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The best new trains and routes of 2022

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(CNN) — Everyone loves a comfortable train ride, and 2022 saw new routes, new operators and a new need for speed around the world, with rail enthusiasts all over the world taking pride.

From night trains that take you from Austria to the Italian Riviera, to new semi-high-speed trains across Laos, to luxury transcontinental journeys in Africa, to new Swiss trains that can ‘jump’ railroad tracks, and finally even to the United States, the thrill of railroad travel. Here are some of our favorite moments from the world of

swiss super train

Mobs

Coming into service in December 2022, the Swiss Golden Pass Express (GPX) will connect Montreux, Gstaad and Interlaken, gliding between different lines in special panoramic trains with varying heights and wheel gauges. The approximately 4-hour journey takes you past traditional Swiss lakes and mountains. Previously, he had to change trains twice.

Laos goes (quasi-) fast

A new semi-fast route across Laos is part of a long-term project in Beijing and Bangkok.

A new semi-fast route across Laos is part of a long-term project in Beijing and Bangkok.

Cao Anning/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

The big news in Laos this year was the semi-high speed train linking the capital Vientiane and Boten, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It passes through popular tourist destinations such as the karst-dotted Vang Vieng, the ecotourism hub of Luang Namtha, and the picturesque former royal capital of Luang Prabang. It is part of a broader plan to connect Beijing with Bangkok and even Singapore over the next few decades.

Elizabeth Line will change London

Elizabeth Line has transformed travel to and from London.

Elizabeth Line has transformed travel to and from London.

Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Traveling from Heathrow Airport to central London has long been a tiring hour-long tube journey, an expensive taxi or an equally expensive trip on the Heathrow Express train.

The $25 billion Elizabeth Line, which opened four years late in May, connects Reading and Heathrow in the west, Abbey Wood in southeast London and Shenfield in Essex in east London.

It’s a faster, smoother ride as it has several stops in London itself. The last station, Bond Street, opened in his November, as did a direct route from the west (originally passengers changed at Paddington). A final timetable will be put in place by May 2023.

Spain becomes Europe’s competitive hub

Iryo is the third company and fourth brand for high-speed networks in Spain.

Iryo is the third company and fourth brand for high-speed networks in Spain.

Rover Solsona/European Press/AP

What’s better than one national high-speed rail network? Three of them. In November, Spain became (sort of) fourth with the launch of iryo, a new high-speed competitor owned by major European players, including Italian operator Trenitalia, which introduced the popular Frecciarossa train to the line. rice field.

It is the country’s third operator and fourth fastest brand. Iryo departs from Madrid via Zaragoza to Barcelona and from Madrid via Cuenca to Valencia. Connections to Seville, Málaga, Cordoba and Antequera will start in March 2023, and connections to Alicante and Albacete in his June.

Hydrogen-powered trains show the way in Germany

World Premiere: 14 Coradia iLint Launches Passenger Service on First 100% Hydrogen Operated Route

World Premiere: 14 Coradia iLint Launches Passenger Service on First 100% Hydrogen Operated Route

Alstom

New ways to ride rails, not new rail lines — Germany launched the world’s first line in August to run entirely on hydrogen-powered trains. Located in Bremervelde, Lower Saxony, the line carries 14 of his hydrogen trains powered by fuel cell propulsion.

Hydrogen trains (Coradia iLint models), gradually integrated with existing diesel carriages, were expected to be fully installed by the end of the year.

Greek train arrives in Greece

Thanos Kartsoglou/fsnews.it

Italy’s world-class trains have spread across Europe this year. After the start of the Frecciarossa service from Milan to Paris in December 2021, Trenitalia (the lead operator of the Polo Passeggeri (passenger hub) of Gruppo FS, the Italian state-owned railway group) will expand to Paris and Lyon in April. Started service in France between 2022.

He then headed to Greece before setting up a medical dormitory to launch Hellenic Train, a new Greek railway company for passengers and freight. Introduced trains on heavily trafficked routes between Athens and Thessaloniki, travel time between his two largest cities in Greece is just under four hours, and he also operates urban and suburban lines around the capital.

Temporary ‘floating’ trains in Thailand

Thailand's

Thailand’s “Floating Train” is a temporary event due to high water levels.

Jiraporn Kwang Kuhakan/Reuters

Rising water levels meant Thai passengers could ride a ‘floating’ train across one of the country’s largest reservoirs in November.

Departing Bangkok, the train heads to Lopburi Province. There, the water reaches the top of the Pasak Jorashid Dam. Thoughtfully, the train stops when it reaches the halfway point so passengers can hop off and take selfies in this unexpected world of water.The train runs until his February, but not until November. Tickets were already sold out throughout the New Year.

Italian Express to Beer Country

New night trains from Vienna and Munich travel to the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre (pictured).

New night trains from Vienna and Munich travel to the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre (pictured).

stevanzz/Adobe Stock

A late entry to the list, launched on December 11, ÖBB’s new night trains will take you from the snowy cities of Austria and Germany to the serene Italian Riviera and vice versa. increase.

Perhaps it’s more fun to head north – starting from La Spezia (the starting point of the Cinque Terre), the train travels north along the Ligurian coast, stopping at Genoa and Milan, past Lake Garda to Verona. Head over and say goodbye. Padua in Italy and Villach in Austria. Half depart from Austria and Germany, calling in Salzburg at 6:49am and arriving in Munich at 9:20am. The other half will stay in Austria and continue on to Vienna.

Previously there was a Vienna-Milan night train, but the new route extends beyond Italy’s fashion capitals.

Scandinavian night

SJ's new EuroNight train travels through Sweden and Denmark to Hamburg, Germany.

SJ’s new EuroNight train travels through Sweden and Denmark to Hamburg, Germany.

rudi1976/Adobe Stock

Sweden is home to the European ‘Flight Shame’ movement, and the Swedish operator SJ makes use of it with a night train from Stockholm to Hamburg, which launched in September under the name EuroNight. Depart the Swedish capital around 5:30 PM, with a long stop in Malmö before passing through Denmark, arriving in Hamburg before 7:00 AM.

America embarks on a railroad revolution

Amtrak's new Acela trains will debut on the Northeast Corridor in 2023.

Amtrak’s new Acela trains will debut on the Northeast Corridor in 2023.

Amtrak

Let’s be honest, the US lags behind most of the world when it comes to rail travel, so picking up speed in its booming popularity is big news.

In June, an upgrade to Amtrak’s infrastructure allowed the company’s Acela trains to run at speeds of 150 mph on the associated New Jersey section of the Northeast Corridor. Granted, that section is only 16 miles long between New Brunswick and South Brunswick, but it’s a good start.

In 2023, also on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak will debut next-generation Acela trains capable of speeds of up to 160 miles per hour to replace older rolling stock.

african odyssey

The new Copper Trail route begins in spectacular style at Victoria Falls.

The new Copper Trail route begins in spectacular style at Victoria Falls.

Lobos Rail Tours

It’s one for those who have time and money to spare. In July, Rovos Rail launched a new route, the Copper Trail. It cuts through his four countries in sub-Saharan Africa, covering nearly 2,000 miles by ultra-luxury train.

Beginning in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the 15-day luxury journey heads north through Zambia, then turns west through the DCR to Angola, ending in Lobito on the Atlantic coast.

In between, there are day trips to national parks and elephant sanctuaries, and walking tours of towns and cities, including Huambo, Angola’s second city. Of course, it is not only beautiful, but also breathtakingly expensive. Prices for 2023 start at $13,600.

France: See the future

Invitees and journalists attend the presentation of the new SNCF TGV

Guests and journalists attend the presentation of the new SNCF TGV ‘M’ next-generation high-speed train held at the Alstom plant in La Rochelle, western France, on September 9, 2022.

Xavier Leotie/AFP/Getty Images

Manufactured by Alstom, the long-nose, aerodynamic double-decker trains will premiere on the Paris network in 2024, before rolling out nationwide. Trains have become larger and more accessible for passengers with disabilities.

Duncan Forgan, Ben Jones, Francesca Street, and Barry Neild contributed to this report.