Tourist guide book publisher Lonely Planet made a list of ten often overlooked railway journeys where it ranked the Bohinj railway, connecting western Slovenia with Italy, at first place. The author said it was “a near-perfect railway adventure most people have never heard of”.
The 158 km long Bohinj railway, named the Transalpina railway in Italian, stretches from the north-western town of Jesenice through the Julian Alps, further on to the city of Nova Gorica, ending in the Italian port city of Trieste.
The Bohinj railway is the Slovenian section of a 717 km long train route beginning in the Czech capital of Pargue.
Built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1900 and 1906, the railway was described by the author as the knot of railways looking curious to modern eyes and connecting Austria’s Vienna to important parts of the former monarchy.
The railway takes passengers on “a spectacular tour of Slovenia’s upland highlights, climbing through mountain villages along the Soča river, passing through superb Alpine scenery near Lake Bohinj, and on past Lake Bled’s iconic castle“, the author wrote.
He also mentioned the steam specials which travel the route in the summer and “characterfully dilapidated regional trains” running year-round.
The author recommends beginning the journey in Trieste or Ljubljana, from where passengers can travel on towards the Balkans or Central Europe.
Other journeys mentioned in the list include the railway in New Zealand connecting Picton to Christchurch, the Havana-Hershey-Matanzas railway in Cuba, and the Belgrade-Bar railway between Serbia and Montenegro.