Germany's Brockenbahn named most beautiful stretch of railway in the world

Germany's Brockenbahn named most beautiful stretch of railway in the world

While airports in Germany are in chaos, and petrol prices rapidly push up the cost of driving, the train is truly the only way to travel this summer. But where should you head for some of the globe's most spectacular views? One study has endeavoured to find out. 

The world’s most Instagrammable railway stretches

We’ve all been on the kind of journey where every corner turned offers up a new view even more stunning than the last - one begging to be photographed. But which train route around the world has people’s cameras and mobile phones clicking and flashing more than any other?

To find out which railway lines are most photographed and shared on social media, the clothes company Superdry analysed more than 500.000 hashtags on Instagram relating to scenic journeys around the globe. They then divided the number of hashtags by the length of the train journey to determine the number of photos per kilometre and crown the world’s most scenic train route. 

Brockenbahn in Germany is the world’s most photogenic train route

The number one spot goes to none other than Germany’s very own Brocken Railway, a historic track with two restored steam locomotives that takes passengers to the top of the Brocken - the highest peak of the Harz Mountains in Central Germany - with plenty of breathtaking views of mountain meadows and pine forests of the national park along the way. 

With 1.548 pictures taken each kilometre of the train’s 50-minute journey, and a whopping 29.413 hashtags uncovered in the study, the Brocken Railways is hands down the most snap-happy railway in the world. 

According to Superdry’s analysis, Europe is the world’s scenic rail route superstar, home to nine of the top 20 and 18 of the top 50 most scenic rail journeys in the world. The Flambahn in Norway took second place to the Brockenbahn, with 739 pictures per kilometre, followed by the Puffing Billy Railway in Australia, with 643. The other railways to make it into the top five include the Bernina Express (one of the best mountain railways in Switzerland) and the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales. 

If you disregarded route length, two of the top three railways would be in Switzerland: the Bernina Express (71.580 hashtags) and the Glacier Express (30.431 hashtags), as well as the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada (41.508 hashtags). 

The world’s most picturesque railways

The top 10 most picturesque railways in the world, according to Superdry, are:

  1. Brockenbahn, Germany
  2. Flambahn, Norway
  3. Puffing Billy Railway, Australia
  4. Bernina Express, Switzerland
  5. Ffestiniog Railway, Wales
  6. Inca Rail, Peru
  7. Serra Verde Express, Brazil
  8. Grand Canyon Railway, USA
  9. Nilgiri Mountain Railway, India
  10. Welsh Highland Railway, Wales

To see the full list, head to the Superdry website.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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