The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux

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Apr 212021
 
The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux

What joy: a train lover writing for train lovers Settling down with a Paul Theroux train book is like a long rail journey with a well-loved friend. You know what you’re in for, and it’s a treat in store. Theroux is great at evoking landscapes and people, and his own love for trains shines through. […]

Hyper-scenic delights in the Massif Central

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Sep 222019
 
Hyper-scenic delights in the Massif Central

There’s a subtle buzz when a train sets off on what I’d call a hyper-scenic route. It may well be a mere two-coach diesel, from a mundane city like Leeds or Clermont-Ferrand. But some of the passengers are different. They’ve got cameras, journals, route maps. Some are outdoors types with hiking gear or touring bikes. […]

The London Underground as a guide to happiness

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Feb 122019
 
The London Underground as a guide to happiness

It was in a lull in a long meeting recently that I realised that I was musing on the symbolic significance of the Northern Line.  This is where, after twenty-one miles of tunnel, the Tube emerges into daylight: much as a travailing soul find illumination after the long darkness… This blog is intended to appeal […]

Why steam trains matter, and Dampfloks are AOK

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Feb 122019
 
Why steam trains matter, and Dampfloks are AOK

Many men are searching for meaning, a sense that the events of their life matter and have a shape to them.  I have hatched a belief that steam trains can help in this. If you’re aged late fifties or older, you’ll have grown up with steam trains in your childhood.  I can recall many maturing […]

From Krakow to Rome: the Tyrolean Way

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Oct 202017
 
From Krakow to Rome: the Tyrolean Way

By train through the Brenner Pass, and lots more! Alan Heeks writes… I suspect that most British train lovers, like me, mostly travel across Europe to and from London – radiating out from the Eurostar. Belatedly I’m realising that I’ve missed out on some great rail journeys that run across these radial routes from England. […]

Perfection on rails: The VSOE British Pullman

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Jan 292017
 
Perfection on rails: The VSOE British Pullman

The re-creation of the British Pullman is a classic British story of eccentric, visionary wealth allied to traditional craftsmanship. James Sherwood rescued carriages from weird locations and states of disarray. Bob Dunn, whose grandfather made marquetry for the original cars, was one of a host of dedicated restorers. Now, for a princely sum, you can […]

PARIS – MILAN: the slow-fast train

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Jan 092017
 
PARIS - MILAN: the slow-fast train

I go to Italy by train every couple of years, as one of my best friends lives in Liguria. It’s a great train destination, as there are so many options, most of them scenic. The fastest way by train is with the Paris – Venice Sleeper: this tips you out at Milan about 5am, which […]

Adventures around Dartmoor – with the Withered Arm

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Oct 042016
 
Adventures around Dartmoor - with the Withered Arm

This blog is artfully designed to suit both general hikers or cyclists, and railway lovers. Just choose your section! For hikers and cyclists On summer weekends, you can do a great trip right around the edge of Dartmoor: the cycling/walking distance is around 24 miles, and the rest can be done by train. The key […]

Do Sleeper Trains Resemble their Country’s Leader??

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May 102016
 
Do Sleeper Trains Resemble their Country’s Leader??

Insights from Europe’s Sleeper Trains The Paris – Venice Treno Notte has advanced my insights into the special ways that so-called sleepers help me, and maybe other seekers for truth. The France – Italy sleepers are now run by an outfit called thello. As the name already suggests, this is a new private venture, and […]

Train Lovers: The London Underground as a spiritual map

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Jan 282016
 
Train Lovers: The London Underground as a spiritual map

It was in a lull on a retreat group recently that I realised I was musing on the spiritual significance of the Northern line at East Finchley.  This is where, after twenty-one miles of tunnel, the Tube emerges into daylight: much as a travailing soul find illumination after the long darkness… This blog is intended […]