From steam engines to sleek diesels, experience the romance, majesty and adventure of trains past and present. Remember the days when thundering trains bridged the world's continents, nourished the pioneer spirit, ferried our troops to war, and provided politicians with mobile campaign platforms. Then settle into a first-class seat aboard the luxurious Orient Express, and glide through storybook cities from Paris to Istanbul. Celebrate a slice of history and ride the rails of the world in LOVE THOSE TRAINS.
From riding the rails atop a luggage rack through the mountains of Ecuador to enjoying a gourmet meal aboard the Lalique-laden Orient Express, this potpourri of train travel is bound to satisfy train buffs. The 57-minute National Geographic video opens with a segment on riding and working on old steam engines. There's a visit to a Montecito, California, property where grownups sit in miniature steam-engine cars and ride a mile-long track. Later, narrator James Whitmore takes viewers to Iowa to a celebration honoring hobos, especially the Hobo King, who calls himself "Steamboat." Then it's on to the notorious Donner Pass, where locomotives face the same trying weather conditions that vanquished most of the Donner party so long ago. In between stories, there's lots of black-and-white photographs and footage of early steam engines, the building of the railroad, and early travel. Viewers are treated to some of the more remarkable views in U.S. train travel as the engines make their way up steep inclines of the Rockies, pass unusual rock formations in the Southwest, or negotiate perilous stretches in crime-ridden urban areas. --Kimberly Heinrichs
Step aboard for an unforgettable 7-day rail trip from Moscow to Beijing, called "the longest train ride in the world." Your first stop is Irkutsk in Siberia, where wooden homes built by exiled Russian aristocrats are decorated with elaborate carvings. As your train chugs into China you'll visit the caves of Yungang, home to 51,000 statues of Buddha. See mountainside villages where people live much as they did 1,000 years ago, travel across the Great Wall, and thrill to many more exotic sights on this rail journey of a lifetime.