We are delighted to introduce a female author to our list of Recommended Railway Reads. Over three months, freelance journalist Lorraine Wilson, travelled solo through Europe by train, stopping at 57 destinations in 21 countries and covering 11,500 miles. The result was her delightful book, "Facing Forwards: Europe. Solo. No Looking Back". This railway and life-changing odyssey followed in the footsteps of a financial meltdown, heartbreak, bereavement, and poor health over the previous five years. At the age of 48, single, childless and having sold her home Lorraine was struggling to decide where her life was heading. In the end the best thing to do, she thought, was to head off into the unknown! Facing Forwards is the result - not a conventional travel book, but a journey of self-discovery over one summer with lots of memorable encounters along the way. Below is an excerpt from the book which finds Lorraine in Slovakia and, like most of her journey, chronicles her experiences off the rail tracks as well as on them.
Welcome to the first in a series of Recommended Railway Read blogs, where we invite you to delve into an excerpt from our chosen book to see if it piques your train travel interest. During this time of COVID-19 enforced lockdown we thought you might enjoy some armchair travel courtesy of a good railway read!
For our third instalment of our Recommended Railway Reads we have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt from ‘On the Slow Train’ by best-selling author Michael Williams, which takes you to the very beginning of the book and finds the author at the remotest railway junction in the most westerly part of England! The success of this book led Michael to write a follow-up On the Slow Train Again and his other notable railways reads include Steaming to Victory and The Trains Now Departed. Michael is a journalist and academic – writing, broadcasting and blogging on transport, society, the media and other issues of the day for the national media and many other outlets, including the Independent, the BBC, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, and the New Statesman. Michael is also a leading travel writer, reporting on journeys around the world for a variety of publications. In his academic role, he is co-editor and author of the book The Future of Quality News Journalism. He lives with his family in Camden Town, London. Here is Ffestiniog Travel’s introduction to his work.
Our latest Recommended Railway Read is courtesy of Anthony Lambert a prolific award-winning travel writer, contributing articles to a wide range of national and international newspapers and magazines and who specialises in rail travel worldwide, Switzerland and Canada. Anthony has evidence of an interest in railways from the age of two and has since travelled on railways in over 55 countries and penned and contributed to 12 books on railway travel and journeys, including the Insight Guide to Great Railway Journeys of Europe. Our chosen book is his most recent Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World which is a celebration of the lost railway heritage and the lines that can no longer be travelled. It takes in the great cathedral-like railway stations of the steam age and the obscure lines built through spectacular landscapes. Illustrated with stunning images the book takes the reader as close as they can possibly get to the lost world of dining cars, sleeping cars, station porters and international rail travel. All of the featured railway routes have stories to tell and the lost journeys are captured in the old postcards and posters that accompany photographs drawn from collections and archives across the world. Below is an extract from the book that takes you to the ‘wild west’ of America and its pioneering railroads.