What Are the 10 Most Famous Trains Ever Built?

The train is an invention that has changed the way we live and travel. It is a mode of transportation that is both efficient and relatively affordable, so there's a good reason why it's one of the most popular ways to get around.

What Are the 10 Most Famous Trains Ever Built?

While there are many different types and brands of trains, certain trains have made history and become world-famous. We're sure you've heard of some of these, but see for yourself - do you know the most famous trains in the world? Keep reading to find out.

The First Train Ever

We'll get to the most well-known trains in a second, but when was the train invented in the first place?

The first train was invented in 1804 by Richard Trevithick, a British engineer. It was called the Penydarren or Pen-y-Darren, and it was used to haul iron from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon in Wales. 

The first passenger train, Locomotion No. 1, was built by George Stephenson in 1825. It operated between Stockton and Darlington in England. Today, you can see this locomotive at the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum.

The Most Famous Trains in History

The Orient Express

No, not because of a murder. Despite this train becoming world-famous because of a novel, it's much more than just an inspiration for a good story.

The Orient Express was a long-distance passenger train service between 1883 and 2009. It ran between Paris and Istanbul via Munich, Vienna, and Budapest. The journey took around 80 hours. The Orient Express stopped traveling to Istanbul in 1977 and completely stopped operating in 2009.

During its heyday, the Orient Express was considered the height of luxury. It had Pullman cars, which were like sleeping cars on steroids. They had their own bathrooms, beds, and wardrobes. Passengers could also enjoy a five-course meal onboard.

The Orient Express was so popular that it inspired other luxury trains, like the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The Super Chief

The Super Chief was a passenger train that started operating in 1937 between Chicago and Los Angeles. The journey took around 40 hours.

''The Train of Stars'' was one of America's most famous and luxurious trains, with celebrity clientele and many Hollywood personalities. It had modern cars, private bedrooms, dining cars, and many amenities. The train also had many shared cars where passengers could socialize and have fun.

The Super Chief was also known for its on-time performance. It was one of the most punctual trains in America, with an on-time rate of over 95%.

The Super Chief was discontinued in 1968. However, it remains one of American history's most famous and iconic trains.

The Trans-Siberian Express

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world which started operating in 1898. It stretches for 9,289 kilometers (5,772 miles) from Moscow to Vladivostok, with about 91 stations. The journey takes around seven days, although there are now faster services that make the trip in less time.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is famous for two things: its length and its luxury. The luxury trains that operate on the Trans-Siberian Railway are some of the most comfortable in the world. They have en-suite bathrooms, restaurants, and bars.

The Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman is an express passenger train service and one of the most famous trains in the world. It's also one of the oldest, as the service began in 1862. The Flying Scotsman was the first train to reach speeds of 100 miles per hour.

It was the first non-stop express train operating between King's Cross in London to Edinburg. The journey took around eight hours. Nowadays, the Flying Scotsman is a heritage train that runs on various routes in the UK.

Frontier Mail

The Frontier Mail was a passenger train that operated between Bombay and Peshawar before the Partition of India. The journey took around 36 hours. After the Partition of India, the train got a new route - between Amritsar and Bombay (Now Mumbai). In 1996, the name was changed to Golden Temple Mail.

The train was inaugurated in 1928 and was one of the most luxurious and comfortable trains in British India. This was one of the few trains in British India that had a bathroom in each compartment, and it was the first train with air conditioning on the Indian Peninsula.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway runs for 1,956 kilometers (1,215 miles) from Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, Tibet. The journey takes around 24 hours.

It's known for its engineering feats. It was built at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters (13,123 feet), making it the highest railway in the world. The Tanggula Pass, at 5,072 m (16,640 ft) above sea level, is the world's highest point on a railway.

The railway is famous for its spectacular scenery. It passes through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in China, including the Gobi Desert and the Tibetan Plateau. 

The Grand Trunk Express

The Grand Trunk Express is one of the most famous trains in India, and it started operating in 1929. It's also one of the longest, running 2,228 kilometers (1,393 miles) from Chennai to New Delhi. The journey takes around 35 hours and has 40 stops. To this day, it is operating daily.

The train is known for its comfort and luxury. Like all the previously mentioned trains, this one also has Pullman cars, sleeping cars, and a dining car. It also has air-conditioned coaches, which is a rarity in India.

Not only is it one of the most popular trains in India, but it's also one of the most punctual, with an on-time performance of over 80%!

The Mallard

The Mallard is another extremely popular train. It also broke the world record for the fastest steam locomotive, reaching speeds of up to 126 miles per hour.

The Mallard was built in 1938 and ran until 1963 when it was withdrawn from express service. It was used on the London to Edinburgh line. The journey took around eight hours. The train can still travel on track, but it cannot travel under its own steam anymore.

The Shinkansen

The Shinkansen, a.k.a the bullet trains, is a high-speed railway network in Japan. It's also one of the busiest, with over 300 million passengers yearly.

The network has various routes, covering pretty much the entire country with nine different lines. The trains are known for punctuality, with an on-time performance of over 99%.

The Shinkansen is also a tourist attraction in Japan. Year by year, millions of people take the train to glimpse into the country's culture and enjoy the scenery.

Indian Pacific

The Indian Pacific is a passenger train that operates between Perth and Sydney. The journey takes around 70 hours.

The Indian Pacific is one of the most famous trains in Australia. It's also one of the longest, running for 4,352 kilometers (2,704 miles). The train can carry up to 144 passengers. It includes sitting cars, cars with sleeper cabins, a dining car, and a motorail service to carry passengers’ vehicles.

The Indian Pacific is also one of the most punctual trains in Australia, with an on-time performance of over 95%.

Which One Would You Take?

So there you have it, some of the most famous trains ever built! Some of these are still operating, and if given a chance, we recommend taking a ride and experiencing some of these legendary routes. If you could, which one of these would you take?

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