A portrait in words and photographs of 50 of the most scenic, remote and long-distance routes in Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America, and Europe. Some, such as the Orient Express route from Paris to Istanbul, are historical and no longer possible as a single journey; for these, full details of how to trace the route today accompany the description of the original concept. Other journeys are included because of the dramatic countryside they pass through, such as The Ghan in Australia, or the challenging nature of the track construction, such as the Western Australia Mixed Gauge built to accommodate trains with different gauges on the same line, or for the nostalgia of steam locomotives like the West Coast Wilderness Railway in Tasmania and the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway from Pinjarra to Dwellingup.
There are journeys to the Arctic and trips traversing whole countries. The descriptions tell of the logistics of the route, the historical reasons for its existence and the spectacular scenery to be viewed from the train window. Each journey is accompanied by a route map and illustrated with contemporary images.