When one thinks of great train journeys in the world, most people will mention the Orient Express. Some may also refer to the Blue Train in South Africa, or perhaps to one of Australia's passenger trains (particularly the Ghan and Indian Pacific).
Then there's the Trans-Siberian, which while not necessarily the grandest, is without doubt the longest, both in distance and duration, and also simultaneously perhaps both the cheapest and the most expensive. Regular tickets on the Trans-Siberian – a 5753 mile journey spanning just over 6 days traveling time – in a four berth compartment between Moscow and Vladivostok can be bought directly from Russian Railways for something like $200, while a 'Gold Class' ticket/tour on the private Golden Eagle train that also operates on that route lists for $18,000 share twin or $22,200 single.
Is there now about to be launched a new contender for the accolade of great train journey? Russian Railways has announced a new service, starting this Thursday, from Moscow to Nice. The 2074 mile journey takes just over two days, and is operated once a week in each direction (Thursdays from Moscow, Sundays from Nice).
Prices range from €306 – 1050 ($400 – $1400) per person, each way. The highest fares get you a large bed, separate shower and toilet, and the train has a restaurant car among its twelve carriage consist. There are discounts for seniors, children, and groups.
The train departs Moscow's Belorussky station (pictured) and stops at Smolensk, Minsk, Brest, Warsaw, Vienna, Innsbruck, Milan, Genoa and San Remo on its way to Nice.
More details on Russian Railways' website.