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Train journeys

HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
What is/are the most memorable train journeys you have been on ?
Mine have been the various Austrian ski stations in the Alps to Switzerland. The views are stunning through the mountains and past lakes and probably what's unique/unsettling about that are the armed border guards who get on board to check passports. I believe it is possible to travel by rail from Britain to Turkey in one rail journey.

Second, the narrow gauge rails bult by the Raj suitable for steep inclines . The train climbs the mountains.
You'd chug up for about 15 minutes then stop while the train gets it's breath back and then chug along again.
hill stations in the Nilgiris
The race is on for the speediest train that will connect remote countries. Did try to travel from East to West Coast by train but that would have taken three days and the view would have been undulating and not very interesting, IMHO.
regards
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
I went up Mt. Snowdon one sunny afternoon. Its not a long ride but quite pretty.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Took my kids out to Chicago from Reno via Amtrak's California Zephyr, just got back this Tuesday. Great ride. The meals are large, though, and you can only burn so many calories dealing cards and playing Monopoly.
Beautiful scenery, especially through the canyons of the Rockies between Grand Junction and Denver. Well worth it.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Thanks for sharing ,twin brother.
I have heard of the Canadian Rockies train journey are quite something.
So darned expensive though.

Mt Snowdon. I've been close but haven't seen trains. The walking trails in Wales are very meditative. Something like I'd imagine Nepal and the Himalayas to be.
Actually, I remember now the trains in the Nilgiris were steam trains. That's why they stopped ever so often. There were taps for water every so often along the rail and had to re-fill, then burn more steam to go ahead. And it probably was more like every 30 minutes than 15.
I hope they haven't dismantled them.

regards
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Mt Snowdon. I've been close but haven't seen trains.
Here's a website with pictures and everything!
http://www.snowdonrailway.co.uk/p_usage.asp
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404

The background is as beautiful as I remember it to be.
Memories. Time to send out postcards again.
I've actually stayed at Llanberis
I still don't remember trains.
regards
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Ealier this summer... the UK has a huge heatwave.... its the hottest day ever recorded in London.... and I'm stuck on a broken down rush hour train, 5 mins away from my destination. The train is packed full of sweaty annoyed commuters, who have been stuck on a train for 40 mins for a section of the journey that should have taken 5. Thats Connex for you.
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Joe , I empathise. I don't like using the rail transportation around London. Within London, I plan my journey and either walk or catch a bus.
London is really quite a small place.
I recall now that the railway wp to Mount Snowdon was on the far side of the village and you could either climb to the Mountain top or catch the train. But we headed for Port Meiron the Italianate "village"
Virtual portmeiron
Postcards
Woodland
The beaches were something else.
I pinched this off someones site.

What sort of spots? Beach/surfing/coastal path walking/historical (more castles per square acre in Wales than anywhere else) mountain walking/ pony trekking, tourist hot spots.
Technically border country linked to Welsh Marches: Hereford - ( mediaeval Charter to residents) = any Welshman seen in city centre on a Sunday to be shot on sight...
Haye-on Wye (book festival town) consisting of famous book shops per square foot.
South/West of H0W - the now famous Pen-y-Fan = Andy McNab et al
Spectacular scenery
Swansea has phenominal night-life - night clubs per square inch in city centre - Dylan Thomas Centre (poet) + the Mumbles Mile = pubs per square inch
Laugharne = Dylan Thomas Boathouse/village pubs owned by Neil Morrisey (Men Behaving Badly)
Pembrokeshire (Little England beyond Wales - "POSH" - London house prices/fancy yachts/OG cruisers in marinas) superb sandy beaches (many doggy friendly sections) lots of Cornish style coves/harbours - Oakwood Theme Park/ or historical sites/Prescelly Hills blue stones as seen at StoneHenge etc. Island boat trips to working Monastry/ seals/rare birds/deep sea fishing/swimming with wild dolphins...(they find you, sometimes inquisitive seals, too..)...Follow coast north to Ynyslas beach/sandunes/sandy Dovey estuary - north of Aberystwyth
Heading to Machynlleth/Felen Fach Water Wheel/ Artists Valley = famous Led Zepplin (RBand) house.
Machynlleth = Owen Glyndwr first man to set up democratic parliament in UK.
Spectacular scenery northward via Aberdovey coast road to:
Port Meiron the Italianate village = The Prisoner
Snowdonia National park = Snowdon & mini railways
Throughout Wales - bestselling authors at every turn trying to escape the "rabble rich" Celeb English now prevalent in Middle England/West Country/Cheshire/Cotswolds/Algarve/Tuscany etc...
Much of Wales still consists of unspoilt countryside, vast open spaces and fabulous beaches...
The only thing Wales hasn't got (once you get past Swansea) is horrible industrial scapes and towny commercialism

regards
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
The Nilgiri Hill Train
The Nilgiri train starts in Mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris and winds its way up to Ooty, or Ootacamund - the anglicised version of Udhagamandalam. The scenery en route is spectacular for all the 46 kms of its route, the landscape changing from vistas of plains and areca nut plantations to lush green rain forests. The train chugs through terraced fields, eucalyptus and cypress groves and Toda villages, past the Ootacamund Lake and finally into its terminus. The journey covers 46 km passing through stations with names such as Hillgrove, Runneymede or Wellington.
The train is a delightful little blue and cream affair with wooden coaches and large windows. It is hauled by smart steam engines, designed and built by the Swiss Locomotive Works, of which 12 still survive today. Ootya at 2287 n above seal level is the most popular hill station in South India and the Nilgiri Hill Railway has certainly added considerably to this popularity.
Coonoor station featured in David Lean's PASSAGE TO INDIA and one of the Swiss locomotives was used as the Chandrapore train

Not the Raj, but by the Swiss Locomotive Works.
Hill Station trains
regards
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Vinod John
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 162
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
What is/are the most memorable train journeys you have been on ?
Second, the narrow gauge rails bult by the Raj suitable for steep inclines . The train climbs the mountains.
You'd chug up for about 15 minutes then stop while the train gets it's breath back and then chug along again.

But I think the "The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway" is considered to most intricate railway system, I have not taken a ride on that but I heard it is painfully slow passage through complicated rails .. I was fully funded by Indian government and was built during Colonial for transporting British solider to cooler hillstation during summer.
Here is a link
http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/r007.html
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: Vinod John ]
 
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