Thailand has over 4000 km of track reaching borders with Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. My challenge is to reach each of them by train and explore some of the lesser-known parts of the Kingdom. Based in Bangkok, these will include:
There is only one railway line in Mauritania, and it hasn’t been built for passengers, but to transport iron ore from mines deep in the Sahara Desert to the coastal city of Nouadhibou.
A winter coast to coast (and almost back to the first coast again) journey exploring the history and heritage of the great American railroad.
Packing in a lot of countries and culture in a relatively short distance, this journey provided a brief tour of the Balkans on the route of the Orient Express, and then leaving Europe behind, across Anatolia and into the Caucasus region and its incredible diversity.
A coast to coast journey seemed fitting for my first experience on the rails in America. The trip was mainly on Amtrak trains, but I also spent a few days on the amazing private railways in Colorado and Arizona. A few bus journeys were needed to connect these up with the main line.
This journey was both a recreation of the original route of the Orient Express and also in parts coving a journey that I last made as a student in 1987. The trip was a mixture of old and new, high speed and night trains.
A 20000 km journey using the Trans-Manchurian route to Beijing and then the train to Xining and the Qinghai-Tibet line up to Lhasa, crossing the Tangulla Pass at over 5000m. Then a trip across China east to Hong Kong.
Having been temporarily defeated by red tape on my plan to take the Silk route across Asia, I decided instead to head for Tokyo. It turned out to be a good decision. After crossing Europe, I took the original Trans-Sib route from Moscow to Vladivostok and then..
Building on my Shanghai experience, I travelled once again through Siberia and Mongolia on the Chinese 004 service, then headed south to Singapore.
My first ever Trans-Siberian adventure. A 12500 km winter journey from Edinburgh to Shanghai on the Trans-Mongolian route. This journey was via Amsterdam, Warsaw, Moscow and Beijing using the Chinese 004 train to cross Siberia and Mongolia. In China I used the new high speed service to reach Shanghai.
Matthew Woodward @ 2022