Some people think that trains belong to bygones of the past and that no one uses them anymore for anything other than to transport goods, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There are many train lines that crisscross the continent of Europe on both a domestic and international level, carrying passengers to their destinations over vast distances on a regular basis.
Continue reading to learn more about the longest train journey legal passengers can enjoy on the continent of Europe.
What is the Longest Train Journey in Europe?
Naturally, many people will instantly think of the Trans-Siberian Express as the longest train journey in Europe or, indeed, the whole world.
They aren’t technically wrong, but a good proportion of the Trans-Siberian Express crosses over borders into the continent of Asia, which can disqualify it as the longest train journey in Europe for some.
In actuality, the longest train ride you can legally take that stays in Europe in its entirety is not very well-known.
It is a simple train line that runs from Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in the south of Russia, to the city of Vorkuta in northwestern Russia, above the Arctic Circle.
This about 2402.8-mile journey (just short of 3900 kilometers) runs on a daily basis as it zigzags up Russia, staying just west of the Ural mountain range (often used as a natural designation of where Europe and Asia meet).
When Should You Take the Longest Train Journey in Europe?
Most of the tickets that can be booked for the longest train journey in Europe are probably wealthy businessmen and women willing to commute over long distances for a week or two at a time.
That being said, the average cost of a ticket on the longest train ride in Europe isn’t unattainable at $180 per person. It seems that most, if not all, of the trains also originate in Vorkuta before ending up way further south in Sochi.
What this means is that it is probably best to buy tickets to experience the northwestern region of Russia during the summer months when temperatures aren’t as bitter cold, and inclement precipitation is less likely to be causing issues for travel and sightseeing.
Which Countries do You Pass Through while Taking the Longest Train Journey in Europe?
Unfortunately, the only country that you will pass through while on the longest train journey in Europe while on the Vorkuta-Sochi line is Russia.
Even so, it is possible to get some rather scenic views along the route, especially as the climate begins to shift and give way to new environments or biomes.
If you’re more interested in visiting as many countries as possible instead of taking the longest train journey in Europe, try something known as “interrailing” across the mainland countries of the European Union.
Why Should You Book a Ticket for the Longest Train Journey in Europe?
The start and end points (Vorkuta and Sochi, respectively) are both interesting places to visit before embarking on the longest train trip in Europe.
Vorkuta is a city steeped in the history of the Soviet Union’s coal mining operations as well as the forced labor camp known as Vorkutlag. Learning about these topics can be rewarding and humbling for many people.
The city is also situated close to the permafrost of the Arctic, so if you are looking to experience some of the colder, natural temperatures on the planet, Vorkuta is a good place to start.
On the tail end of the journey, Sochi is home to where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held. But, if competition isn’t what you like, Sochi also offers both natural and historical attractions beyond the grounds of the Winter Olympics.
Leaving Vorkuta to go to Sochi would be a good idea in the summer since Sochi is going to be so much warmer, which then affords you the opportunity to load up on attractions such as the beach.
Aside from what the cities have to offer, taking the longest train ride in Europe allows you to brag about knowing the correct answer to that question, as well as mentioning that you have ridden that train line is another great reason to book a ticket.
When all else fails, the scenery as it passes by the closest window will make for picturesque or stunning memories.
How Much Does the Longest Train Journey in Europe Last?
This question has multiple answers, which may surprise some people. The average duration of a train ride from Vorkuta to Sochi (or vice versa) lasts three days and 3 hours (a total of 75 hours or so).
However, this is the average time it takes for the daily train between Vorkuta and Sochi to make it from each place. The fastest train shaves off an impressive 10 hours or so from the average time giving it a journey time of just two days and 17 hours.
Likewise, there are trains on the slower side of the spectrum that can add another 10 to 12 hours to the average journey time, especially if the train is operating on a weekend or holiday.
Final Thoughts on the Longest Train Journey Europe
The Vorkuta-Sochi train line may not be as memorable or as easy to say as the Trans-Siberian Express, but it is truly a delight to be able to ride the longest train journey in Europe.
Especially when you plan a vacation with the right timing. Just make sure to bring something to entertain yourself with for a bit during those long days spent on the train.