How can we go from India to Europe by train? Is it possible…
Very interesting question. And you can actually do this. Someone did a similar thing in 2005. Only difference is that he started from Europe (Derby, UK) and came to India (Mumbai), taking 25 days. His name was Dr. John Stubbs, experimenting on international rail travel around that time.
Based on his experience, and with a few modifications in the routes over the years, let’s see how we can travel to London from Mumbai entirely by train.
So here we go..
Steps to be followed:
Mumbai-Delhi: We can take direct train to Delhi. The distance is 1360 km and based on the type of train, it can take 14–28 hours.
Delhi-Lahore: From Delhi, we need to board bi-weekly Samjhauta Express, which will take us to Lahore in 16 hours, following a layover at Atari.
Lahore-Quetta: Akbar Express from Lahore will take us to Quetta situated in Balochistan, Pakistan. It will take 23 hours to cover 1225 km.
Quetta-Zahedan: This part is tricky. Zahedan Mixed Passenger is the only train that connects these 2 places and it runs only on 1st and 15th of every month. It takes 33 hours to reach the Iranian city which is 732 km away.
Zahedan-Tehran: A passenger train is available connecting Zaherdan with Iran’s capital. The train takes almost 24 hours to cover around 1500 km.
Tehran-Ankara: This segment needs to be traveled in Trans Asia Express. It has 3 parts. First, an Iranian train, operating between Tehran and Van Pier,Turkey; then, a ferry service, provided to cross the lake Van and after crossing, a Turkish train, to reach Ankara. It used to run once in a week but unfortunately, it’s not running at all since 2015 following some unrest in eastern Turkey. We don’t know when it’ll start operating again.
Ankara-Istanbul: A high speed railway is available from Ankara to Istanbul covering 533 km in just 5 hours.
Istanbul-London: Various routes are available. For example, our route can be split into Istanbul-Bucharest(Romania); Bucharest-Budapest(Hungary); Budapest-Munich(Germany); Munich-Paris(France) and Paris-London. So we’ll need 5 trains for the entire segment. Before starting from Istanbul though, we need to take a ferry to cross the Bosphorus strait.
So as you can see, this is how one can go to Europe from India by train. Instead of Mumbai and London, we can choose any two cities from India and Europe and I think Delhi-Istanbul part will be, more or less, the same. Only twice, we must take another mode of transportation (while crossing the Bosphorus strait and lake van by ferry). However, due to the unavailability of trans Asia express currently we have to cover that part using some other mode as well.