Sunday, April 03, 2005

... So we arrived at the railway station and there was the train, gleaming and glittering, wearing a rakish scarf of steam over one shoulder, and behind it the elegant carriages, quite rightly designated as First, Second and Third Class. The heavy doors slammed with a satisfying clunk and had great leather straps with which to lower the windows, the more easily to get sparks in your eyes or soot on your nose - all experiences that enhance any railway journey that is a railway journey. ... It halted miles away from anywhere at a small wooden platform bearing a large white sign saying 'Freshfield Halt. Please signal if you wish the train to stop.' We got out on to this rickety platform and then extricated from the guard's van the next form of transport we were going to use on our journey - a large sparkling tandem bicycle.


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