Seeing the world through the window of a train

I’ve always loved trains, or more precisely long train rides. Even my daily commute hasn’t lessened my love for them; if you think commuter trains in the UK are crowded, try squeezing your way onto a train out of Colombo at rush hour!

It’s always exciting to look up at train departure boards in European stations and realise that just by hopping on a train I could be in another country in just a few hours, without the hassle of flying.

I haven’t really had the chance to do many ‘epic’ train rides- South America has quite a limited rail network although I would love to ride the train from Curitiba to Paranaguá in Brazil.

Ella to Colombo

While the relatively short distances in Sri Lanka might not sound like they lend themselves to epic train rides, the reality, at least in the case of the journey from Ella to Colombo is different. The train wends its way at a snail’s pace through the highlands, the breathtaking views across Ella Gap give way to forests where morning sunlight streams through the trees. The higher peaks gradually become gentler hills packed with tea plantations and small waterfalls. Vendors pass through at every new stop, selling cashews and hot snacks. The views are what sell this journey; the scenery becomes more gentle as you approach Colombo but not without their own drama. A sudden thud bought us to a halt in the middle of nowhere. Seems a cow had wandered across the track just in front of us.

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