How ‘Northern Fail’ is undermining the idea of rail travel

‘Northern Fail’, ‘Network Fail’ – and everyone else seems to be failing in this latest debacle on the railways where the new May timetables have led to thousands of cancellations across the country, mostly on Northern Rail and Govia Thameslink. … Continued


June 2018 Blog, Uncategorized

Chuffed as steam returns to scheduled services after half a century

WONDERFUL to see steam on  timetabled services on the Settle and Carlisle line this week. For the first time in half a century it’s been possible to buy a ticket on National Rail and travel behind a steam locomotive on … Continued


February 2017 Blog, Uncategorized

All fired up, steaming through Yorkshire!

  JUST returned from a trip sampling some of the finest heritage steam in Yorkshire – aboard the magical trains of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. It’s half-term and the services are packed … Continued


November 2016 Blog, Uncategorized

Unconventional, Irreverent Independent Newspaper To Go ‘Off Stone’ And Online

Goodbye Independent! My farewell from the European Journalism Observatory website http://en.ejo.ch/media-economics/independent


February 2016 Uncategorized

A nice mention of my place in the literature of railway nostalgia from the Times Literary Supplement

It’s from a review by Andrew Martin of Simon Bradley’s excellent new book, The Railways, Nation, Network and People  


November 2015 Uncategorized

The best and the worst of railway dining car meals

THE best and the worst of railway dining car meals. On Friday I took the 13.05 Great Western Railway train to Plymouth. Slipping into the dining car I enjoyed a splendid meal of fresh dressed Cornish crab in shell, caught … Continued


October 2015 Uncategorized

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 … Continued


April 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

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 … Continued


April 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

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 … Continued


April 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 … Continued


April 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

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 … Continued


January 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. … Continued


January 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

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 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 … Continued


November 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 … Continued


November 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 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

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. … Continued


July 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Father and son: How I bonded with my 12-year-old boy through our twin faiths. A story for Easter

 Here’s an extract from my article in today’s Tablet magazine: It could hardly be more be surreal. Here I am discussing the significance of the Lord’s Prayer, that most emblematic totem of the Christian liturgy, with the most powerful woman … Continued


March 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Lovely review of Steaming to Victory on the Book Bag

A lovely review of the new edition of Steaming to Victory on Suzi Feay’s Book Bag. It’s one of the top online websites. Here’s what it says: ‘Soon after the end of the First World War, the British railways entered … Continued


March 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory is ‘Chuffing marvellous’, says Daily Express

A super review of the new updated edition paperback edition of ‘Steaming to Victory’ in today’s Daily Express, which describes it as ‘Chuffing marvellous’. The reviewer says: ‘This highly readable book covers the essential but often overlooked role trains played … Continued


March 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory – on board the Eurostar

Just returned from a Eurostar trip from London to Paris. I’m putting the train through its paces for a chapter in my next book following on from ‘Steaming to Victory’. Although the decor is a bit tired, the train performed … Continued


March 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory – and the joys of the British Library

In the new edition of Steaming to Victory, out on March 27, I had to make some cuts to accommodate new facts that had come to light since it was first published last year. It was tough to know what … Continued


February 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Will they, won’t they build the new HS2-HS1 rail link through Camden?

Here’s me, asking the question of Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood at the Derbyshire Rail Forum on the terrace of the House of Commons last night


February 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

On the Slow Train – and a Beeching tragedy in Cornwall

The terrible weather has cut the old Great Western line to Cornwall at the Dawlish sea wall. So vulnerable always! What a tragedy that Beeching axed the old Southern Railway route  round Dartmoor to the north. I argued this in … Continued


February 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Who reads the newspapers?

I love this clip about who reads the newspapers from the BBC comedy ‘Yes, Prime Minister. Despite the advent of tablet computers and smart phones it’s as true today as when it was first made… http://viewrz.com/video/who-reads-the-newspapers


January 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

The BBC’s Great Train Robbery – splendid detail from the Slow Train era

The BBC’s film of The Great Train Robbery 50 years on scores not only on the pace of drama (from the creator of Broadchurch), but on the loving attention to detail – unlike most TV recreations of period railways. The … Continued


December 2013 Uncategorized

‘Steaming to Victory’ – Rail magazine says buy it for Christmas!

‘Excellent railway reading material for Christmas’ is how Rail, the UK’s leading transport magazine, bills my new book ‘Steaming to Victory’. Britain’s top transport commentator Christian Wolmar describes it as his ‘favourite’, praising the book as a ‘meticulous account of … Continued


November 2013 Uncategorized

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