Dutch motorail: great service – but bring your own breakfast

October 6th, 2013 Mail on Sunday no comments

My window on America: From Los Angeles to New Orleans on an epic rail adventure

March 3rd, 2013 Mail on Sunday 2 comments
There are not many places in the world where you can take a 50-hour train ride, and America does not immediately spring to mind as one of them. It is, though, still possible to travel, as I did, around the whole of the US by train in a couple of weeks and the best of my journeys was the 1,995-mile trip aboard the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans. ...

The Transsiberian from Vladivostok to Moscow

January 20th, 2013 Mail on Sunday no comments
Why are you going on the Trans-Siberian railway in winter when it's dark and cold?' asked my friend Jon. 'And why are you starting from Vladivostok, the wrong end?' These were good questions and there were several more to consider too, such as exactly which Trans-Siberian route to take. For this railway is not one but several that have been built at different times. As well as the most famous Moscow-Vladivostok route, ...

HS2 opposition mounts

March 13th, 2011 Mail on Sunday 3 comments
When  the first line between London and Birmingham  was  being  mooted  in the 1830s,  a Berkhamsted landowner, Sir Astley  Cooper, called the idea ‘preposterous in the extreme’ and suggested that  ‘if  this sort of thing be permitted to go on, you will in a very few years  destroy the noblesse’ . Well it did go on, and Britain ended up with 20,000 miles of railways  ¬– without losing  its noblesse. In  fact,  ...

Eurostar breakdown conundrum

December 20th, 2009 Mail on Sunday 3 comments
  It was not the wrong sort of snow, but simply too much of it that appears to have caused the breakdown of five Eurostar and two other trains in the Channel Tunnel. Last night, Eurostar engineers were still trying to discover the precise cause of the incident but the investigation focussed on electrical failures as a result of the change in temperature between the French countryside and the tunnel.  All the ...

Strength of tilting train saved many

February 25th, 2007 Mail on Sunday no comments
There is an eerie symmetry between Friday’s train accident and the similar crash at Potters Bar five years ago. Attention very quickly focussed yesterday on a set of points used to connect the south and north bound lines and similar pointswork was the cause of the Potters Bar disaster. At Potters Bar part of a set of points broke underneath a train, causing it to derail, also at around 100 mph. ...

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