The world of the railways weaves a spell over many people. In this engaging book railway expert Anthony Lambert presents some of the best stories. From the early days come tales of financial skulduggery and worries that sparks from locomotives might ignite sheep's fleeces. But as the railway transformed the modern world, attitudes changed, and railways were opened to great rejoicing and even religious blessing. The perennial appeal of the steam locomotive generated a pride amongst railwaymen and a fascination among the public. The romantic aspects of the railway were soon celebrated - and not just the unexpected engagement that came from a snowbound train in the Highlands or the sexual shenanigans of the Orient Express. Here are stories of railway travel, from the palatial carriages of tsars and maharajahs to the open trucks of the 'lower orders', mishaps and faux pas, and tales of how ticket inspectors used to have to hold on to the outside of carriages while clipping tickets.
From tales of lonely stations and signal-boxes in Scotland, to the unlucky engineer eaten by a lion in a carriage in Kenya, Lambert casts his net across railways worldwide to gather the most entertaining material. There are stories here that would enliven even a cheerless commute on the 18.01, and remind you that our railways really were - and occasionally still are - full of derring-do, romance and character.