I've always wanted to travel through Europe and Asia on an old fashioned steam train. Call me old fashion, but it just seems more adventurous and romantic than modern day trains, subways, monorails, and such.
Of course there are several problems with this............ Finding a steam train that offers international journeys is next to impossible and then there's the fact that I want to make lots of stops and do lots of sightseeing.
Now, my question is.... Does anyone know of international or even cross-country tour trips in Europe or Asia on a steam train? If so, I would greatly appreciate some advice or refferals.
The few running steam trains in Western Europe are short, slow and run mainly for tourists in touristic areas. Same goes for Eastern Europe, although I heard some rumours that in some remote regions (like rural Bulgaria and Romania) some steam trains are still running regularly.
So (unless you go on a very expensive organised tour with a train travel specialist) no international steam trains in Europe. Some international tours that are specifically organised to suit steam fans are offered once or twice a year, but these are local events and finding info on such trips is very difficult. In Germany there is the show "Eisenbahn-Romantik". They have a free newsletter in German which carries this kind of information, but I don't know about other countries.
I think that there are steam trains in Tunisia and in Syria, one of them being the international one from Turkey. China and India also have some great steam trains.
Hope I helped.
There are still lots of Steam tours done by groups specifically for enthusiasts, but they are based almost entirely around the trains, and certainly don't offer huge flexibility. Most European countries have private/heritage steam routes that operate that you can ride on (and in places, such as Poland) help out as a volunteer. But in terms of actual scheduled "normal" services, there are very few left in Europe (a couple in Sweden, one in Scotland plus one or two more). Most of the Eastern European ones have also been replaced with diesel traction in recent years as well and are no more.
If you don't want to join an actually "train" holiday of enthusiasts, your best bet is to go on a few of the heritage routes as part of your trip.