Michael Williams

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

May 4, 2015 Blog

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 of hard work and intense pleasure. Publication week is a moment of great trepidation for all authors. So nothing more to say for now except to leave you with the first paragraphs of my introduction. Hope you like it and will want to read on…unclemac04

SOMETIMES you come across a lofty railway viaduct, marooned in the middle of a remote country landscape. Or a crumbling platform of some once-bustling junction buried under the buddleia. If you are lucky you might be able to follow some rusting tracks, or explore an old tunnel leading to…well, who knows where? Listen hard. Is that the wind in the undergrowth? Or the spectre of a train from a golden era of the past panting up the embankment?

 These are the ghosts of the trains we have lost – lines prematurely axed, often with a gripping and colourful tale to tell, as well as marvels of locomotive engineering prematurely sent to the scrapyard, and architecturally magnificent stations felled by the wrecker’s ball. Then there are the lost delights of train travel, such as haute cuisine in the dining car, the grand expresses with their evocative names, and continental boat trains to romantic far-off places. Such pleasures have all but vanished in our modern homogenised era of train travel.

May 4, 2015 Blog

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