Train travel has always held a unique charm, allowing passengers to witness breathtaking landscapes while journeying to their destinations.
However, for those seeking an adrenaline rush and a thrilling experience, there are certain train routes that stand out for their danger and spectacular views.
In this article, MTC presents the top 10 most dangerous yet spectacular train routes in the world.
10 Most Dangerous But Spectacular Train Routes
1. Death Railway, Thailand
The Death Railway, also known as the Burma Railway, was a 415-kilometer-long track that connected Ban Pong, Thailand, to Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar.
It was forcefully built during World War II by civilian workers and prisoners of war, under Japanese control, to transport supplies for the Burma campaign.
Sadly, numerous Southeast Asian civilians and over 60,000 Allied prisoners were forced to work on this railway, with around 90,000 civilians and over 12,000 Allied prisoners losing their lives during construction.
Today, the train continues to run through Myanmar’s borders, and the entire route is known as the Death Railway because of the countless lives lost during its construction in difficult terrain, including mountains and dense forests.
2. Death-Railway Market, Thailand
Located just outside Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is renowned for its heart-stopping daily routine.
As the train approaches, vendors hurriedly retract their stalls and awnings to make way for the passing locomotive.
Witnessing this synchronized dance between man and machine is both terrifying and astonishing.
2. Aso Minami Train Route, Japan
The Takamori Line is a railway in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, operated by Minamiaso Railway. It’s the only line they run and goes through the southern part of Mount Aso Caldera, a volcanic region.
Due to its volcanic nature, it’s considered one of the riskier train routes, as eruptions can happen unexpectedly.
There are 9 stations on this railway track. The bridge that is built between two hills is very old.
3. Devil’s Nose Train, Ecuador
The Nariz Del Diablo train route in Ecuador, known as The Devil’s Nose, is one of the scariest and most dangerous train rides in the world.
Located at a high altitude of 9000 ft in the Andes Mountains, it offers thrilling experiences with old boxcars clinging to steep mountain inclines.
The train zigzags through the mountains, providing passengers with vertigo-inducing drops and sweeping vistas of the dramatic landscape.
4. Argo Gede Train Railroad, Indonesia
Argo Jati is a train service in Indonesia, operated by the Indonesian Railway Company. It runs between Jakarta and Cirebon in Java, replacing the original Argo Jati train series launched in 2007.
The train journey from Jakarta to Bandung takes about 3 hours and offers beautiful scenic views.
The most adventurous and nerve-wracking part is when the train crosses the Cikurutug Pylon Trestle Bridge, with a deep subtropical valley below, causing fear in many passengers.
5. Chennai-Rameswaram Route, India
India has a dangerous railway route that goes from Chennai to Rameshwaram. The track is built at sea level, and when the water level rises, the train moves forward on the track through the water.
This train route is remarkable, spanning a track measuring 2,065 meters. The Pamdan Railway Bridge, constructed in 1914, is an extremely low-level cantilever sea bridge connecting South India to the island of Rameswaram in Chennai.
From the train windows, you’ll only see the vast sea, with no path or road in sight. It offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those who are up for the adventure.
6. Georgetown Loop Railroad, Colorado, USA
The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railroad in the USA, found in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It was built in the late 19th century to access silver mines.
A notable feature is the Devil’s Gate High Bridge, standing 100ft tall, where the train crosses very slowly, appearing almost strained. This route is considered one of the most dangerous train routes worldwide.
The railroad was crucial for prospectors reaching the silver mines in Clear Creek County. The scariest part of the route is the Devil’s Gate Bridge, where the train moves cautiously due to fears of the bridge’s stability.
7. Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Australia
The Kuranda Scenic Railroad has been cutting through Barron Gorge National Park since the 1800s. Passengers on this track enjoy breathtaking views as it winds through the dense rainforest.
However, it can also be dangerous as the train comes very close to waterfalls, spraying the entire train with water.
The route runs from Cairns to Kuranda in Australia, passing through North Queensland’s world heritage rainforest. One notable waterfall near the track fills the passengers with awe, but it also makes some people fearful during the journey.
8. Tren a las Nubes, Argentina
The railroad in North Central Argentina near the Chile border took 27 years to build. It has spiral and zigzag tracks, passing through 21 tunnels and featuring 13 impressive bridges.
The Tren a las Nubes is like an airplane ride through the clouds, high up in the mountains. The route includes 21 tunnels and 13 equally spectacular bridges.
9. Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train, South Africa
When this track opened in 1908, there were some incidents, but it has become safer over time. Today, the track is still impressive, especially the Kaaiman’s Bridge over the Indian Ocean, which can be somewhat risky.
These rail tracks are in South Africa and take you to the Outeniqua Transport Museum. The train passes through dangerous paths with a river flowing nearby, often making people feel scared.
10. White Pass and Yukon Route, Alaska, USA
The White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&Y, WP&YR) is a narrow-gauge railroad connecting Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, Yukon.
It was constructed in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and is now primarily utilized as a tourist attraction. The 20-mile route, known for its cliff-hugging tracks, attracts adventurous visitors.