Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Adventure and Romance of Train Journeys

From The Spectator:
Monisha Rajesh wrote lovingly about the Indian railways in her previous book, Around India in 80 Trains; but her new one set her wondering whether the train journey had lost its allure elsewhere — for which there is a strong case to be made in Britain, at least. The constant outpouring of anger in the media about the horrors of modern travel seems to have captured the public mood: the delays, the cancellations, the overcrowding, the fatuous announcements, the garish logos of the privatised companies and the overspending on major projects all seem set to undermine our love of the railways. 
Rajesh, however, muses that the greater threat might in fact come from an unexpected direction — that the trains are now too good. She points out that the railways have improved so much with the scrapping of draughty carriages, the smoothness of the ride brought about by the loss of the familiar tagadada tagadada, thanks to continuous welded rails, and the advent of high-speed trains in many countries across the world that they have become as unromantic as a night in Milton Keynes. (Read more.)

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