Famous Trains in Europe and Africa
Traveling between Moscow and Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Express makes the longest regular train trip in the world covering 5,778 miles and making ninety-one stops over the course of nine days. During the Cold War, Westerners on the Trans Siberian could only travel in compartments, where they were subject to Stalinist propaganda played on loudspeakers.
In 1928, the Flying Scotsman became the first non-stop train from King's Cross in London to Edinburgh, Scotland. The Flying Scotsman was a luxury express train full of amenities, featuring a hairdressing salon, a Louis the XVI style restaurant and bar, and for a short time it even had a cinema coach.
The Blue Train has run between Cape Town and Pretoria, South Africa since 1939 and derives its name from blue locomotives, railroad cars and leather seats. It was upgraded in 1997 to include televisions and phones in all of its suites and is still considered one of the most luxurious trains running today.
The French TGV (train grande vitesse or high speed train) is an electric train system. Trains run between Paris and several other cities, regularly traveling at speeds as high as 186 miles per hour. A modified TGV set a world speed record when it hit 320 miles per hour in trial runs. That record was smashed in 2007, when a train traveling on a new line from Paris to Strasbourg reached nearly 357 miles per hour.