You can now travel all the way from Portugal to Singapore by train

Rail enthusiasts believe it is the longest continuous rail journey on earth

Lucy Thackray
Tuesday 14 December 2021 18:24 GMT
Related video
Leer en Español

You can now travel from Lagos in Portugal all the way to Singapore, say rail experts - with a few stops along the way.

Analysis by rail blogger Mark Smith, aka The Man in Seat 61, and Reddit users calculated that the 11,654-mile journey could be done in 21 days.

Stops and connections along the way include Paris, Moscow, Beijing and Bangkok, making it quite the Europe-Asia grand tour.

The missing link had been a new section of railway in Laos, which was completed on 2 December and connects the city of Boten with the capital Vientiane.

Laos’s “game changing” new Laos-China railway link was built by the Chinese, with costs split between the two countries - the 414km (260-mile) stretch of track took five years to construct.

Development is already underway to extend the line on to Bangkok and then eventually through Malaysia to Singapore, but that journey can be already made by switching train lines at those points.

Reddit user htGoSEVe posted a map of the potential rail voyage, later updating his post to reflect the fact that sections of the journey - from Lisbon to Hendaye in France, and the Paris-Moscow Express, for example - have been paused during the pandemic.

Rail enthusiasts estimate that it would cost a little over £1,000 in tickets.

But fellow Reddit user Shevek99 commented to suggest that the journey could be made even longer and more ambitious by starting further east.

“You can make it a bit longer. Instead of starting in Lagos, you can start in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, next to the border with Spain. From there there is a train to Faro and from there to Lisbon. Is like 20km longer than starting from Lagos,” they suggested.

Rail blogger Mark Smith told The Independent: “Imagine going all the way from Lagos to Singapore, only to find you should have started at Villa Real de Santo Antonio!

“Frankly, it would be better if people focused on starting from their local station here in the UK, than from at a random point in Portugal. What’s a could of hundred miles difference between friends, when you’ve a 11,000 mile journey to do?” said Mr Smith, who advises travellers on rail-only journeys across the world.

“Until the pandemic disrupted this route, it was a remarkably easy and relatively affordable. I’ve used the Trans-Siberian myself to go London to Hong Kong (via the twice-weekly Moscow-Beijing express) and from London to Nagasaki (via ferry from Vladivostok). A lovely ride.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in