Luckily, the deadliest and most dangerous trains are not the European ones. That doesn’t mean that Europe doesn’t have any extreme trains to offer. Railways in Europe can be high or low and if that doesn’t sound weird enough they can be deep and long as well. Some run underneath a sea, while other service deserted places. Keep reading to find out about these interesting trains in Europe and some cool train facts!
Get ready to discover some interesting facts about trains 🙂
Oh, and don’t forget to check out these scenic train rides as well!
The highest railway in Europe
Jungfrau Railway is the highest in Europe. It opened in 1912 and at its highest point, in the station of Jungfraujoch, it reaches almost 3500m. Most of the ride up you won’t be looking at the scenery, but rather the inside of a tunnel. As a sightseeing rail track, there are two stations in the tunnel for people to get out and gaze through the windows in the mountainside. You can travel this journey in Switzerland.
The longest tunnel in Europe
More Switzerland: the Gotthard Base Tunnel is not only the longest rail tunnel but also the deepest. It opened to the public in December 2016 and has safely transported passengers through the roughest landscape in Europe. The Alps have always forced rail tracks to detour, but now this 57 km long track takes travelers almost 2,5km underground to reach their destination. With that, it is not only the longest and deepest extreme train track in Europe but in the entire world.
Photo by Kecko on Flickr Gotthard Base Tunnel
Underneath the North Sea
The Channel tunnel runs from Kent in the UK to Calais in France. With a length of 50 km of which 38 km are effectively under the water. It is, therefore, the longest underwater tunnel in the world. The Channel tunnel opened for public transportation in 1994 after a long and exhausting struggle to build this marvel of engineering. Today, mostly high-speed trains pass through the tunnel and it serves millions of passengers every year.
Northernmost Rail Line
The 10 km rail line between the Norwegian towns of Kirkenes and Bjørnevatn is a private mining line, which is not connected to any other railway systems. While it used to be the northernmost line in the world, now this title has been overtaken by a Russian railway. It was first used in 1910 and during a certain period of time, passengers were transported via this railway. Today it is used for transporting iron.
Busiest Train Station in Europe
The Parisian Gare Du Nord has 31 platforms and over 200 million passengers walk through each year. It’s centrally located in Europe and national, as well as international trains, pass through this station. The very first Gare Du Nord was built in 1846 and it looks nothing like how it looks today! The station was rebuilt and upgraded a few times to be able to process the huge amount of passengers and train passing through. Want to travel to the Gare Du Nord as well? See what you can do with 3 days in Paris.
Diliff , from Wikimedia Commons
Most desolate Train Station in Europe
Altnabreac Station in the Highland of Scotland is probably one of the most desolate train stations in Europe. Trains do actually stop by, but there isn’t much to see and there’s not an actual reason to get off the train unless you want to be stuck for a very long time until the next train shows up. There is no actual town and the closest road is kilometers away, which does make it an interesting stop for loners or hikers.
Photo by Rob Faulkner on Flickr Altnabreac Station
Extreme Luxury Train
The Belmond Grand Hibernian was the first overnight train journey in Ireland and it is more than a hotel on wheels. Inspired by Dublin’s Georgian architecture, the Grand Hibernian sleeper carriages are a costly accommodation to book. But while spending thousands of euros on this trip, you can look forward to a mind-blowing experience of luxury and grand design. This train journey is popular and tickets sell out very quickly, so you’ll have to book this one well in advance. The company organizing these trips offers more luxurious options.
Interesting train trips Europe
Most of these trips can be traveled by passengers, except for the mining train in Norway, and there are a lot more interesting train trips in Europe and even more beyond Europe. Let us know which train fact sounds the most interesting! And don’t forget to check out these scenic train rides in Europe and our post about train travel in Europe.