Pack your bags.. Here are 10 new train rides you can enjoy in 2023

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — As governments squabble over climate change measures, millions of travelers around the world are replacing cars with trains as their mode of transportation.

When you add in rising car costs and unpredictable flight conditions, the drivers for the shift to clean rail travel become increasingly clear.

Although much more needs to be done to reverse decades of underinvestment in rail networks around the world, new tracks, advanced trains and exciting travel opportunities for adventurous travelers are being built every year.

Here are 10 exciting new train journeys for 2023

Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, Indonesia

Indonesia’s first high-speed rail line is scheduled to open in 2023, two years later than planned, cutting travel times from Jakarta to Bandung from more than three hours to just 36 minutes.

The $5.1 billion railway will revolutionize communications between two major metropolitan areas, Greater Jakarta with some 32 million citizens and Bandung, which now has a population of more than eight million.

It is expected that up to 44,000 passengers will travel on the trains during the first year of operation.

Brussels to Prague

With demand for night trains expected to increase in Europe in the second half of the 2020s, several start-ups have unveiled plans to launch exciting new routes. But the Belgian-Dutch cooperative “Slipper” comes closest to achieving this.

The company will launch its route between Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague in 2023, assuming it can secure and renew the right coaches at the right time.

By connecting four of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe, the demand for seats on the train will increase, especially in the peak summer months.

Panda Panoramic Express, China

When we think of panoramic trains, the Alpine routes in Europe or the Rocky Mountains in North America usually come to mind.

But China will get a beautiful new railway with panoramic trains in 2023.

The $3.1 billion railway line will connect Dujiangyan city with the panda sanctuary and Sigunyang mountain area in Sichuan province.

The first section is expected to open in late 2023, with full operation in 2026, which will then cut the 129 kilometer journey from Dujiangyan to Segunyangshan from five hours to 120 minutes.

Maya Train Project, Mexico

Visitors to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula will be able to enjoy an exciting new rail route from December 2023.

The Maya Rail Project is a 1,525-kilometer system of new and revitalized rail lines designed to connect Caribbean resorts like Cancun with cities, cultural sites, and lesser-known inland destinations.

Construction began on the initial track from Palenque in the state of Chiapas through the historic city of Mérida and the world-famous Mayan site of Chichen-Itza to Cancun in 2020.

Swiss GoldenPass Express

Switzerland’s latest panoramic train ride was launched on December 11, three years later than planned and 150 years after it was first proposed.

The new train journey directly connects three of the most important tourist destinations in the European country, which are the municipality of Montreux, the town of Gstaad and the municipality of Interlaken, a special route made possible by the unique new trains that can change the scale of their wheels and the height of the vehicles.

GoldenPass Express passengers can now sit comfortably during the journey, immersing themselves in the ever-changing scenery through the large panoramic windows.

The beautiful journey passes some of Europe’s most beautiful lakes, secluded valleys and high mountain passes, across the borders of central Switzerland, following a trade route that has existed since the Middle Ages.

Amtrak’s new train

Amtrak invests in Asala high-speed trains to improve service on Northeast Corridor rail, plain_textCredit: Amtrak

American commuters will have to wait a little longer for new train tracks under President Joe Biden’s $66 billion investment plan.

But a new generation of “ASALA” trains are scheduled to enter High-speed service on the main Northeast Corridor route between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC in late 2023.

Amtrak will take delivery of 28 Avelia Liberty trains to improve the speed and frequency of Asala train services.

With room for up to 25 percent more passengers, the new train will run half an hour between New York and Washington during peak hours, allowing Amtrak to increase capacity on the route.

From Krakow in Poland to Vilnius in Lithuania

Options for sustainable travel to Europe’s three Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – are somewhat limited, due to a lack of rail connections.

Part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in the early 1990s, the relatively limited rail networks of these three countries stretch eastward into Russia and share wider than usual tracks.

In the long term, the massive $6 billion Baltic rail project will provide a high-speed passenger and freight connection between Poland, the Baltic states and Finland.

Until then, travelers from Central and Western Europe will have to rely on long-distance buses and airlines to get to these countries.

However, for the more adventurous rail explorers, there is finally a daily train route between Krakow and Warsaw in Poland and Vilnius in Lithuania.

Due to the difference in gauges, it is not completely smooth, but Polish Railways now operates a comfortable intercity train.

A trip from Warsaw to Vilnius takes about nine hours on this new route, with fares starting at around $25, or $30 if you’re traveling to or from Krakow.

New European Nightjet routes

Nightjet sleeper trains in Austria have been the catalyst for a remarkable revival in night rail travel in recent years.

The new routes and a fleet of advanced, specially designed trains will significantly expand and enhance Nightjet’s services to European travelers in 2023.

And by the summer of 2023, the new Nightjet trains will be on major international routes from Vienna and Munich to Rome, Milan and Venice.

Orient Express The new La Dolce Vita

10 new train rides
An interior view of the new La Dolce Vita Orient Express, which will debut in 2023. , plain_textCredit: dimorestudio

If the current Orient Express seems a little dated these days, travelers have the option of adding Italy’s newest luxury train to their travel diary for 2023.

The Orient Express La Dolce Vita is aimed at less traditional and more design-conscious travelers, while keeping the old-fashioned charm alive.

The train has interiors inspired by Italian decor of the 1960s and 1970s, and the exterior resembles shiny motorboats.

New Zealand travel

New Zealand
Great Journeys New Zealand launches its new multi-day tours, ranging from 6 to 17 days, in 2023, plain_textCredit: Great Journeys New Zealand

From January 2023 it will become even easier to explore New Zealand’s unknown regions by train.

Train operator Great Journeys New Zealand will introduce its new multi-day journeys, allowing passengers to go out and enjoy guided experiences and overnight stays in different locations.

Excursions will include whale, dolphin and albatrosses spotting in Kaikoura, adventure along the Punakaiki Reefs and Hokitika Strait on the west coast, and wine tasting in the world famous Marlboro region.

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