkok
- Track guage: 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
- Length: 66.9 kilometres (41.6 mi)
The Maeklong Railway doesn’t just get close to people, it runs right through the middle of a market. Right down the middle and close enough to touch. Only in Thailand! A charming little warning bell goes off over the speaker system just a few minutes before the train comes. Within a few minutes of receiving the warning, vendors pull back their specially designed awnings before the train comes, sometimes only moments before. The train passes by with about a foot to spare, both beneath and to the sides of the carts. Visitors and vendors stand daringly close. At least, closer than to any moving train, metro, or subway we’ve ever been around. Once the train passed, the vendors immediately, and quite nonchalantly we might add, put the awnings back into their original places. Everyone went back to normal as if nothing extraordinary had ever happened and it’s hard to believe that tons of metal just rumbled its way through.
Death Railway: Thailand
- Headquarters: Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma
- Track guage: 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
- Length: 415 kilometres (258 mi)
The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, the Siam-Burma Railway, the Thai-Burma Railway and similar names, is a 415 kilometer railway ( 258 mi) between Ban Pong, Thailand and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built by the Empire of Japan from 1940 to 1944 to provide troops and weapons in the Burma campaign of World War II. This railway completed the rail link between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma. It is 1942 and World War II is raging around the world. Thailand remained neutral, but soon saw its lands occupied by Japanese forces on the Axis side, leaving them no choice but to cooperate with a much more powerful empire. Thailand’s proximity to the British colony of Burma made it an ideal location for Japanese forces to assemble and prepare for offensives against the British. However, preparation is good, but unnecessary without the logistics to transport troops and supplies to the battlefield. A signed alliance between Thailand and Japan allowed Japan full access to Thai infrastructure, but with an abundance of local workers and Allied prisoners of war (POWs), Japan has sought to build infrastructure wherever it is needed. there weren’t any before. It was then that the Death Railway project was launched.