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

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

‘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

All aboard the ghost train to Goole – watch me with Michael Portillo on Britain’s spookiest line on BBC2 at 6.30pm today in Great British Railway Journeys

Here’s me with Michael as we take the train from Knottingley to Goole in Yorkshire. Why is there only one train a day? And why does it continue to run when there is hardly ever anyone on it? All will […]


January 20, 2015 Blog

Winston Churchill – Steaming to Victory on 50th anniversary of his funeral at the end of January

With the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral being marked at the end of this month, there are many delightful  stories about the war leader’s fondness for the railways – told in my most recent book Steaming to Victory.   In particular, […]


January 13, 2015 Blog

Time to re-open our disused railways. My article in the Daily Mail

By Michael Williams Distressed families lugging heavy suitcases, tired, bawling children shivering in the cold, confused elderly folk uncertain paralysed with panic. No, not a refugee exodus in some far-flung corner of the world, but the scenes at Finsbury Park […]


December 29, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

The Trains Now Departed – Random House

Just seen the proof of the smashing design of the jacket of my new book The Trains Now Departed: sixteen excursions into the lost delights of Britain’s railways, out from Preface Publishing on May 7 2015. Can anybody guess where […]


December 18, 2014 Blog

A nice review of my co-edited book on the media – The Future of Quality News Journalism

The wheels of academia turn slowly, so delighted to see this first major review of our book The Future of Quality News Journalism. Professor Leigh L. Wright says: ‘A book such as this collection allows professors and students to read […]


December 11, 2014 Blog

Winston Churchill and Steaming to Victory: the story of a war hero’s final journey at the National Railway Museum

I’m off next week to help the National Railway Museum set up their new exhibition on Winston Churchill’s last journey. I’m contributing some memories from my book ‘ Steaming to Victory: How Britain’s railways won the war’


December 5, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – a short history of time on the railways. My lecture this week at the University of Central Lancashire

Do join me at the University of Central Lancashire School of Tourism for my talk on how the railways shaped our modern concept of time. And how the philosophy of time and the railways are inextricably entwined. Wednesday December 3 […]


November 28, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory – memories on Armistice Day

I took this picture of ‘Royal Scot’ class locomotive No. 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman speeding through Kentish Town station in north London on a special train from St Pancras this Remembrance Sunday. How appropriate to see this wonderfully restored locomotive with […]


November 11, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – my newest book, published next May

‘The Trains Now Departed’. Thrilled with title of my latest book to be published by @PenguinRandomUK on May 7 2015


November 1, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

My commuter hell on the Sardine Express – the worst train in Britain

My article in the Daily Mail, October 9 2014   THE crush is suffocating. All five of my senses are being bombarded, from the overpowering stench of my fellow commuter’s breath barely inches away (chicken balti was on the menu […]


October 10, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

Watch Steaming to Victory on a new DVD free with the Railway Magazine

See me talking about my research for Steaming to Victory on a super new DVD free with the new October issue of the Railway Magazine and filmed at the Great Central Railway.


September 30, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory and the 75th anniversary of World War 2

    On this week’s 75th anniversary of the start of WW2, let’s not forget the words of Winston Churchill, as victory neared, about the “grim determination, unwavering courage and constant resourcefulness of the railwaymen of all ranks” – without […]


September 2, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory ‘had me in tears’ says reviewer on Amazon

Here, without comment, is a lovely recent review of Steaming to Victory on Amazon:http://amzn.to/1gTNP3B 5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read, 9 July 2014 By Imelda “Imelda” (a village in Berkshire) – See all my reviews Verified Purchase(What is this?) This review is […]


July 24, 2014 Blog

A journey into the soul of the railways – my new book

I’m just back from writing the latest chapter for my new book on the cherished icons of our railways and why they run so deep in the British psyche. It’s to be published by Penguin Random House in Spring 2015. […]


July 18, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Michael Portillo and me – on the slow train

Filming this week with Michael Portillo for his new BBC2 series of Great British Railway Journeys, to be screened in the spring. We’re at Knottingley in Yorkshire here, where we took one of the very rare trains from Leeds to […]


July 7, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory in the Railway Magazine ‘Remembrance Issue’

“Fresh and accessible. Make you feel you were there”. Another nice review – from the  railways and war commemorative issue of the Railway Magazine – Britain’s best-selling railway publication


July 3, 2014 Blog

The delights of small stations on the Slow Train – my Daily Mail article

By Michael Williams “Yes I remember Adlestrop…” Could there be a poem more evocative of the delights of early summer in the English countryside? It was just 100 years ago, on a hot June day in 1914, that poet Edward […]


June 29, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

On the Slow Train – 100 years on since Edward Thomas’s poem ‘Adlestrop’

Today, the Cotswolds village of Adlestrop was celebrating 100 years since the poet Edward Thomas’s train stopped at the tiny station there, inspiring him to write one of the most loved poems in the English language It was a special […]


June 24, 2014 Blog

Michael Williams – and my work with the Independent newspaper

I am often asked about my association with the Independent newspaper and it associated media titles. For most of my professional journalistic life I have been associated with the Independent – one of the world’s great media brands. For many […]

Steaming to Victory is ‘an important and timely book’, says new review

A nice review of Steaming to Victory from ‘Frost’ magazine. Here’s what it says: My grandfather was a railway man for years. It left him with a lifelong love of the railway. He was also in the RAF during World […]


June 16, 2014 Blog

On the Slow Train through south-east Asia from the new Compass magazine

The air is thick with the fragrance of frangipani and bathed in the velvety warmth of the approaching day as I steal out before dawn, clutching my precious parcel of sticky rice. I can feel it hot against my chest […]


June 9, 2014 Blog, Compass, Compass magazine

The unsung heroes of D-Day – their story in Steaming to Victory

As the Queen, and President Obama commemorate this week the heroes of the D-Day invasion, which helped bring WW2 to an end, it should not be forgotten that some of the greatest heroes of D-Day were not on the Normandy […]


June 4, 2014 Blog

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