10 railway stations that should not be missed

10 most beautiful railway routes of the planet

Railroads often go where no other transportation gets in. They encircle rocky mountains, penetrate deep into swampy forests, and sometimes become an organic part of the landscape themselves. Railroads are not just a way to see the country or part of it in a relatively short time.

Whether it’s a high-speed train that flips through the country like the latest issue of a glossy magazine, or a slow train that unfolds the desert before you like an ancient manuscript, the important thing is that thanks to the railroad, the journey becomes, as in the old days, a real journey.

Forbes presents 10 of the most interesting railway routes in the world, from the Sahara to Severodvinsk.

Kudemskaya narrow gauge railway (Russia)

One of the few remaining narrow gauge railroads in Russia with passenger service – and one of the most beautiful – connects Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk region (Vodogon station on the western outskirts of town) and the settlement of Beloe Ozero.

Once it belonged to the timber company and stretched more than 100 km into the remote forests. Now the timber is not carried, and the passenger train represents a small locomotive, two covered narrow carriages with stoves and one or two “crates” – so open wooden platforms with two long benches are called here. In good weather it is best to go just there – and look around.

The train slowly, at a speed of 30 km/h, goes first past the dacha settlements, and then begins quiet northern landscapes with forests and lakes. There is practically no right-of-way, and trees come so close that sometimes it looks as if the train is moving along a forest path. In an hour and a half there is Beloe Ozero station, the train doesn’t go further, but you can continue to Palozero station by motor-drawn car. The locals have quite a lot of them, several dozen of them. By the way, from Vodogon you can go by it – in summer, especially on Friday night, trains leave every five or ten minutes: people go to summer houses, fishing and mushrooming. And on Sunday evening and even at night the same way, one after another, go back.

Schedule and cost: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the train leaves from Vodogon at 17:00, on Saturdays at 16:00, and on Sundays at 18:30. The ticket costs 30 rubles. From the central part of Severodvinsk to Vodogon station you can get by buses 101 and 103.

Tokaido (Japan)

The fastest way to experience Central Japan are the world’s fastest shinkansen trains running on the Tokaido route between Tokyo and Osaka (only Shanghai Maglev is faster, but it’s a completely different type of train – on magnetic suspension). The word “shinkansen” itself simply means “new highway” – that’s how these trains were called when they appeared before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The fastest of them all, the Nozomi. – will cover 515 km in two and a half hours, stopping only in large cities – Yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto. Particularly impressive is the trip on the newest N700 series trains, which can reach 300 km/h, accelerate to the usual 270 km/h in 3 minutes and do not slow down even on the curves. Behind the window in the background of green mountains and hills, cities, towns and flooded rice fields, and after 40 minutes, after Mishima (the names of the flashing stations are written on the scoreboard in the car), there is a view of Fuji for a few minutes. To enjoy it fully, you need to sit at the window on the right side of the train.

Timetable and costs: Tickets from Tokyo to Osaka (Shin-Osaka station) for Nozomi train start at ¥13 240 (approx. 4700 rubles), other trains are cheaper. Look for the schedule here .

Coeur (Switzerland) – Tirano (Italy)

The four-hour Bernina Express train ride follows the Rhaetian Railway, a famous narrow gauge track that crosses the Swiss Alps from north to south. Much of it, from Tusis in the north to Tirano in the south, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it’s not just about the beauty of the Alpine landscape – the route, which was built more than a century ago, is considered a miracle of engineering.

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Its creators had to solve a difficult problem: in a relatively small area (between the Kur and Tirano only 127 km) to build a road with huge differences in altitude (about 1700 m when going from the Kur to the pass Bernina and about 1800 m when going down to Tirano). As a result, the road was built in a zigzag fashion: the train constantly loops, making sharp turns not only on the open sections, but also in spiral tunnels and even on bridges – such as the famous viaduct Landwasser, which is supported by five 65 m high arch supports: bending in an arc, Bernina Express drops it right into the tunnel.

As the train ascends the Bernina Pass, it has a view of the mountain of the same name, the highest in the Eastern Alps (4,049 m), and the Morterach Glacier. Then begins the descent down the southern slopes past the mountain lakes Lago Bianco and Ley Nair, to the medieval Swiss towns of Poschiavo and Brusio (another beautiful spiral viaduct on the approach to it) and to the Italian Tirano. It’s subtropical, with palm trees, and it’s hard to believe that just a few hours ago there were snow-covered mountains all around.

Timetable and costs: From mid-May to the end of October, the Bernina Express departs to Tirano four times a day – from Coeur, Davos and twice from St Moritz (but this journey is twice as short: two hours instead of four). The rest of the time the train runs twice a day – from the Kura and St. Moritz. A ticket from Kur to Tirano in second class costs 57 Swiss francs, in first class 95 (1 Swiss franc is about 29 rubles). Schedule here .

Toronto – Vancouver (Canada)

The train with a catchy name The Canadian crosses almost the whole country – from Lake Ontario to the Pacific Ocean – in 4 nights and 3 days. The 4,500-mile trip from Toronto to Vancouver offers an amazing variety of scenery (you can admire it from your seat as well as from a special panoramic glass-roofed car): from lakes and forests in the east through the prairies of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to the mountains, canyons and waterfalls of British Columbia.

Ashcroft, Canada’s driest place, is home to cacti, and around Winnipeg you can see elk, deer, wolf and even brown bear from the train window (incidentally, Christopher Robin Milne named his teddy bear Winnipeg, named after one of them, which was brought from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915).

The highlights, however, are on the last day of the trip when the Canadian reaches the Rocky Mountains: Jasper (the most photographed town in the country) and the center of the eponymous National Park, snow-capped Mount Robson (the highest point in the Rocky Mountains at 3,954 m), Pyramid Falls near Blue River Village and numerous “hoodoos” – small rocks of various fanciful shapes formed by karst processes and erosion.

Schedule and Cost: The train from Toronto to Vancouver leaves three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In the opposite direction, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The ticket costs from 596 CAD (about 17 500 rubles). The schedule is here .

Qinghai-Tibet Railway (China)

The railway from Golmud to Lhasa linking Tibet with the rest of China was opened on July 1, 2006 by Chinese President Hu Jintao personally. This is the world’s highest mountain railroad, with 80 percent of the route at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters. Along the way there are mountains covered with snow even in summer, numerous rivers and streams, desert valleys with grazing yaks and clouds hanging over them.

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Special passenger trains run here: the cars are airtight, equipped with oxygen masks and oxygen pumping through air conditioning, and windows with double panes are covered with a special film that protects against ultraviolet light. Nine stations are equipped with observation decks to admire the scenery, and at some stations, where the train is refueled with fuel and oxygen, passengers are not allowed out at all.

To enter Tibet, foreigners need a permit, which is sold only together with the tour at Chinese travel agencies. You can try to get to Lhasa without any permit, as in Russia the strictness of the law is compensated in China by the optionality of its fulfillment. If they don’t sell you a ticket it can be bought through a Chinese person who is ready to help.

Schedule and Cost: The train T27 Beijing – Lhasa departs from Beijing Western Railway Station daily at 21:30, the trip of 4064 km takes 48 hours. Tickets cost from 389 yuan (1770 rubles, seated car) to 1262 yuan (5740 rubles, coupe). You can also buy a ticket online, for example at www.chinatraintickets.net , but it will be a bit more expensive. Trains to Lhasa also go from other cities, for example from Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Montpellier (France) – Barcelona (Spain)

The Catalan Talgo train is a four and a half hour trip along the Mediterranean coast from Montpellier to Barcelona. The French part of the route goes through the Languedoc-Roussillon region: its 77 km of riven coastline and shallow lagoons seem almost wild compared to its eastern neighbor, the Côte d’Azur. There are far fewer luxury hotels and more idyllic-looking villages like Gruissant south of Narbonne, with ancient fortress ruins, quiet beaches and the Villa Pierre Richard.

In the Argelès-sur-Mer area, the train begins to climb up into the Pyrenees, sometimes bypassing the cliffs almost along the coastline (such as in Saint-Paul-de-Mar), and sometimes going slightly inland and following vine-covered valleys connected by a chain of tunnels. Here, on both sides of the French-Spanish border, in the coves between the cliffs are many towns of stunning beauty – such as Colours, the cradle of Fauvism, where Matisse and Derain lived and worked.

Those who enjoy a train journey along the Mediterranean can take the Mare Nostrum in Barcelona and travel along the coast further south, through Valencia and Alicante to Cartagena.

Timetable and cost: The train Catalan Talgo departs daily from Montpellier and Barcelona. Tickets cost from €58. Schedule: www.renfe.com .

Nilgiri Mountain Railway (India)

India’s only cog railway is in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and connects the town of Mettupalayam with the mountain resort of Udagamandalam (locals call it Uti for short). The cogged rail is a must: in 46 km, a small train pushed by an old Swiss locomotive climbs almost 2 km into the Nilgiri Mountains. You have to get on the left side of the train – the mountains will mostly be on the right, which it gently detours around the edge.

The train ascends at an average speed of 10 km/h and shows passengers panoramic views of tea plantations, dense forests, lush valleys with villages and the Blue Mountains (as the word “Nilgiri” is translated), while under ancient viaducts far below flow in stony beds of green rivers. Passengers peek out of the windows, sit on open platforms at the entrance to the cars and most of the way scream with delight – despite the fact that the trip up lasts five hours. By the way, it takes three and a half hours to get down the train.

Schedule and cost: second-class ticket – 24 rupees (16 rubles), first class – 142 rupees (95 rubles). The train departs from Mettupalayam at 7:10 and from Ooty at 3:00 pm. The schedule is coordinated with that of the Nilgiri Express train connecting Mettupalayam with the state capital Chennai (formerly Madras). More information can be found on the Indian Southern Railways website.

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Nouadhibou – Zouerat (Mauritania)

The world’s longest train carries iron ore from the Saharan mines near the town of Zuirat to the port of Nouadhibou. The train is 2.5 km long; three or four powerful diesel locomotives pull 220 freight cars and one passenger car at the end. European backpackers use it to get from Nouadhibou to Shum station and from there to the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Shingetti and Ouadane fortresses via Athar.

The only passenger carriage has first class (four dilapidated shelves) and second class – two long wooden benches and a floor where locals lie on blankets and carpets. Up to 150 people are crammed into the wagon, with narrow vents instead of windows, so many Mauritanians prefer to travel with their bales, goats, and sheep in the open freight wagons.

The disadvantages of such accommodation are the terrible heat during the day, the terrible cold at night, and the 24-hour rumble. The pluses are two: free travel and the opportunity to admire the Sahara in all its glory (the desert is especially good at dawn, when the sun appears from behind the mountains). Don’t forget a blanket and a big handkerchief to cover your face and protect yourself from the dust – it’s plentiful.

Schedule and cost: The train leaves from the outskirts of Nouadhibou (there is no station as such in the city) every day at 2:30 pm; delays sometimes occur. It takes 12 hours to get to Chouma, where most passengers get off (second class ticket costs 800 ouguiyas). It takes 18 hours to get to Zuerrat, but the town’s only attraction is the giant quarry where ore is mined.The fare on this route costs 1,000 ouguiyas in second class and 2,000 in first class (100 ouguiyas is 11.3 rubles).

Chihuahua – Los Mochis (Mexico)

The idea to build this railroad belongs to the American socialist Albert Kinsey Owen, who dreamed of establishing a utopian colony in Mexico and in the 1880s founded a company to build a main line that would connect his native Kansas City with Los Mochis on the Pacific coast. The company quickly went bankrupt, then a revolution broke out in Mexico, and the road remained a utopia for a long time – its construction dragged on until the early 1960s.

Now Chihuahua Al Pacifico is one of the main railroads of Mexico (650 km, 86 tunnels, 37 bridges), besides it is considered perhaps the most picturesque in the Western Hemisphere. The deserts with giant cacti around Chihuahua give way to pine-covered hills and lakes, until finally the most important thing, the Copper Canyon, begins. It is a chain of 20 canyons, about four times the size of the famous Grand Canyon (locals say that Copper Canyon is what the Grand Canyon dreams of becoming when it grows up).

The train that goes from Los Mochis to Chihuahua passes the Canyon in the morning, and if you move in the opposite direction, there is a chance to see the rocks slowly change color in the rays of the setting sun – and it is one of the most amazing spectacles in the world. There’s also a 20-minute stop at Divisadero to enjoy the views of Copper Canyon from the observation deck. There are also local Tarahumara Indians selling handicrafts such as baskets, dolls, pottery, flutes, and drums.

Schedule and Cost: There are two trains on the Chihuahua-Los Mochis route: the Primera Especial tourist express and the Segunda Clase. The first is slightly faster and more comfortable (15 hours of travel, 1981 Mexican pesos), the second makes more stops – it is used by locals (16 hours, 991 Mexican pesos). The schedule can be viewed here.

Oslo – Bergen (Norway)

Bergen railroad, which last year celebrated its centennial, crosses Norway from east to west, connecting the two largest cities in the country – Oslo and Bergen. The train covers 470 km for 7 hours, making about 20 stops, and this route can not be repeated by car – with some high-altitude stations still no road service.

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After leaving the capital, the train rushes past the villages of eastern Norway to the picturesque Hallingdal valley surrounded by mountains with rivers, lakes and sheep grazing in green meadows, and then starts storming Hardangervidda, the largest mountain plateau in Europe, in less than 100 km climbing to 1000 m. Amundsen and Nansen once prepared for their polar expeditions in the harsh conditions of the Hardangervidda Plateau, and it is also home to the largest deer population in Northern Europe, which can be seen right from the train window. From the station Finse, the highest point of the Bergen road (1,222 m above sea level), you can see the majestic Hardangyörökylen glacier.

A ten-kilometer tunnel (there are about 200 tunnels altogether, but this one is the longest) adjoins the station, and the open areas in the mountains are often covered with wooden canopies to protect the trains from avalanches. After reaching the highest point, the train begins to descend into the Roundalen valley, and soon the first west coast fjords appear on the horizon. On one of these fjords, surrounded by seven mountains, is Bergen, the old Hanseatic port, famous for its fish market and Bruggen Quay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

10. Health and safety on the railroad tracks

Walking along the territory of the railway station is permitted only along the specially marked routes, crosswalks, service and/or technological passages, walkways (flooring), platforms. When traveling, it is necessary to observe the requirements of safety signs, visible and audible signals, follow the movement of rolling stock and listen to the announcements on the loudspeaker system and warning signals.

Electricians are prohibited from using devices that impair the perception of sound signals of the approaching train (cell phones, headphones, audio and video players, etc.) while on the tracks and in their immediate vicinity during travel to and from the place of work, as well as during the performance of work.

Talking on personal cell phones is allowed only during work breaks and when an employee is at least 3 m away from the end rail at the speed of 140 km/h and at least 6 m when a passenger train is traveling at a speed of over 140 km/h.

Electrician when crossing the railroad tracks to the object of service must strictly follow the route of safe passage, approved by the head of the power supply department and agreed upon by the station manager.

When passing along the track at the crossing, you should walk away from the track or along the side of the road. At the same time you should watch the moving trains, locomotives.

When crossing the tracks, make sure that there is no rolling stock (locomotives, cars, cars, cars, etc.) approaching the place of crossing from either side. If an employee finds himself or herself between neighboring trains, he or she should, if possible, sit or lie down on the ground along the track.

When crossing the tracks, first look both ways and make sure that no rolling stock is approaching the crossing point. Cross the track at right angles and do not stand on the rail head, between the turnbuckle and the frame rail of the turnbuckle.

When crossing the track, occupied by standing rolling stock, you must use the transitional platforms of cars, it is forbidden to climb under the cars or car couplers. Before you start climbing to the transitional area of the wagon, you should make sure that there is no permissive indication of traffic lights and audible signals given by the locomotive before the departure of the train. Before leaving the platform of the car on the intertrack, you should make sure the serviceability of the steps and handrails, as well as the absence of locomotives and cars on both sides of the moving on the adjacent track; when leaving the platform should hold on to the handrails, facing the car.

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It is forbidden to cross the track in front of approaching locomotives, wagons, special self-propelled rolling stock.

When bypassing a group of cars or locomotives standing on the track, you should cross the track at least 5 m from the outermost car or locomotive and pass between the uncoupled cars, if the distance between them is at least 10 m; in doing so, make sure that no train, shunting train, single locomotive or trailer is moving on both sides of the adjacent track.

Upon detection (visual or audible) of approaching rolling stock, you should step to the side of the road at a distance of:

2.5 m from the outermost rail at set train speeds of up to 120 km/h;

at least 4 m from the end rail at speeds from 121 to 140 km/h;

when workers are on the station track, they are allowed to move to the middle of the wide intertrack.

At sections with set speeds over 140 km / h 10 minutes before the passage of high-speed or high-speed passenger train on schedule employees must get off at the nearest side of the track at least 5 meters from the extreme rail track.

It is not allowed to sit on the rails, sleeper ends, ballast prism, choke-transformer, as well as any other devices located both within and near the rolling stock clearance.

It is prohibited to cross to an adjacent track to pass a train and stay on it.

When passing a train, especially a passenger train, it is recommended to stand under the protection of the support of the contact network (avoid supports with compensation weights), relay cabinet, platform, booth or other structure.

When passing high-speed electric trains, an employee must, 10 minutes before the train pass, stop work and move to the side of the field at least 10 m from the outermost rail.

When passing freight trains should be wary of wires left unremoved from the wagons, as well as out of clearance boards and other objects. In order to avoid being jammed by rolling stock, it is forbidden to be in oversized places when passing trains, autotrucks.

If the railroad track is moving in the working position of track layer, electric ballast, cleaning machines, rail grinding train or other heavy rail machines, then move away from the extreme rail should be at least 5 m; if moving track rod, high-speed train, then move away at a distance of at least 10 m, and if one-track snowplow, then not less than 25 m.

Passing the way in cramped places, where on both sides of the track are high platforms, buildings, fences, steep slopes, you need to outline the safe places on which you can step back if there is a train.

Going out onto the track from a room or from behind a building that worsen the visibility of the track, you must first make sure that there is no rolling stock on either side of the moving on it. After leaving the room in the dark, you should wait some time (1 – 2 minutes) until your eyes get used to the dark.

The procedure for notification of cases of injury at work.

On each accident at work, the victim or eyewitness of the accident must immediately notify his direct supervisor (chief, senior electrician EMF), in his absence – energy dispatcher.

In this case, immediately:

provide first aid to the injured person;

Take measures to prevent the development of an emergency situation and exposure of other persons to the injuring factor;

Keep the situation as it was at the time of the accident until the investigation of the accident begins. If it is impossible to save it, record the situation (diagrams, photos, etc.).

Personnel shall be held liable for failure to comply with the requirements of this manual in accordance with Article 212 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation.

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