Here are contacts for selected trains around the world. Note that some numbers are for U.S.-based agents that have booking contracts with the lines, but most trains can be reserved by any travel agent.

ASIA AND AUSTRALIA
GREAT SOUTHERN RAILWAY // Operates Australia's Indian Pacific (an east-west transcontinental), the Ghan (a north-south transcontinental) and the Overland, which travels between Melbourne and Adelaide. gsr.com.au; ATS Tours, 800-423-2880 or atstours.com; Rail Australia, 011-61-8-8213-4592 or www.railaustralia.com.au.

JAPAN RAIL // A variety of trains, including the famous high-speed Shinkansen. Japan Railways Group, 212-332-8686 or japanrail.com.

QUEENSLAND RAIL // The Sunlander (including elevated Queenslander Class) and Outback services in Australia, traveltrain.com.au. ATS Tours, 800-423-2880; Rail Australia, 011-61-8-8213-4592 or www.railaustralia.com.au.

EUROPE
RAIL EUROPE // Source of all European (including British) rail passes, schedules and tickets. 888-382-7245 or raileurope.com.

NORTH AMERICA
ALASKA RAILROAD // The Denali Star between Fairbanks and Anchorage by way of Denali National Park and Preserve offers luxury GoldStar Service in full-length dome cars. 800-544-0552 and alaskarailroad.com.

AMTRAK // The national passenger rail network remains intact and for the first time in years, there seems reason to be cautiously optimistic about its future. 800-872-7245 or amtrak.com.

VIA RAIL CANADA // Silver & Blue class aboard the scenic transcontinental Canadian between Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto is one of the world's great train journeys. 888-842-7245 or viarail.ca.

LUXURY/CRUISE
BLUE TRAIN // Southern Africa's classic luxury train, 011-27-12-334- 8459 or www.bluetrain.co.za; Creative Safaris, 800-768-9020 or creativesafaris.com.

GRANDLUXE RAIL JOURNEYS // The train, formerly the American Orient Express, this year will operate April 29-October on three itineraries: National Parks of the West, the Great Northwest & Rockies and Rockies, Sierras & Napa. 800-320-4206 or grandluxerail.com.

PALACE ON WHEELS // Elegant and luxurious train tour in India. 877-463-4299 or palaceonwheels.net.

ROVOS RAIL // Luxury rail tours in southern Africa with historic coaches. For bookings, 011-27-12- 315-8242 or www.rovos.com; for information, call Warren Green of Kartagener Associates, 800-524-7979.

ROYAL CANADIAN PACIFIC // Elegant excursions in the Canadian West aboard a train made up largely of historic business cars once used by railroad executives. 877-665-3044 or www.royalcanadianpacific.com.

ROYAL SCOTSMAN // Ultra-posh rail tours in Britain, part of the Venice Simplon Orient Express operation. 800-524-2420 or www.royalscotsman.com.

SIERRA MADRE EXPRESS // Train tours to Mexico's Copper Canyon. 800-666-0346 or sierramadreexpress.com.

VENICE SIMPLON ORIENT EXPRESS // Besides its signature London-Paris-Venice, Italy, service, which also occasionally ranges to Istanbul and elsewhere, the company's trains include the Eastern & Oriental Express through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and PeruRail, which features the Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu. 800-524-2420 or orient-express.com.

OTHER RESOURCES
RAIL TRAVEL CENTER // Rail tours in North America and abroad. 800-458-5394 or railtravelcenter.com.

SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY TRAVELERS // Rail tours worldwide, color newsletter. 800-478-4881 or irtsociety.com.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS // Informative newsletter and a chance to be counted as a ra i l supporter. 202-408-8362 or narprail.org.

THOMAS COOK PUBLISHING // Its European Rail Timetable and Overseas Timetable (for the rest of the world) are invaluable. www.thomascooktimetables.com.

[LOS ANGELES TIMES]