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Ago 10, 2006, 11:27am

When I saw another group called Hogwarts Express I turned to it eagerly thinking from the name that it might actually be about the train rather than Harry Potter in general. I was disappointed, but now here's a genuine railway group.

Presumably you'll allow "railways" as well as "railroads"? Up to now I had thought I was the only one on Library Thing with an interest in railways/railroads. It's reassuring to find someone else. But I see that our libraries don't have a great deal in common. Most of my railway books are on UK or Africa, although I do have one or two from north America. Steam is my thing, although I am interested in railways in general and I do have books on modern railways. I spend much of my spare time playing with real steam engines - I'm a steam locomotive fireman (I believe one would say "stoker" in the USA) with a heritage rail association in South Africa.

Ago 10, 2006, 11:38am

Railway and railroad seems very similar to me. So sure, glad to have someone else in the group.

Love steam engines myself. I miss the allure of being on a train and just riding it to a destination in a relaxing atmosphere which most trains in the US don't have any more.

(My book collection on trains is still being purchased. I have a wishlist in a 3 subject notebook. :>)

Ago 10, 2006, 4:38pm

I know what you mean about the allure and relaxation of being on a train. There's no comparison between trains and the cattle-class of modern airlines. I rode Amtrak a lot in the 1990s, and travelled from Toronto to Vancouver on VIA. A few months back I was on Spoornet's Premier Class from Pretoria to Cape Town - that was definitely alluring and relaxing. Good luck with the wish-list.

Set 26, 2006, 1:25am

Not the most active of groups, is it? Although I see it's picked up a few more members. I suppose most of my railway-related internet networking is done through long-established groups - I'm a member of the South African Railway and South African Transport groups on Yahoo, regularly read the uk.railway group on Google, and potter in and out of several others.

But the uniqueness of this one is that it's about books, so here goes: I've recently read The Necropolis Railway and Blackpool Highflyer by Andrew Martin. They are fiction, set in Edwardian England, about the adventures of a young railway employee who turns detective. The detective stories are only mediocre but the main interest for me is the railway setting. I also enjoy the period slang, including railway slang. I've got the third volume, The Lost Luggage Porter, which I'll read soon.

One other thought. Although we are all (presumably) railway enthusiasts to some degree or other, it's remarkable how few railway books we share in common. An encouraging sign of the rich diversity of the topic.

Ott 9, 2006, 2:34pm

I've just finished reading The Lost Luggage Porter by Andrew Martin. This is the review I wrote:

To my mind this is the best of the three railway detective books to date. Our hero is now a real, rather than an amateur, detective. The actual detective story is better than the previous two, and the railway context continues to be absorbing. I think the author does a good job of conjuring up the atmosphere of Edwardian England (and France in this case) - I have no idea whether or not it is accurate, but it is certainly interesting and feels authentic.