Trains

The great train robbery: why Britain’s rail prices need a rethink

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Outside mathematics, the word ‘commute’ can mean two things. Mostly it refers to the act of making a daily journey…

Don’t tell me model railways aren’t art. My little engine is a thing of spirit and beauty

14 December 2019 9:00 am

It’s a summer day at Llangenydd station, and the afternoon train is already late, not that anyone seems to mind.…

The financial logic behind HS2 is collapsing. It’s time to pull the plug

9 February 2019 9:00 am

No one is in any doubt about the problem facing Britain’s railways. Over the past decade, rail fares have risen…

Markets are clever precisely because people are silly

29 September 2018 9:00 am

A month ago I wanted to travel to Bath for a 60th birthday party. From Kent, this either involves a…

‘See it, Say it, Sort it’ makes me want to self-harm

14 April 2018 9:00 am

‘How could you forget to get on the train?’ asked the keeper. ‘I can understand how you forgot to get…

Why I’m not on board with quiet carriages

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Every now and then I try to invent a new scientific unit. I’ll never come up with anything as good…

Women used to forgive men their defects, but the quality of mercy is under strain

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Poor Gordon Brown. He embodies the problem traditionally associated with being male, which is that our sex finds it difficult…

Trains in Spain

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The first railway line in Spain, from Barcelona to Mataro a few miles up the coast towards the French border,…

How they tried (and failed) to make ‘La Marseillaise’ nicer

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Friendly words England football fans sang ‘La Marseillaise’ in a friendly match at Wembley. The anthem has not always been…

The most important test that HS2 doesn’t pass

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Despite my opposition to High Speed 2, I am quite a big fan of HS1, the line which runs from…

TalkTalk shows us the internet is only three clicks from anarchy

29 October 2015 9:00 am

I’m not a customer of TalkTalk, the phone company which revealed last week that a hacker had potentially compromised the…

Does anyone else have an upper house as undemocratic as the Lords?

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Peers’ peers Forty-five new peers were created. Are we alone in having an upper house of parliament made up of…

Italy is so civilised! Even at a mad dash

29 August 2015 9:00 am

I sprinted through Milan station, speed-read the departures monitor without stopping, and arrived gasping on platform 8 with two minutes…

Dear Mary: How can I flirt on the train when a man who knows my old habits is watching?

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Q. Travelling on a train recently I happened to notice two former acquaintances, sitting together and very nearly opposite me,…

Arch enemies: Euston Arch (left), torn down to make way for London’s most miserable train station (right)

Should Euston Arch be raised from the dead?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Yes  William Cook Rejoice! Rejoice! Fifty-four years after its destruction, Euston Arch has returned to Euston. Well, after a fashion.…

'I will call the police!': My close encounter with 'revenue protection'

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Conversations with a ticket inspector on the Norwich train

The perils of planespotting

7 March 2015 9:00 am

A dangerous hobby Three men from Greater Manchester were arrested and held in the UAE after being seen writing down…

Five more MPs making Malcolm Rifkind’s day rate

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Golden league Some MPs who earn Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s rate of £5,000 a day: — Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): £3,333…

Critical on Sky1 reviewed: a new medical drama where everyone radiates an unusual degree of competence and concern

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Sky1’s new hospital drama Critical (Tuesday) can’t be accused of making a timid start. Within seconds, an urgent request had…

Dear Mary: How can I lie about my age and still use my Senior Railcard?

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Q. I was not brought up in England and don’t appear in Who’s Who. This means that there is no…

How HS2 has blighted my parents’ lives

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Whether the high-speed rail line is built or not, it is destroying the retirements of people like my parents

Have the people who design trains and airports noticed that laptops exist?

6 December 2014 9:00 am

It’s taken years to work this out, but there is a subtle art to designing an airport lounge. 1) Install…

Rochester’s special qualities, and the price of Ebola.com

1 November 2014 9:00 am

What’s special about Rochester What is special about Rochester and Strood? — Rochester has the second oldest cathedral and school…

George Osborne’s cynical grab for northern votes (and why I’m for it)

28 June 2014 9:00 am

When John Prescott used to wax garrulous about a ‘superhighway’ from Hull to Liverpool, everyone assumed it was a wheeze…

The question that Dear Mary refuses to answer

1 March 2014 9:00 am

Q. One of my best friends, who knows I don’t have a great social life at university, has a brother…