The sad loss of London’s railway heritage – a personal tale of Primrose Hill

    THE hordes of people who cross the Bridge Approach from Primrose Hill to Chalk Farm tube station would scarcely notice it these days. Yet behind an anonymous façade at the end of the bridge is an old entrance […]

The Trains Now Departed – and the lost railway heritage of London. Why I love Primrose Hill

How tragic that so much of London’s wonderful railway heritage has been lost. Here’s my article this week for the ILovePrimrose Hill website http://bit.ly/1IC6hrs   THE hordes of people who cross the Bridge Approach from Primrose Hill to Chalk Farm […]


June 14, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed is tops on Amazon – with all 5* reviews. And with lovely display in my local bookshops

Delighted to see that The Trains Now Departed is still ranked tops in its category on Amazon – with all five-star reviews. And it’s got a lovely display in our local bookshops in north London. Here’s the Primrose Hill Bookshop […]


June 11, 2015 Blog

Why we British love the railways – and how railway enthusiasm became respectable again

AS an author of books about railways, I’m often asked what makes us British so obsessed with nostalgia about railways. The mood seems to be everywhere. Here is Michael Portillo, ubiquitous on our living room TVs, brandishing his Bradshaw and […]


June 2, 2015 Steam Tube

When the great express trains ruled the rails

SUCH POWER, such technology, such speed! Last month a state-of-the-art Japanese magnetic levitation train smashed the world train speed record, hitting just over 600 km/h (375 mph). The train, known as a “Maglev ”, ran perfectly and the ride was […]


June 2, 2015 Daily Telegraph

Strange tales from the Great Western Railway

 Book review of Station to Station: Searching for Stories on the Great Western Line by James Attlee (Guardian Books, £14.99) IN the 1930s heyday of the railway – when the train companies studied the comfort of their passengers rather more […]


June 2, 2015 The Independent

We do like to be beside the seaside…

  I’M HOPELESSLY lost in Blackpool, blundering around beneath the Tower, dodging the touts and the hot-dog sellers, looking for the remains of Blackpool Central. Once everyone would have known their way here. It was the largest and busiest seaside […]


June 2, 2015 The Independent

‘The Trains Now Departed’ – a lovely response in the national media for my newest book on the lost delights of Britain’s railways

JUST three weeks ago, Penguin Random House published my latest book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways. There’s been a lovely response from the national media, including extracts published by the ‘Daily Telegraph’, the […]


June 1, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – ‘Like a novel coined in the style of magical realism’

I never thought my writing about railways would be compared to a novel – let alone magical realism. But here’s a nice spread based on my new book The Trains Now Departed from the ‘Western Morning News’ newspaper. See the […]


May 28, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed and the ruins of our lost railway heritage

I was struck, travelling from Liverpool Street today into Essex how much of our railway heritage is still falling into ruin. My picture here is of the old Burnham on Crouch station on the line to Southminster, used by London […]


May 27, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed is Kindle #No 1 Bestseller on railways. More sensuous than a book?

I sometimes worry about e-readers. Are they replacing books? Will books go the same way as old branch lines? What about the sensuous feel of a book, with its lovely illustrations and all the tactile qualities that go with it? […]


May 26, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – and the world’s greatest train journeys

Just returned from Singapore and Hong Kong, where I gave a series of talks on the Greatest Train Journeys of the World, as well as signing copies of my newest book, The Trains Now Departed. It’s marvellous how the fondness […]


May 22, 2015 Blog

Delighted to see three of my books in Amazon Top 25 in railway history, including #No. 1 Bestseller

Three of my books The Trains Now Departed, Steaming to Victory and On the Slow Train Again all ranked in Amazon Top 25 in Railway History today – including #No 1 Bestseller. Keeps an author happy… http://amzn.to/1s9OcaN


May 21, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed in Rail magazine. ‘The perfect book for a long rail journey’

“Guides you through a lost world – The nostalgia of tomorrow.” A lovely review of my book from Philip Haigh, senior commentator in the current issue of Rail magazine – Britain’s best-selling modern railways publication:


May 21, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed in the Daily Telegraph

My article in the Daily Telegraph based on my chapter on the great days of British express trains from my new book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways – just published http://bit.ly/1ET6vGT


May 17, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed in the Independent and i newspapers

Here’s my article in today’s Independent and ‘i’ newspapers based on a chapter from my new book the Trains Now Departed, published tomorrow, May 7 http://ind.pn/1EX9MZe


May 6, 2015 Blog, The Independent

The whistle blows for publication of ‘The Trains Now Departed’ – out this week

IT’S finally publication week for my new book The Trains Now Departed, out on Thursday May 7 – when the whistle blows for departure on a project close to my heart that has lasted for three years – a mixture […]


May 4, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – my newest book to be published on General Election day – May 7

IT’S sometimes hard to feel sympathetic to politicians, but I’m sharing some of their jitters this week since my newest book, The Trains Now Departed: Sixteeen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways, is published on General Election day, May […]


May 2, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – some nice coverage in the Yorkshire Post

THE Yorkshire Post have run a nice piece on my chapter on ‘ghost trains’ in my new book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Journeys into The Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways – to be published on May 7. The picture […]


April 29, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – and how railway enthusiasm became respectable again

IS RAILWAY enthusiasm becoming respectable at last? Here’s an extract from the introduction to my new book The Trains Now Departed, out on May 7: ‘AND why not, indeed? This sense of what the railways of the past signify to […]


April 24, 2015 Blog

Steaming to Victory – and the 70th anniversary of VE Day

With the 70th anniversary of VE Day coming up on May 8, I’m thinking of the heroes and heroines of the Home Front who I interviewed for my recent book Steaming to Victory. Here’s what I wrote in the book […]


April 21, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed arrives – while On the Slow Train books still doing well in amazon list

WITH my new book, The Trains Now Departed out in less than three weeks, it’s good to see that my two best-selling original books celebrating the joy of railway travel – On the Slow Train and On the Slow Train […]


April 20, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – and the Top Ten of British rail travel

  WHAT are the best train journeys in Britain? I’ve been invited to Singapore and Hong Kong next month to give some talks in both cities about ‘The Best of British Rail Travel’ to coincide with the publication on my […]


April 17, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – the sensual pleasure of getting your new book fresh off the press

  JUST received the first copy of my new book  ‘The Trains Now Departed’ fresh off the press, ready for publication on May 7. How lovely to have this crisply printed hardback with its lovely cover in my hands. Newborn […]


April 15, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – and the Best of British Rail Travel

I’ve been invited to Singapore and Hong Kong next month to give some talks in both cities about ‘The Best of British Rail Travel’ to coincide with the publication on my new book ‘The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into […]


April 13, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The ultimate British railway journey of dreams – the train to Glastonbury?

I’ve been invited by the tourist authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore next month to give some talks about the’ Best of British and World Railway Travel’. So what is the ultimate railway journey of dreams in the UK. Not […]


April 7, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The end of our affair with the railways?

IT’S NOW as much part of the traditional British Easter as egg-rolling, simnel cake and chocolate bunnies. This Good Friday morning  the nation will wake up to find whole swathes of Britain turned into a public transport desert as Network […]


April 4, 2015 The Independent

Easter rail shutdown – the end of our affair with the railways?

Here’s what I wrote in yesterday’s ‘Independent’ and ‘i’ newspapers: IT’S NOW as much part of the traditional British Easter as egg-rolling, simnel cake and chocolate bunnies. This Good Friday morning  the nation will wake up to find whole swathes […]


April 3, 2015 Blog, The Independent

Will we ever love our trains again?

From the Independent and i newspapers April 2 2015 IT’S NOW as much part of the traditional British Easter as egg-rolling, simnel cake and chocolate bunnies. This morning [Friday] the nation will wake up to find whole swathes of Britain […]


April 2, 2015 The Independent

‘One of the most glorious train journeys in Britain’ – a view from On the Slow Train Again

CATCHING a train at Carlisle station to travel over the Settle and Carlisle line yesterday, it was nice, though somewhat eerie, to find my own words staring at me from the Northern Rail timetable…


March 31, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – talking about ghost trains on BBC WM

WHAT are the ghost trains that wend their spooky way around the rail network? And how about the ‘ghosties’ – the railway enthusiasts who travel on them? I spoke about this on BBC Local Radio this morning, describing my travels […]


March 27, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – and why rail travel for women used to be a better experience

IN MY new book The Trains Now Departed: sixteen excursions into the lost delights of Britain’s railways, I explore some of the ways in which the experience of railway travel in Britain was often better than it is now. Here’s a […]


March 9, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen excursions into the lost delights of Britain’s railways – and the story behind the cover of my new book

MANY HAVE  asked me about the lovely image on the cover of of my new book The Trains Now Departed. It is of the Headstone Viaduct, built by the Midland Railway over the River Wye in the Peak district of Derbyshire, on […]


March 5, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – and how to get the British to love their railways once more

For the past two years I’ve been on an odyssey to determine the best and worst of our national railway system. The results will be published in my new book The Trains Now Departed, out from Penguin Random House on […]


March 3, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – goodbye East Coast, welcome Virgin? A turning point in history…

A turning point in the history of the railways today as Virgin takes over the East Coast main line. No more rivalry between King’s Cross and Euston almost since the railways were invented. Will history decide this to be a […]


March 2, 2015 Blog

The Trains Now Departed – and the delicious pleasure of having a new book about to be published

One of the nicest moments in an author’s life is the delicious  period between the long task of writing a book and the moment it is published. With the text edited and proof-read, the final updates made and just the […]


February 13, 2015 Blog

Steaming to Victory and Winston Churchill at the NRM

I was honoured this weekend to have my memories and pictures included in an exhibition featuring Winston Churchill’s restored funeral train at the National Railway Museum. Here’s an article I wrote for the Daily Mail, which includes some of the […]


February 2, 2015 Blog

First proof of the cover of ‘The Trains Now Departed’ – my latest book, to be published on May 7

Very excited to be at the proof stage of of my new book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen journeys into the lost delights of Britain’s railways. It’s published by Preface on May 7 2015, with some super line illustrations by […]


February 2, 2015 Blog

Churchill’s Final Journey and me – still Steaming to Victory 50 years on

My day with Winston Churchill – 50 years on. The National Railway Museum in York have put me and my schoolboy memories in a new exhibition about Churchill’s final journey, opening this Friday, January 30.  Here’s one of the images […]


January 24, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – and how the ‘Testament of Youth’ movie gets it wrong

Amid the row over inaccuracies in the TV series Broadchurch, the movies don’t do it much better. I’ve just seen Testament of Youth, the autobiographical account of a group of friends in the run-up to and during World War One. […]


January 21, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

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