High-speed rail may be the wave of the future, but romantics seduced by the old-school glamour of train travel have new options, too. In Ecuador, Tren Crucero (pictured) deploys a restored 1900’s steam locomotive along a route from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean, with stretches past the 19,347-foot Cotopaxi Volcano and the Devil’s Nose, a daunting series of switchbacks. The 158-year-old Panama Canal Railway Company—created to haul cargo across the isthmus in pre-canal days—ferries passengers in vintage coaches from the capital to Colón, gateway to the Caribbean coast.
In the Balkans, you can ride between Serbia and Montenegro on the Blue Train, the luxury carriage in which former Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito once entertained Queen Elizabeth and other heads of state. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has launched its first Scandinavian itineraries; the Art Deco–era icon travels between Venice, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, with guests staying in classic hotels.