The Art of Train Travel

Join the Journey @ The Art of Train Travel Blog

When does the journey begin? Where does the journey end?

The scene is in the refreshment room of Milford Junction Station…when the curtain rises it is about 5.25 p.m. on an evening in April. The evening sunlight streams though the right-hand window illuminating gaily the paraphernalia on the counter…. Laura Jesson is sitting at the downstage table having tea. She is an attractive woman in the thirties. Her clothes are not particularly smart but obviously chosen with taste. She looks exactly what she is, a pleasant, ordinary married woman, rather pale, for she is not very strong, and with the definite charm of personality which comes from natural kindliness, humour and reasonable conscience… On the chair beside her there are several parcels as she has been shopping.Still Life, Noel Coward.

Who stands out? Who is observed? Why am I interested?

Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of  a few blunt, large questions. In childhood we ask: ‘why am I me?’ – Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel.

Languages. Knowledges. Conventions.

“No that’s your seat reservation, do you have your ticket?”

“Can I see your railcard please?”

Toilet’s are out of order, frequently. The best toilets are the accessible ones, located after first class they are also normally the cleanest.

“Please take care when stepping from the train onto the platform edge”

“This train is for Liverpool and will be calling at Seamer, Malton, York, Leeds, Huddersfield, Stalybridge, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Birchwood, Warrington Central and Liverpool Lime Street.

“Trans-Pennine Express would like to apologise for the delay to your journey and any inconvenience this may cause you”

Unseasoned travellers who haul their lives through empty trains in order to find their ‘reserved’ seats… is it illegal to sit in any vacant seat…?

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