Last Call for the Dining Car: The Telegraph Book of Great Railway Journeys

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9781845134976: Last Call for the Dining Car: The Telegraph Book of Great Railway Journeys

From Michael Palin to Nicholas Crane, a riveting anthology of railway travel covers every kind of train from the luxurious Orient Express to the insanely crowded commuter trains of Bombay In an age when low-cost airlines have reduced travel to a point-to-point aerial bus service, the train can still take travelers on a genuine journey, nosing through sweeping valleys, across vertiginous viaducts, stopping at tiny halts in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night. For better or worse, it brings along its own shotgun traveling community: the delightful breakfast companions chance-met in the dining car or the crazy loner with whom one faces the prospect of sharing a sleeper compartment across the Urals. Here, Michael Kerr has gone through the archives to compile a riveting anthology of all the best railway travel that has appeared in the Daily Telegraph. Here are epic forays from Wick in northernmost Scotland all the way to Vladivostok, Moscow to Peking, and on the Sunset Express across the U.S. to California. Historic events like the last day of steam in Britain and less momentous but equally emblematic experiences such as the signal failure in the Midlands, which rouses Boris Johnson's "inner McEnroe" are also highlighted. By turns hilarious and alarming, this is armchair travel at its very best and the perfect book, indeed, for a long train journey.

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About the Author:

Michael Kerr is travel editor of the Daily Telegraph.

From Booklist:

Rail buffs will welcome this collection of articles from Britain’s Daily Telegraph. They stretch from the introduction of railroads in the mid-1800s through the dawn of the twenty-first century. They range in length from a mere sentence announcing the possible cessation of train tea service on British Rail due to wartime shortages of china, up through a long recounting of a rail journey from the north of Scotland to Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan. Some pieces, such as Lee Langley’s lament over the deterioration of the Orient Express, focus on the trains themselves. Trevor Fishlock, on the other hand, gives readers a nostalgic glimpse of actress Diana Rigg’s upbringing as she and her brother return via rail to her childhood home in India. As marvelously evocative as these articles may be, they only increase one’s yearning for illustrations or, at the very least, maps. --Mark Knoblauch

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Published by Aurum Press (2010)
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