Predestination... and railways?

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Predestination... and railways?

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Maggio 29, 2012, 4:29pm

I'm used to predestination as a topic on the LT Let's Talk Religion group, but I could scarcely believe it when I got to the adverts section of The Railway Magazine (May 2012, p111) this evening and found an advert for a book called Predestination. The blurb includes:

Read how the thread of railways through 54 years in the lives of two people has led to proof of destiny and life after death... Beginning in England in 1958, the thread of railways links mediums, the spirits of the lost Queen of Egypt, a King of England, Mary Magdalen and Princess Diana as well as the mysterious Cassandra codes. These predicted many disasters, Lockerbie, 9/11, hurricane Katrina, four Airbus crashes, four Christchurch earthquakes and Japan's '3 in 1' disaster in 2011. The book ends with a real-life Celestine Prophecy journey woven around the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, A4 4492 and its NZ whistle... and the coming End of the World... Someone is warning us...

The book is priced in New Zealand dollars so I presume it comes from down under. The website ( includes:

We are publishing books devoted to the study of paraphysics, based on the results of our twenty eight years' of original scientific research in this difficult area. We use the term paraphysics because we are concerned with phenomena which appear to be elements of reality beyond any current theories of space and time. Our research is primarily concerned with proof of life after death and the use of meaningful coincidence by an external Source in conveying information to us about world events before they happen.... And then the theme of destiny came to prominence, via railways, initially and re-echoed in many ways since.


Maggio 29, 2012, 4:57pm

Hmmm. It's tempting to say that it confirms all my prejudices about Bury Grammar, but actually it's pretty bonkers even by their standards.

Giu 19, 2012, 11:09am

I don't know about paranormal stuff, but I once wrote a short essay on the relationship between liturgy and rail-fanning. For instance, the proper line-up of a group of rail buffs taking a picture of a special train is not unlike a proper procession of clergy, acolytes, and choir in a church.

I've never, however, gotten into the dark-side of train-spotting.

I also have wondered whether one could compare the body to the train itself, the mind to the scheduler or dispatcher, the soul to the engineer or driver, and the spirit to the conductor; but these were just loose but fun ruminations.

Giu 19, 2012, 11:27am

>3 vpfluke: I think one of the best "paranormal" train stories I've ever read was That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch. It was printed in one of the science fiction magazines back in the late 1950's and it makes me smile every time I re-read it.

Giu 19, 2012, 12:02pm

A number of very famous railway enthusiasts and authors were clergymen; Rev Teddy Boston and Rev W Awdry are just two who spring to mind, but there were some Anglican bishops too. The old main line railway termini were often compared to cathedrals, with their soaring arches and canopied roofs. As to where the soul of a train resides, as a steam footplateman I have to say it is in the locomotive itself. Steam locomotives have a life of their own.

Modificato: Giu 19, 2012, 1:16pm


I'll have to look up the story you mentioned.

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote an allegorical story, the Celestial Railroad, which I read and enjoyed as a teenager.

A science fiction story called the Moebius Strip, was laid in the Boston subways (tunnels). I can't remember the author.

And C.S. Lewis well-known novella, the Great Divorce features a bus that shuttles back and forth between hell and heaven.

Giu 19, 2012, 1:16pm

# 5

I can see the steam locomotive itself as the soul. But with trams and trolley cars, I'm not so sure, so I would give the soul to the motorman or driver, also for any electrically propelled rail vehicle. Maybe the electric current is the "spirit". Although if electricity is the "animating" force, and because 'animating' is related to the Latin word for soul, anima, maybe the electricity is really the soul.

Giu 19, 2012, 2:19pm

>6 vpfluke: I think the story is A Subway Named Moebius - A.J. Deutsch - I liked that one too.
>5 John5918:, for instance, in the book Cathedral of Steel :-)

Modificato: Giu 19, 2012, 2:57pm


Thanks for the references. The Levittown library on Long Island (near where I live) has a book of SF stories collected by Isaac Asimov in 1971, and I've ordered that book from their storage area, so as to read "A Subway Named Moebius" again.

Giu 19, 2012, 5:13pm

>3 vpfluke: I was re-reading the thread ...."the dark side of train-spotting"???? Is this sort of like getting up at 2:30AM to drive 100 miles so you will be trackside in time to take pictures during "the blue hour" and on into sunrise and then, around 8AM getting back in your car and driving home because the interesting early morning light is gone for another day or is it something else? If it is the former...then I guess I'm there....

Giu 19, 2012, 5:19pm

What you're talking about is how ones spouse my regard train-spotting, or while on a driving on road trip diverting 46 miles to see X, and only you see anything worth seeing. But I had the other type of train-spotting in the back of my mind also.

Giu 19, 2012, 6:55pm

>11 vpfluke: Ok, we're on the same page - I do the 46 mile diversion to check out a possible location for pictures all the time. The short story by Bloch is collected in Twenty Years of the magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (and I'm sure it is collected in other places too).

Giu 20, 2012, 12:14pm

For some reason the novel Palimpsest comes to mind, although I had to make a request on the "Name that Book" thread to help me remember the name.