The majority of ShowMeTheJourney's pick of Europe's Epic Journeys by Express Trains can be enjoyed in their entirety in either direction, but this route can only be fully appreciated when travelling by train from Zagreb TO Vienna/Wien.
The train which travels in the opposite direction from the Austrian to the Croatian capital doesn't arrive in Zagreb until 22:42, so it travels across the spectacular Slovenian landscape in dusk or darkness.
Though you will need to rise early when travelling in this direction as the train usually departs from Zagreb at 07:25, but your efforts will be rewarded.
The same Austrian EuroCity train is used for the return journey to Wien/Vienna, so you will be making the journey on a comfortable air-conditioned train, which has a restaurant car.
Initially the train will travel along the north bank of the River Sava, so the best of the views between Zagreb and the Slovenian border are ON THE LEFT.
As can be ShowMeTheJourney travelled this way on a misty, but atmospheric morning.
When the train crosses the border into Slovenia it enters the Sava River gorge, but it turns to the north rather than threading the spectacular path through the gorge itself.
This image below was taken just before Zidani Most at the moment the train changes direction.
The railway route switches from the Sava River valley to that of the River Savinja and it travels on the east bank of the River Savinja until Lasko - the best of the views remain ON THE LEFT.
The two images below were taken between Zidani Most and Lasko.
The train then travels from Maribor over the border to Graz and the scenery on this part of the journey is a prelude of what is to come - if you will be travelling with an InterRail or Eurail Pass stopping over in Graz is recommended.
This journey has been singled out because of the views above which can be enjoyed between Zagreb and Graz, becasue there are frequent (hourly) trains between Graz and Wien/Vienna.
Once the train has departed from Graz, the charming river views continue on the left until Bruck am der Mur.
After Bruck am der Mur the train heads towards the highlight of the journey on the The Semmering Railway and the landscape becomes more spectacular, but the best of the views between Bruck and Payerbach Reichanau, on the other side of the pass switch to being over ON THE RIGHT
The view below was captured as the train approached the ascent of the pass near Steinhaus am Semmering station.
!Make the most of the journey on The Semmering Railway while the express trains, such as this one, still climb through the pass; from 2024 there are due to be diverted away into the Semmering Base Tunnel.
Dramatic views such as these below, captured after Semmering station will only then be available on local trains.
Though trees line the railway line, so particularly in the summer, you need to watch out for the fleeting, but spectacular views that are available as the train crosses the many viaducts.
It is these viaducts and which have earned this Semmering railway route a place on the list of U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage Sites and not the scenery.
The image below was taken as a train crossed the Adlitzgraben Viaduct - the most spectacular of the 16 viaducts that the train will pass over.
The spectacular views continue as the train twists and turns down the other side of the pass - after Eichberg the railway heading towards Wien can be seen down on the left and 10 minutes later the train will travel on that line.
The best of the views are behind you once the train has passed through Payerbach Reichanau station; the view below is of the town before the station, from the bridge over the River Schwarza.
click on the journeys listed below to discover why they are so fabulous:
London to Cornwall
I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.
This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.