Michael Williams has spent the past year travelling along the fascinating rail byways of Britain for this new collection of journeys. Here is the 'train to the end of the world' running for more than four splendid hours through lake, loch and moorland from Inverness to Wick, the most northerly town in Britain. He discovers a perfect country branch line in London’s commuterland, and travels on one of the slowest services in the land along the shores of the lovely Dovey estuary to the far west of Wales.
He takes the stopping train across the Pennines on a line with so few services that its glorious scenery is a secret known only to the regulars. Here, too, is the Bittern Line in Norfolk and the Tarka Line in North Devon as well as the little branch line to the fishing port of Looe in Cornwall, rescued from closure in the 1960s and now celebrating its 150th anniversary taking families on holiday to the seaside. From the most luxurious and historic – aboard the Orient Express – to the most futuristic – on the driverless trains of London’s Docklands Light Railway – here is a unique travel companion celebrating the treasures of our railway heritage from one of Britain’s most knowledgeable railway writers.
©2011 Michael Williams (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
I'm really bummed out that for some reason the second part is available as an audiobook, but not the first? I had a rough idea of where in Britain the routes were located, but having a map available would be helpful for potential readers. Not a book that can be read straight through, say a route at a time over a longer period.
"If you like train journeys this is it"
This book as it claims is not Paul Theroux revisited, but it is a very good enjoyable escape to parts of Greta Brittain
"Wonderful description of some lovely journeys"
This is a lovely book outlining some of the lesser known journeys on the British railway system. It is not just for railway buffs. The author often alights from his train to talk to interesting local characters and explore the history of the areas through which he is travelling. He also does not fail to take a well aimed swipe at the vandalism of Dr Beeching who closed down so many lines in the 1960s.
The voice of Michael Tudor Barnes perfectly complements the subject matter. However I have one major criticism of the reader and that is the appalling pronunciation of some of the place names in the book. St Keyne pronounced as KANE rather than KEEN and Princes Risborough pronounced as RISEborough rather than RISborough were two of several glaring examples. It does jar with the listener and could have been avoided with a little research. I've knocked a star off for this.
This is well read and certainly made me want to travel the UK again. This is not only for rail buffs as there is extra interesting facts all along the way. The deep tones of the narrater fit well with the subject.
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