For globetrotters, there’s nothing better than hitting the road as you watch the scenery change around you. If you’re missing that open, expansive feeling, it’s time to climb aboard the YouTube Express! The videos we’ve rounded up below show real-time train trips as they pass through some of the prettiest terrain in the world. We’re talking Norwegian countryside, Swiss mountains, and English fields. The best part about these videos is how soothing they are—the landscape rolls by slowly, letting your mind ease into the gentle click-clack rhythm of a train trip. Our suggestion: Leave these videos running in the background to give a place to rest your gaze while working from home. They’re also a hit with train-obsessed kids (and train-obsessed kids at heart). Click on the links below and get ready to leave the station.
Golden Pass Route (Switzerland)
A plucky guitar provides the soundtrack to this stunning train ride through Switzerland. The Golden Pass route takes travelers on a weaving journey through the Alps right when the trees are bursting into their fall colors. A gushing river, A-line houses, and an atmospheric fog all add to the rich ambiance. As mountains open up to reveal sweeping valley scenes, the train window passes by the stuff of pastoral dreams.
Bernina Pass (Switzerland and Italy)
This video of the Bernina Pass between Switzerland and Italy shows more sweeping Alpine countryside, but this time we’re treated to the conductor’s view at the front of the engine. Snow-topped mountains and shimmering crystal-blue lakes dip in and out of the train’s view. Occasional tunnels drive everything into darkness, only to burst into full Technicolor on the other side, with blue skies and blankets of evergreens.
Gloucestershire (United Kingdom)
Relax and gaze dreamily out the window of this Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway train. The patchwork landscape beyond looks just like the picture on the top of a shortbread tin, and uplifting cotton-ball clouds unspool above. Fields, little houses, and church spires all make an appearance, and the soundtrack is just those train wheels turning over and over with their swaying rhythm.
Oslo to Bergen (Norway)
For pure winter wonderland magic, the Bergen Railway line can’t be beat. It moves from lakeside greenery into snow-blanketed stillness and back again. The view here is front-of-train (aka “cab view”), and the soundtrack is simply the wheels clacking along, with the occasional murmur of fellow passengers and train announcements, adding to the realness. Best of all, the train ride is over seven hours long, so you can click it on and let it run all day.
Toyosu to Shimbashi (Tokyo)
If you’re a fan of the towering skylines and streamlined architecture of Asia, this trip riding from Toyosu to Shimbashi will catch your imagination. Blocky skyscrapers by the waterfront dash out of view as this Yurikamome train pulls into futuristic white train stations. Adding to the commuter realism are the passengers ducking on and off the train, providing some fun people-watching. Gentle dinging, binging, and whooshing train sounds give the audio backdrop.
Port of Bar to Bijelo Polje (Montenegro)
Travelers that want to get off the beaten path will appreciate this video that pinwheels through the countryside of Montenegro. Train tracks loop around the craggy landscape ringed by deeply edged mountain ranges. Multiple tunnels thread through the mountains themselves, and all the while, the sky grows darker as streetlamps wink on.
Royal Gorge Route (Colorado)
America the beautiful, indeed: This trip through the Royal Gorge Route shows off Colorado’s geography at its most majestic. Pulling alongside the churning Arkansas River, these tracks skirt the rocky Grand Canyon. The train slips through some narrow keyholes of land on its way. And up above, celestial clouds in a perfect blue sky add to the postcard look. Halfway through the video, the train turns to double back for the trip home.