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Win a signed copy of Ticket To Ride

 

We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on a copy of Tom Chesshyre’s newest book, Ticket To Ride, and talk to him about writing the book! Tom famously loves trains, so it’s no surprise that in his latest page-turner he’s taken 49 spectacular train trips across the world.

What makes rail travel in the UK special for you?

Motorways are so awful these days: dreadful traffic jams (often caused by idiotic rubber-necking at accidents), expensive crowded service stations, aggressive tailgating drivers. On trains you can relax, watch the world go by, read and listen to music… much more civilised.

“I skip lunch in the dining carriage as it’s so peaceful in my cabin, opting instead for a few snacks I brought with me, I listen to more ‘Chardonnay/Manhatten’ jazz. I read. I snooze. This is how long train journey’s should be.” – Chapter 8, Mutiny on the Indian Pacific

What is your favourite train journey in the UK?

I have many favourites including Paddington to Penzance (especially the bits along the coast), the east coast line from King’s Cross to Edinburgh (especially crossing the Tyne at Newcastle and on the curve into Berwick-upon-Tweed), and the meandering railway from Belfast to Derry. My absolute favourite is the track from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland for the sheer beauty of the countryside and the lochs.

“Underlying each response seems to be a gut feeling that trains offer a calmer, less stressful, more illuminating and somehow more real way of getting from A to B than other forms of travel. Flying and driving just don’t seem to elicit the same reaction. Why is that?” – Chapter 1, I’d go anywhere for a 37

When did you first fall in love with taking the train?

My first ride on Eurostar to Paris opened my eyes to the joy of long-distance train journeys to foreign countries – back in the mid 1990s.

“And off we go through suberbs, past wind farms, golden cornfields,copses and bales of rolled hay. Chateaux with fairytale towers come into view, needle-shaped church steeples, dragonflies above a sultry river, towns of bungalows, medieval stone bridges and then vineyards. We appear to be heading in the correct direction.” – Chapter 10, Fast train coming

What would you recommend for people who are new to train travel?

For anyone who hasn’t tried a train through the Channel Tunnel, it’s a great starting point, and it’s easy to go on via Brussels to explore the likes of Bruges, Ghent or Rotterdam.

“‘To be honest, trains are not my thing,’ she says as we pull into the driveway. ‘Not for me, really.’ And I give her a second look. It’s the first time on these travels, I realise, that I’ve come across anyone who has said that. After criss-crossing the globe so many times, I seem finally to have found one: someone who doesn’t like trains.” – Chapter 12, For the love of trains.

 

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