Graphic Insight this month looks at some of the worlds very long distance trains.
The graph plots the route distance on the horizontal axis against the number of hours scheduled to travel the entire route. Eight of the world’s longest distance train services are included: our own “Indian Pacific” and “Queenslander”, as well as the “Sunset Limited” (Los Angeles to Miami, USA), “California Zephyr” (Chicago to Oakland, USA), “The Canadian” (Toronto to Vancouver, Canada), the “Blue Train” (Pretoria to Cape Town, South Africa), the “Khyber Mail” (Karachi to Peshawar, Pakistan), “Tamil Nadu Express” (New Delhi to Madras, India), and representing the Trans-Siberian route, the “Rossia” (Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia). The “Indian Pacific” and “Queenslander” times are taken from “Travel Times Australia”, Edition 4, April-October 1996. The USA train times are taken from the Amtrak Public timetable of 2/April 1995. The data for other trains is taken from the Thomas Cook Overseas timetable, March-April 1993.
The Trans-Siberian stands out head-and shoulders as the longest route, travelling almost twice the distance of the “Sunset Limited” and more than twice the distance of the Indian Pacific.
Also interesting is that the Queenslander and the Khyber Mail have almost exactly the same timetable profile, so similar in fact that its not possible to separate the two trains on this graph!
The fastest of the featured trains is the California Zephyr, whereas the Queenslander and Khyber mail appear to have the slowest average speed. The “Indian Pacific” and the “Canadian” are very similar, but both are slower than the Sunset Limited.
It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list of “longest trains”, rather its a comparison of some of the more famous examples.
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