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Where are the green silk blinds of the once luxurious Metropolitan Line?

The Trains Now Departed by Michael Williams and Three Men and a Bradshaw by John George Freeman both recall a not-so-distant past when travelling in Britain was a positive pleasure

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways Michael Williams

Preface, pp.328, £20, ISBN: 9781848094352

Three Men and a Bradshaw: An Original Victorian Travel Journal John George Freeman, edited by Ronnie Scott

Random House, pp.364, £16.99, ISBN: 9781847947444

Most current writers on railways don’t want to appear at all romantic lest they be shunted into the ‘trainspotter’ siding. But Michael Williams is unafraid to state the obvious fact about Britain’s railways, which is that they were far more attractive in the past:

It is sometimes tempting to wonder if, deep in every railway operations HQ, there is a department whose sole job is to think up ways of corroding the experience of passengers.

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