Scenic train rides exemplify the wisdom American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson worked to impart: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And when you start to see the world this way, life gets a whole lot better. Philosophical thoughts aside, since trains run on their own—oftentimes remote—routes, they give you the opportunity to see parts of the world you may not be able to in a car, and most definitely not in a plane.
Even though any train ride can be an opportunity to unwind and watch the world pass by through the window, these 12 scenic train rides are among the most beautiful. From the highlands of Peru to the Swiss Alps, here are the top train destinations that will have you yearning to hear that storied call: “All aboard!”