This joy and extensive knowledge underpins the comme It may be that four stars is a little niggardly. This joy and extensive knowledge underpins the commentary on all of the journeys related here. I was reminded of Christian Wolmar, another railway journalist, without his polemicism. He travels on the from Norwich along the Suffolk coast and on the Cumbrian coast line via Grange-over-Sands and Sellafield.
Most memorable perhaps were the steam excursion to Canterbury and the West Highland line via Rannoch Moor.
I was certainly left eager to take the journeys myself. I spoke to my father last night about our intended move to Berwick-upon-Tweed and when I explained that being in walking distance of a railway station is a priority for us, it was clear that there was no meeting of minds. He is a creature of the motor age for whom cars have always been an interest and a status symbol. I can quite see that for farmers' sons the motor car opened up the world and gave speed and relative luxury but my reaction was a little different.
I too found being in the middle of nowhere isolating but having to use the car for each and every external need seemed unsatisfactory, wasteful and inefficient. Perhaps I just like walking more than some and to walk or cycle to a railway station opens up a world of possibilities. The huge growth in rail travel over the last 20 years suggests that we have rediscovered our railways and Michael Williams is all for that. Feb 24, Danny Withington rated it really liked it. A very well written travel book, where the author documents his journeys across the UK using many of the country's forgotten secondary routes.
From suburban London routes to rural back lines, there's a bit of everything in here, and following reading the book, my list of places to visit has grown somewhat! Bucolic measurement amblings Very pleasant awayday trundle down the secondary railways of Britain. It reads like an old steam railway trip to nostalgia junction. However this is today's railway! Apr 11, Sarah Patton rated it really liked it.
A delightful read! I bought the book on a whim from one of those 'cheap' bookshops, then nearly didn't bother to read it. I'm glad I did! It is an easy read but a fascinating look at 12 very different 'old' journeys taken on the modern equivalent trains.
Jul 02, David Carty rated it it was amazing. Slow Train - The Breit Bros. - Slow Train (Vinyl) easy to read. Evocative and nostalgic but not overly so. And I can only recall one mistake. Dec 28, Kelvin Hayes rated it really liked it. Brilliant writer, can't wait to read the next instalment.
Oct 27, Rachel Stevenson rated it liked it. Michael Williams caveats this tome by saying that it is unashamedly nostalgic. This is true, mourning, as he does, the country station with a roaring fire, cheery porter with a fob watch, restaurant cars with starched white tablecloths and the clinking of wine glasses.
The sprung seat of a Pullman B class rolling stock. I'm just nostalgic for the days when you could buy a supersaver on the day for any train, rather than three months in advance. He does over egg the pudding though when he say Michael Williams caveats this tome by saying that it is unashamedly nostalgic. He does over egg the pudding though when he says station cafes now serve coffee in styrofoam cups. The book was written in — even Pumpkins have cardboard takeaway cups now.
His bugbear is Dr Beeching, whose report closed down many of these branch lines, rather than privatisation, which makes it impossible to travel spontaneously, unless you're writing a book and your train ticket is tax deductible.
Later on, a steam railwayman says of his train: She's like a woman. She's beautiful, but she's quite capable of being temperamental and moody. The author writes about his experiences on some of the most interesting train journeys in the country.
In tone, it feels a bit like a written version of Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys but I like the way this book concentrates far more on the journeys, the stations, the scenery and the people involved with the railways especially those enthusiasts and volunteers who are instrumental in keeping some of the smaller lines open than that TV series does.
It is hardly a literary tou The author writes about his experiences on some of the most interesting train journeys in the country.
It is hardly a literary tour de force, admittedly, but the author's enthusiasm for his subject really comes across and it was very relaxing and fun to read - I kept finding myself picking it up to read a bit more whenever I had a few minutes to spare.
If I was taking one of these trains, I'd definitely take it with me and look out for all the things the author mentions while on the journey! There are books with more depth but this is not that sort of read. More the people involved with the service provision and the lovely camaraderie of volunteers and passengers.
Admittedly quite archaic, but then are railways purely about speed. Enjoyable read but not one of the laugh out loud travel reads. Instead, it's one that I can relive certain parts of journeys that I have made before and then think about how I would like to make new ones.
So, now, I am hoping to go on the line around the perimeter of Cumbria. Aug 04, Sarah rated it liked it. A perfect Sunday afternoon read - not too taxing and nothing that we didn't already know in there. Just allows you to dream of long forgotten journeys that you might once have taken and to make a mental note for new ones to take one day.
I can review this before finishing, as I'm confident my opinion won't change: this book is pleasant, unhurried, and nice, but not exactly exciting.
Bit like the slow-trains, I guess! Oct 19, Fritzov rated it it was ok Shelves:biographyhistorynone-fictiontravel. Never got into this book. Interesting about current and past railroads but no this wasn't for me. Jul 23, David Pencheon rated it really liked it. Just wonderfully light. Jul 18, Ipswichblade rated it really liked it. Nice little book about train jornies that are off the beaten track.
Nov 27, Andy rated it it was amazing. It has been suggested that he took the names of the stations from The Guardianexplaining at least some of the discrepancies between the names in the songs and the names of the stations. InCanadian classical quartet Quartetto Gelato released a themed album called Quartetto Gelato Travels the Orient Expresscelebrating the original journey of Orient Express and featuring music from London to Istanbul.
The album begins with a rendition of "Slow Train", with the final lines changed to reflect the route of the Orient Express. A live version by Stackridge was included in its DVD 4x4. Michael Williams' book "On the Slow Train" takes its name from the song.
It celebrates 12 of the most beautiful and historic journeys in Britain that were saved from the Beeching cuts, including famous routes such as the Settle-Carlisle line and less well-known pleasures, such as the four-hour Preston to Carlisle route along the remote Cumbrian coastline.
English folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner included a version of the song on his compilation album, The Second Three Years. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
BBC Cambridgeshire. Retrieved 6 June Slow Train - The Breit Bros. - Slow Train (Vinyl) House. Retrieved 5 June On the Slow Train Again. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved 3 December The Independent. Retrieved 14 February Disused Stations. Retrieved 16 December Countryside Books. Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 14 October Flanders and Swann.
Michael Flanders Donald Swann. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version.
Wikimedia Commons. Slow Train - The Breit Bros. - Slow Train (Vinyl) Edit links. Writers Flanders and Swann. List song ; Train song. Millers Dale for Tideswell Millers Dale.
Buxton and Matlock. Kirby Muxloe. Leicester and Burton upon Trent, Slow Train - The Breit Bros. - Slow Train (Vinyl). Mow Cop and Scholar Green. North Staffordshire Railway. Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton. Blandford Forum. Templecombe and Broadstone Junction. Mortehoe Mortehoe and Woolacombe. London and South Western Railway. Barnstaple and Ilfracombe. Midsomer Norton. Bath Green Park and Shepton Slow Train - The Breit Bros.
- Slow Train (Vinyl). Great Northern Railway.
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