The reason I like to take the train no matter in which country I am? I don’t exactly know, but the fascination for the railway supposedly was built up during my early childhood, as my father worked as a construction engineer for the former state-owned “Deutsche Bundesbahn” and thus the whole family could ride the train free of charge. One amazing thing I was able to participate in one of the first test drives of the brand-new ICE speed train!
Somehow this early awakened passion for train trips has been continuing until today and since more than 6 years I am proud owner of the BahnCard 100 (2nd class).
Well, compared to foreign railway companies, especially outside of Europe DB makes an almost perfect impression.
My highest delay up to now was caused by “Ferrocarriles de Cuba” between Havana and Santiago de Cuba which took us almost 24 h, far more than the scheduled 16 hours. Good thing was that my travel companion Andreas were the only foreigners in our wagon and I could practise my Spanish over one day free of charge. By the way just shortly after our trip Andy left his workplace and has been travelling the world for almost 10 years by now. You can follow his adventures here https://www.instagram.com/observations_along_the_way/
Unfortunately I can not cover every railway adventure abroad, as these include more than 20 countries by now. But I would like to share a short list of unforgettable trips as of my opinion:
The Transsibirian: No matter if it is Moscow-Vladivostok, or via Ulan Bator to Beijing or just other parts of the track – this up to 9228 km long train railway network is probably the world’s most famous. I rode the Transsibirian from Moscow to Beijing with a stopover at Lake Baikal and Mongolia to visit the Olympic Summer games 2008.
Sri Lanka Railways: During my unfortunately just 4 days I rode trains practically every day, because even at higher cost I always prefer train if the trip duration is no that much longer than the bus. It is just so much more adventure riding the train! In Sri Lanka I took the highland connection from Kandy to Colombo and later from Colombo to Hikkaduwa directly along the beautiful beaches, even if the track goes right beside the slums consisting of shanty homes. The cover picture of this blog post features me on a fully packed commuter train who is leaving Colombo during rush-hour. Very intelligently the offices are all closing at the same time in Colombo! I probably have never been so narrowly clutched in a train, this is definitely nothing for claustrophobians!
Transrapid in China: On my way to Shanghai airport I was able to ride the Transrapid which speeds up to a maximum of 430 km/h! Being German you are feeling proud and sad at the same time, because this masterpiece of German engineering has never been implemented in my own country neither it has been commercialised anywhere else in the world. Nevertheless you get a kind of a strange feeling when suddenly the wagon starts to shake doing more then 400 km/h…