There's something so inexplicably soothing about travelling by rail, isn't it? Though it won't bring you to your destination as quickly as planes do, trains have a distinct old-school charm that makes it memorable. Train cars offer spacious comfort. But more than that, boarding a train gives you a scenic view that lulls you into relaxation and rumination. In fact, it's so therapeutic that virtual simulations of it have helped calm the anxiety and restlessness of Alzheimer's patients. Train travel is a novel experience worth taking, but since we all can't venture out for now and experience the tranquillity it lends us, we've compiled a list of virtual train rides you can board for free right at home. From sprawling verdant landscapes to thrilling heights, witness the world's beauty through the journeys below.
See Japan's quaint countryside through the Geibi Line
Missed your opportunity to see the sakura blooms in the Land of the Rising Sun this spring? Have a glimpse of the flowering trees and other quaint scenes from the Japanese countryside as you travel through the Geibi Line. Starting from Hiroshima Station and ending at Fukuen Line's Fuchū Station, this virtual rail journey will take you through the mountainous area of Chūgoku region. Stop by quiet little towns and cut through the mountains, all while keeping yourself snuggled up in a warm blanket right at home.
Journey through the scenic hills of Sri Lanka
Meanwhile, those who have long wanted to explore South Asia can start by venturing through Sri Lanka. Travel vicariously through Martin Solhaugen with his vlog documenting his exhilarating train ride from the city of Kandy to the town of Ella. The epic ride transports you through the abundant tropical hills of the region. Plus, the stunning tea plantations you'll get a glimpse of will totally convince you to visit Sri Lanka someday.
Cross Europe aboard the Bernina Express
There are a lot of virtual train rides that take you across Europe — after all, a huge chunk of the continent is connected by land. But this ride aboard the Bernina Express arguably takes the cake. The UNESCO Heritage-listed railway has set the record for being the highest railway crossing in Europe. Linking the resort town of St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano, Italy, this ride will leave you mesmerised for hours with a stunning view of the snow-capped Swiss Alps.
Discover Peru's picturesque landscape
Next, be teleported amidst South America's spectacular terrain by getting aboard these series of virtual train rides across Peru. Travel along the Ferrocarril Central Andino railway that connects the Pacific port of Callao to Huancayo in the Central Highlands of the country. The online odyssey takes you across the Andean mountains and dizzying heights atop cliffs and bridges, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
A historic trip through Australia's rainforest
Finally, visit the land down under and experience a virtual trip on board the Puffing Billy through the Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne. What makes this ride particularly special is that it's Australia's premier preserved steam railway — meaning you get to experience the huffing and puffing of the little steam locomotive as you go. Aside from that, the heritage railway offers the best views of lush fern gullies and towering trees of the rainforest. Watching this will totally help you unwind and relax right in the comfort of your home.