Single Track Obsession: A Book of Extraordinary Railway Journeys
Books about railways usually fall into one of two categories. Some are so full of technical and historical information that they are very dull to the layman, whereas others go to the opposite extreme, describing the journey but giving no information on the train or the history of the railwayO
I hope that SINGLE TRACK OBSESSION will break the mold.
It was during my student days that I started riding on trains simply for the fun of it. Since then I have travelled all over the world, using trains wherever possible.
In recent years I have started e-mailing friends with accounts of my travels, and this has led several of them to say "Rob, you ought to write a book!" Well, here it is!
This book describes 40 of my favourite railway journeys. They range in length from two miles to many hundreds, and include steam, diesel and electric trains. Often the main point of interest was the scenery; sometimes it was the quaintness of the rolling stock, and sometimes the companionship of my fellow travellers. Some were once-in-a-lifetime trips and others regular commuter runs.
You will find the world's oldest railway here, as well as the steepest adhesion-only line and the first to have an automatic train control system. But there are also the unsung byways of the iron road: the decrepit Paraguayan system, the little French branch-line where the crew gave me a cab ride, and the Spanish journey when I discovered another meaning for the word 'chocolate'.
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