Railway Journeys as a Hobby: From the Orient Express to the Trans-Siberian Railway

Railway journeys as a hobby have been a popular pastime for many years.

From scenic routes through breathtaking landscapes to historic train rides through cities and towns, railway journeys offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast or just looking for a new adventure, railway journeys are the perfect way to explore the world around you.

See Also: What’s Good About Traveling Hobbies?

Why Railway Journeys as a Hobby?

Train travel has been around for centuries and has been a popular mode of transportation for both leisure and business.

See Also: Bucket List Of Hobbies From A – Z

However, it’s only in recent years that railway journeys have become a hobby in their own right. Here are some reasons why railway journeys make a great hobby.

Benefits of Railway Journeys

One of the main benefits of railway journeys as a hobby is the thrill of travel.

Train travel is an exciting and unique experience that allows you to see the world from a different perspective.

You can enjoy the scenery and landscapes that you wouldn’t be able to see from a car or plane.

Additionally, railway journeys can be a great way to de-stress and relax. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride while someone else takes care of the driving.

Another benefit of railway journeys as a hobby is the opportunity to meet new people.

Train travel is a social experience, and you’re likely to meet people from all walks of life. You can strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers and learn about their cultures, experiences, and perspectives.

Moreover, railway journeys can be a great way to make new friends and build lasting relationships.

History of Railway Journeys

Railway journeys have a rich history that spans centuries. The first railway journey took place in the early 1800s, and since then, trains have played a significant role in transportation.

Trains have been used for everything from transportation of goods to military operations. Additionally, trains have been featured in literature, music, and movies, making them a cultural icon.

Moreover, railway journeys have been a passion for many people over the years. Train enthusiasts have been collecting model trains and building railway layouts for decades.

The hobby has evolved over the years, and today, there are many different aspects to railway journeys as a hobby. You can collect vintage train memorabilia, take train trips around the world, or even build your own model railway layout.

Getting Started with Railway Journeys

If you’re interested in railway journeys as a hobby, you’re in for a treat!

There’s nothing quite like the experience of traveling by train, watching the world go by from the comfort of your seat. But before you set off on your adventure, there are a few things you need to know.

Planning Your Trip

The first step in getting started with railway journeys is to plan your trip. Decide where you want to go, how long you want to travel, and what kind of experience you’re looking for.

Do you want to take a short excursion or a long-distance journey? Do you want to travel through scenic countryside or bustling cities?

Once you have a rough idea of your itinerary, start researching your options. Check out train schedules, routes, and fares. Look for special offers or discounts that might be available. Consider booking in advance to save money and secure your seat.

Choosing Your Route

Choosing the right route is crucial to enjoying your railway journey. Consider factors like scenery, stops, and amenities. Do you want to travel through mountains, forests, or along the coast? Do you want to stop in small towns or big cities? Do you need a dining car or sleeping accommodations?

To help you choose your route, look up reviews and recommendations from other travelers. You can also check out train travel blogs or forums for insider tips and advice. Don’t forget to consider the time of year you’re traveling, as some routes may be more scenic or popular during certain seasons.

Packing for Your Journey

When packing for your railway journey, keep in mind that space may be limited. Pack light and only bring essentials. Consider bringing a small bag or backpack that you can easily carry on and off the train.

Some items you may want to consider bringing include:

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Reading material or entertainment
  • Camera or smartphone for taking photos
  • Travel pillow or blanket
  • Toiletries and personal items

Remember to also check the baggage restrictions of your train operator before you pack. Some trains may have weight or size limits for luggage.

With these tips, you should be ready to embark on your first railway journey as a hobby. Enjoy the ride and take in the scenery along the way!

The Joy of Chasing Trains

If you’re a railfan, you know the thrill of chasing trains. There’s something about the sound of the locomotive, the sight of the cars rolling by, and the feeling of the ground shaking beneath your feet that is truly exhilarating. Whether you’re a seasoned railfan or just starting out, there are many ways to enjoy this hobby.

Trackside Viewing

One of the simplest and most popular ways to chase trains is by trackside viewing. This involves finding a good spot along the tracks and waiting for trains to pass by. Some railfans prefer to watch from a distance, while others like to get up close and personal.

If you’re new to trackside viewing, it’s important to remember to be safe. Always stay a safe distance away from the tracks and never trespass on railroad property. You can find good viewing spots by doing research online or by talking to other railfans.


For many railfans, photography is an essential part of the hobby. There’s nothing quite like capturing the perfect shot of a train in motion. Whether you’re using a professional camera or just your smartphone, there are many tips and tricks to help you get the best photos.

One important thing to keep in mind when taking photos of trains is to pay attention to the lighting. Early morning and late afternoon are often the best times to get good shots. You can also experiment with different angles and perspectives to add interest to your photos.


If you want to take your train chasing to the next level, consider getting into videography. With a video camera or even just your smartphone, you can capture the sights and sounds of trains in motion. You can even create your own videos to share with other railfans online.

When shooting video of trains, it’s important to keep the camera steady and to use a tripod if possible. You can also experiment with different camera angles and speeds to create interesting effects.

Overall, chasing trains is a hobby that offers endless excitement and opportunities for creativity. Whether you prefer trackside viewing, photography, or videography, there’s something for everyone in this fascinating world of trains.

Model Railroading as a Complementary Hobby

If you’re looking for a hobby that can complement your love for railway journeys, model railroading might be just the thing for you.

With its focus on building and construction, sharing with family, and joining a model railroad club, this hobby offers a variety of ways to engage with the world of model trains.

Building and Construction

One of the most appealing aspects of model railroading is the opportunity it provides to build and construct.

Whether you’re interested in creating a detailed landscape or designing intricate train layouts, this hobby offers plenty of opportunities to exercise your creativity and problem-solving skills.

To get started, you’ll need to invest in a few basic tools and supplies, such as track, trains, scenery materials, and a power supply. Many hobby stores offer starter kits that include everything you need to get started, or you can purchase individual components and build your collection over time.

Sharing with Family

Model railroading is also a great way to share your love of trains with family members of all ages. Children, in particular, often enjoy playing with model trains and helping to build layouts.

To get your family involved, consider setting up a dedicated space in your home for your model railroad collection. This could be a spare room, a basement, or even a corner of your living room. Encourage your family members to help you design and build layouts, and consider hosting model train shows or open houses to showcase your collection to friends and neighbors.

Joining a Model Railroad Club

Finally, joining a model railroad club is a great way to connect with other enthusiasts and learn more about the hobby. Many clubs offer regular meetings, workshops, and events, as well as opportunities to collaborate on large-scale train layouts.

To find a club in your area, start by searching online or asking at your local hobby store. You can also check out national organizations like the National Model Railroad Association, which offers resources and support for model railroaders of all levels.

By building and constructing, sharing with family, and joining a model railroad club, you can take your love of railway journeys to the next level with the exciting world of model railroading.

Exploring Different Railway Journeys

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most exciting railway journeys around the world.

Railway Journeys in the USA

The United States is home to some of the most iconic train journeys in the world.

From the California Zephyr, which takes you from Chicago to San Francisco, to the Coast Starlight, which runs from Seattle to Los Angeles, there are plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider taking the Rocky Mountaineer, which winds its way through the stunning Canadian Rockies.

Railway Journeys in China

China is home to the world’s most extensive high-speed rail network, and there are countless journeys to choose from.

One of the most popular is the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which covers the 819-mile distance in just over 4 hours.

If you’re looking for a more scenic journey, consider the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.

Railway Journeys in Italy

Italy is home to some of the most beautiful railway journeys in Europe.

One of the most popular is the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which takes you from Venice to London in style.

Another great option is the Bernina Express, which takes you through the stunning Swiss Alps.

Railway Journeys in Norway

Norway is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, and there are few better ways to explore them than by rail.

The Flåm Railway is one of the most popular journeys, taking you through breathtaking fjords and mountains.

Another great option is the Bergen Railway, which takes you from Bergen to Oslo through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Scandinavia.

Railway Journeys in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world.

The TranzAlpine is one of the most popular, taking you from Christchurch to Greymouth through the stunning Southern Alps.

Another great option is the Northern Explorer, which takes you from Auckland to Wellington through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the North Island.

No matter where you choose to travel, there’s no denying that railway journeys are a unique and exciting way to explore the world. So why not pack your bags, hop on a train, and see where the tracks take you?

The Economic and Environmental Impact of Railway Journeys

Railway travel is an excellent way to explore the world while minimizing your environmental impact. In this section, we will examine the economic and environmental benefits of railway travel.

The Economics of Railway Travel

Railway travel is often more affordable than other modes of transportation, particularly for long-distance journeys.

According to a report by Economics Help, railways can stimulate economic growth by increasing the productive capacity of the economy and shifting aggregate supply to the right.

Railways can also create new journeys, which can lead to increased investment and spending.

Furthermore, railways can reduce transportation costs for goods and people, which can lead to lower prices for consumers. This can be particularly beneficial for people living in rural areas, where transportation costs can be high.

The Environmental Benefits of Railway Travel

Railways have a lower environmental impact than other modes of transportation, particularly when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, conventional rail covers medium- to long-distance journeys with a maximum speed under 250 kph and suburban train journeys. Most conventional rail networks today are located in North America, Europe, China, Russia, India, and Japan.

These regions make up about 90% of global passenger movements on conventional rail with India leading at 39%, followed by China at 27%, Japan at 11% and the rest of the world at 23%.

Railways also have a lower carbon footprint than cars and airplanes. For example, a train journey from London to Paris emits 90% less carbon dioxide than a flight between the two cities. Additionally, railways can reduce traffic congestion, which can lead to improved air quality in urban areas.

To summarize, railway travel offers both economic and environmental benefits. By choosing to travel by train, you can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy a more relaxed and comfortable journey.

AffordableLimited accessibility
Low carbon footprintLimited speed
Reduces traffic congestionLimited flexibility
Comfortable and RelaxingLimited amenities on some trains


If you are interested in railway journeys as a hobby, there are many resources available to help you get started. You can join a model railway club, take a train spotting trip, or plan a railfan vacation to explore different railways around the world.

By connecting with other enthusiasts and sharing your knowledge and experiences, you can deepen your appreciation for this fascinating hobby.

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