Expert railway enthusiast Ben Le Vay returns with a new edition of his much-acclaimed guide to discovering Britain from the rails. This latest edition adds new lines and destinations in Britain's fast-changing railway, while updating the guide to the classic greats. Thoroughly updated, it includes a full, fascinating guide to the new Borders Railway in Scotland, plus details of the new route from London to Oxford and expanded coverage of the eccentric Jolly Fisherman line in Lincolnshire and the charming Cotswold line from Oxford to Hereford. Also included are more details of the Far North line from Inverness to Wick and Thurso.'Now, finally, the network has a book to be proud of ' So said one reviewer of the first edition. Branch lines and 'secret railways' are covered, and so too are the popular routes such as the glorious East Coast main line to Scotland and the Great Western to Penzance. Regional treats include the famed West Highland Line in Scotland, the Settle and Carlisle railway in the north of England, and entire chapters dedicated to 'Wales Rails' and 'East Anglia: A Circular Tour'. Additional information ranges from the practical - such as a guide to the layout of some of the country's main termini - to the 'Inside Track: a window-gazer's guide to stuff to look out for on your journey' and intriguing train trivia. The best historic and preserved railways are also included, as are Ben's Top Ten Rail Journeys. Ben Le Vay says: 'There are endless books about trains, about the history of the railways, about stations, signal boxes, carriages, wagons... as specialist as you like. There are also myriad books about British cities and countryside, about what is wonderful and fascinating about different patches of our unique island. But there were none that successfully combined the one type of book with the other (after all, you look at the country while sitting on trains) until now. And this is I do with deep knowledge, love and enthusiasm for both parts.'
About the Author
Railways are in Ben Le Vay's blood as his grandfather was an inspector of Indian railways, so his mother grew up on their private train in which they rolled around the Sub-Continent. He says: 'what motivated this book was the fact that many Brits and visitors had no idea that we have some of the best railway routes in the world - even the line judged to be the world No 1! - right here in this country, and people appreciate having a pointer about where to go and what to see.' A sub-editor of a national newspaper by trade, he combines his love of writing with his passion for rail travel in this much-praised and unique guide. 'I've never been the sort of rail enthusiast who writes down all the train numbers - despite some good-natured joshing by my friends' he says, 'but I have always found rail travel more enjoyable, more elegant and less destructive of our countryside and towns than the car. The fact that I find the railway's history and operation today fascinating too makes it all the better, and I am told I have done a good job of conveying some of this knowledge to the reader.'