Great Rail Journeys for Less
If you happen to be a fan of rail travel (and who isn't?) you have probably got an iconic rail trip of two on your wish list. Whether it is the Orient Express in Europe, the trans-Siberian across Russia, or the scenically gorgeous trip through the Canadian Rockies, there is a good chance that you can make the trip at moderate cost.
There is a very useful article in Britain's Telegraph about less expensive ways to do 10 of these journeys in different parts of the world. The link is www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/11165085/Great-luxury-train-journeys-and-their-budget-alternatives.html.
For example, if you yearn for Czarist-era luxury, there is a train that will take you across Russia or through Mongolia to China for close to $16,000 per person. It is called the Golden Eagle Luxury Train (www.goldeneagleluxurytrains.com.) Or you can do basically the same trip on a regular trans-Siberian or trans-Mongolian train operated by Russian Railways for about one-twentieth of that price. Of course, it isn't so fancy, and you will be sharing a four-berth cabin with strangers. However, by opting for the latter, you will get to meet a lot of ordinary Russians, who are scarce to non-existant on the pricier rolling stock.
Similarly, the trip through the Canadian Rockies costs about $123 if you book a seat on Via Rail (www.viarail.com,) compared with almost 10 times that much for the Rocky Mountaineer (www.rockymountaineer.com.) The Via train runs between Jasper, Alberta and Vancouver, whereas the Mountaineer operates between Banff. Alberta and Vancouver.
These are just two of the train trips mentioned in the article. In general, the journeys by rail section of this newspaper looks to be a very good source for up-to-date information on this type of traditional travel, which must be a favourite for Brits, or at least for those Brits who read the Telegraph.