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I'd like to read a book about glamorous train journeys of yesteryear....

(20 Posts)
susannahmoodie Sun 24-Jan-16 07:42:55

Except For Murder on the Orient Express, can anyone think of any? I went to the national railway museum yesterday in Tork and while the mechanics etc were a bit over my head I was very interested in the historical aspect. I mean a fiction book though.

susannahmoodie Sun 24-Jan-16 07:43:10


TannhauserGate Sun 24-Jan-16 07:49:48

I was going to suggest something by Paul Thouroux, as I think he did several long journeys by train, but not fiction.

Doctor Zhivago has a train journey.
What about Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train?

TannhauserGate Sun 24-Jan-16 07:50:41

Though more happens off the train than on it...

TannhauserGate Sun 24-Jan-16 07:52:28

The Wheel Spins by Ethel White is the book The Lady Vanishes is based on.

OldCrowMedicineShow Sun 24-Jan-16 07:58:09

I recommend 'the Slow Train to Milan' by Lisa St Aubin de Teran and also anything by Somerset Maugham (not always exclusively about train journeys but travel to many exotic locations and his attitude cracks me up).

InMySpareTime Sun 24-Jan-16 08:04:33

"On the slow train" is non-fiction, but a lovely prosaic style.

tripfiction Mon 25-Jan-16 18:41:54

Stamboul Train by Graham Greene

The Necropolis Railway by Andrew Martin

Mr Norris Changes Train by Christopher Isherwood

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith (@TannhauserGate already mentioned this)

Happy train journeying!

Notreallyanewuser Mon 25-Jan-16 20:20:49

Try Ann Bridge; several of her novels have train journeys in them. The Numbered Account and, I think, The Tightening String. Balkan trilogy starts with a train journey (not necessarily glamorous...)
Anna Karenina.

FrustratedFrugal Mon 25-Jan-16 20:38:35

Black Lamb Grey Falcon by Rebecca West.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Mon 25-Jan-16 20:40:11

I love The Lady Vanishes.

cressetmama Wed 27-Jan-16 17:27:18

Illyrian Spring is my favourite Ann Bridge novel, but modern readers often find her a bit of a snob. If it's still in print, there was a Virago edition. She was a very interesting woman in her own right though, and I prefer to think of her attitudes as simply rather typical of her time (1920s- 60s) and class (diplomatic wife).

Notreallyanewuser Wed 27-Jan-16 19:53:19

I like Illyrian Spring too (no train journeys though). Attitudes definitely of her time. Many of hers have been released as e books or print on demand.

cressetmama Wed 27-Jan-16 20:05:24

The train journey in Illyrian Spring is right at the beginning when she (lady Grace Kilmichael) leaves London to go to Greece, via Paris - where she lunches with her art gallery dealer, then to Venice in the evening; it's the original route for the Orient Express, or have I been kidding myself?

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Wed 27-Jan-16 20:10:55

<takes notes>

cressetmama Wed 27-Jan-16 21:13:30

Short test next week, MrF!

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Wed 27-Jan-16 21:36:03


tobee Thu 28-Jan-16 13:03:13

Stamboul Train - Graham Greene

RightKindOfSun Fri 29-Jan-16 11:18:06

AC also wrote Mystery on the Blue Train (Poirot) and 4:50 from Paddington (Marple), which both start with eventful train journeys.
Richard Hannay takes a couple of railway journeys in The Thirty-Nine Steps (John Buchan)
Daisy Dalrymple (Carola Dunne) solves Murder on the Flying Scotsman
Not glamorous but good on train details, another railway detective series features Jim Stringer (Andrew Martin) some set abroad (France WWI, Iraq, India)
Not glamorous either, the plot of Dorothy Sayers' Five Red Herrings relies heavily on railway timetables
Reissue: Madonna of the Sleeping Cars by Maurice Dekobra

Notreallyanewuser Fri 29-Jan-16 17:58:08

Cresset you're right ; had somehow blanked that bit and remembered only the bit after Venice.

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