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Jack Cooper
Jack Cooper
  • 3 Minute Read
  • 02nd August 2013

The World's Most Terrifying Commutes

There are some truly terrifying commutes in the world. We know: the Victoria Line at 6pm on a Friday is a scary affair. Crowded carriages, bad attitudes and worse body odour make for an unpleasant slog through the city, but you'll feel a lot better knowing you don't have to endure these commuter nightmares every day. Unless you do. In which case, we salute you.

Unless you're something of a commute thrill-seeker, our pick of seven terrifying commutes will likely leave you shaken, stirred, and thankful for public transport.


1. Hussaini Bridge, Pakistan

world's worst commutes

Sometimes it's easy to forget how inaccessible some parts of the world are. The Gilgit-Baltistan region of Northern Pakistan is one such location, with transport links to the rest of Pakistan notoriously difficult. The mountainous terrain, lack of dedicated roads, and wide rivers ensure inter-region travel is tricky, and the development of the Karakoram Highway has done little to ease the struggle over the last 100 years.

The Hussaini Hanging Bridge is, unbelievably, a regular aspect of travel through the Rawalpindi region. Long, high above a lake and poorly maintained, it's one of the few ways locals can get about. Planks are missing, strong winds shake the bridge as it's crossed, and a older broken bridge hangs in ruin beside its functioning counterpart. Hardly encouraging.

Despite its dangerous appearance, we're assured the Hussaini is a relative safe bridge, but that won't stop it from giving you the willies.


2. Paso Internacional Los Liberatores, Argentina/Chile

world's worst commutes

This is the sort of road some car fanatics would get excited about. We'd put money on them never having traversed it.

As the main transport road out of the Chilean capital of Santiago and into Argentina's Mendoza city, it sees a large volume of traffic on a daily basis. For regulars, it's just another part of the daily commute. For outsiders, it's perhaps one of the most terrifying mountain passes in the world.

Beginning in Argentina with a slow, gentle incline, it enters a tunnel at around 3,200 ft elevation. The horror begins on exit.

Descent turns the initial gentle climb on its head, and forces drivers to enter into a number of dangerous-looking switchbacks. The mountainous location ensures plenty of snow in the winter and there's a very real threat of rockfall all year round. Colour us terrified.


3. Tren a las Nubes, Argentina

world's worst commutes

Making its second entry into the terrifying travel list, Argentina has chalked up another point on the 'no-thanks' scoreboard.

The Tren a las Nubes, or Train to the Clouds, is a 270-mile train line that, at points, reaches heights of over 13,850 ft above sea level. Coasting the Argentina/Chile border high in the Andes, the ten cars carry up to 640 passengers at an average speed of 21 mph.

Some of the (frankly terrifying) features include 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 spirals, 2 zigzags, and 29 bridges. Better leave your fear of heights at home.


4. M56 Lena Highway, Russia

world's worst commutes

This could have quite easily just been Russian roads in general. Perhaps it's the prevalence in dashboard cameras in the country or the unpredictable weather conditions, but there's a veritable epidemic of scary videos of Russian roads online. This one, however, blows the rest out of the water.

The M56 Lena Highway is a trans-Siberian deathtrap.When the Lena River freezes, from which the highway takes its name, people drive straight over it. For much of the year, however, it's impassable due to flooding or ice floes. The highway itself, though a federal highway, is little more than a dirt road. A 767 mile dirt road.

In the winter months, a dirt road isn't so bad. Freezing over just like the river, the track is an excellent surface for driving. As excellent as a frozen dirt road can be. However, in the summer rain, the road is all-but impossible to traverse, and has been known to swallow whole small vehicles. Count us out.


5. A 1768ft Transmission Tower

world's worst commutes

It's somebody's job to climb these things in order to make essential repairs.

Just watch this video. Skip to 3.00, and make sure your feet are firmly on the ground. We're not apologising.


6. North Yungas Road, Bolivia

world's worst commutes

The mother of all terrifying commutes, the North Yungas Road is alternatively known affectionately as the 'Road of Fate' and the 'Death Road'. Yes, Death Road. One estimate is that between 200 and 300 travellers are killed on this road annually. Fantastic, let's go.

As one of the fest routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of Northern Bolivia to capital city La Paz, the road is an essential route for many. Wasting no time in ascending to 4,650 ft, this largely single-lane road offers no guard rails to protect drivers from its sheer 1,830 ft cliffs. During the rainy season (November through March), fog can severly hamper visibility, adding an element of the unknown. Oh well, at least you won't see a horrible death coming.

Special rules have been implemented as precautionary measures, including left-side driving, which allows drivers a better view of the edge of the road. Descending vehicles have the right of way, and must move to the outer edge of the road. But, in that rainy season we mentioned, water runoff often turns the road to a muddy track. To summarise: driving blindly through fog, along a slippery track, alongside 1,830 ft cliffs. No.

[caption id="attachment_15349" align="alignnone" width="600"]world's worst commutes Don't say we didn't warn you.[/caption]