Hold On Tight As You Ride Through 11 of the World’s Most Life-Threatening Train Routes

Trains have been a major mode of transportation around the world for centuries. From shortdistance shuttles to crosscountry journeys, they provide an efficient and comfortable way to travel.

While most train trips are relatively safe and uneventful, some routes carry more danger than others. Here are 11 of the most dangerous train routes in the world that you may want to avoid taking.

1. Chennai – Rameswaram Route, India

Pamban Bridge: the lifeline bridge connecting Rameshwaram island
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In 1964, a cyclone annihilated the town of Dhanushkodi, located on the eastern tip of Pamban Island. It swept a train off the Pamban Bridge. Passengers who have traveled on this route say the worst part of riding is the fragile bridge that wobbles with the train over the turbulent sea.

2. Aso Minami Route, Japan

Railway of the Minami aso line, Kumamoto, Japan, Jul. 25, 2015
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As the train passes through the volcanic area of Kumamoto, the volcanic eruption is unpredictable and can erupt at any time. It has burnt many beautiful places in the region, which makes it more frightening. Also, one might see burnt lava close to the tracks of this death railway.

3. Georgetown Loop Railroad, Colorado, USA

Georgetown, CO - 9-18-2021: A vintage steam locomotive with tourist passenger cars on a high bridge on the Georgetown Loop Railroad in Georgetown Colorado
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

An engineering marvel and an amazing railway track, this rail covers the distance between Georgetown and Silver Plume with scenic views of the valley. The one-hundred-foot-tall Devil’s Gate High Bridge falls on this route, and strong winds from the front and sides of the rail make it a nerve-wracking journey for the passengers.

4. White Pass and Yukon Route, Alaska, USA

Breathtaking panorama of mountains, glaciers, trestles & tunnels from the comfort of a vintage train, on the White Pass & Yukon Route.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Possibly one of the most traveled train routes by tourists and adventure seekers, the White Pass and Yukon Route deliver stunning scenery. The three-thousand-foot mountain climb makes the White Pass and Yukon Route dangerous. Moreover, it was once used as a route for miners to reach the gold-rich Yukon.

5. Tren a las Nubes, Argentina

La Polvorilla viaduct, Tren A Las Nubes, near San Antonio De Los Cobres, northwest of Argentina
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The zigzag tracks passing through twenty-one tunnels on thirteen formidable bridges make Tren a las Nubes one of the world’s most daring railway lines. Also, this rail journey takes sixteen hours to complete, which is insane considering it is among the most dangerous train routes in the world. It came into operation in 1948 and was among the unique railways in Argentina that passed through the highest mountains and the deepest canyons.

6. Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Australia

KURANDA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 21, 2017: Kuranda Scenic Railway crossing an elevated bridge over Barron Gorge National Park on its way to Kuranda.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Kuranda Scenic Railroad is among this list of top most dangerous train routes in the world but is incredibly beautiful. This long railway route of fifteen tunnels and ninety-three hairpin bends crossing over forty bridges makes Kuranda Scenic Railroad a scary ride. Also, it passes near whirling cliffs and powerful waterfalls, forcing the train to move slowly.

7. Devil’s Nose Train, Ecuador

Nariz del Diablo, devil’s nose, is a famous railroad track in the andes of Ecuador, so steep, it has to zig zag up the mountains with reversing into dead ends, South America
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The name Devil’s Nose Train is given to this train route for a reason. At the time of its construction, the track was plagued by heavy rainfall, poisonous snakes, malaria, jaguars, frequent seismic activity, yellow fever, and dysentery, which delayed its progress.

8. The Death Railway, Thailand

Death railway, built during World War II, Thailand
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It should come as no surprise that this is on the list of the most dangerous train routes because of its name. The Death Railway was used to supply troops and weapons during World War II’s Burma campaign. Moreover, during the construction of this rail route, many Prisoners of War lost their lives during WWII; hence, the name. It makes its way through wild jungles and dangerous mountains.

9. Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Train, South Africa

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Steam train which runs between George and Knysna, South Africa.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The fact that it hangs on the Indian Ocean makes it one of the world’s most dangerous rail journeys. Riding on this train impressed a lot of passengers but was somewhat risky across several parts of the Indian Ocean. However, this train ended its operation in June 2009.

10. Jakarta-Bandung, Indonesia

Aerial view of the High speed orange train on the railway station. High Speed Train Jakarta-Bandung. Bandung, Indonesia, November 22, 2022
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This train route proffers the most beautiful train experiences. It scurries between Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, and takes three hours to complete the journey. The real adventure and dreadful experience initiates when the train runs above the subtropical valley on the Cikurutug Pylon Trestle Bridge. Many people get afraid after watching the deep subtropical valley beneath the train track.

11. Pilatus Railway, Switzerland

The famous cogwheel train, the steepest in the world, climbs to the top of Mount Pilatus in Canton Lucerne in the alps in Switzerland
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As the world‘s steepest cogwheel railway, the Pilatus Railway is an incredible feat of engineering. It ascends over 2,000 meters with a maximum gradient of 48%, passing through stunning Alpine scenery. This 30-minute ride is popular with tourists, but not for the faint of heart as the steep incline can make for a nerve-wracking journey!

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