Instagram's That Railway Girl will be writing an article for the next issue of Off the Tracks. Here she shares one of her other rail escapades, a slow train to China, well in China really, but you get the idea!
I want to start this post with a disclaimer: By the time I took my first train ride in China, I had already been travelling for a couple of months, had been lost, conned, exhausted and hungry more times than I had anticipated… basically what I want to say is that my nerves had worn pretty thin. Okay, I’ll put it more bluntly, I was a bit of a wreck...
Right, now you’ve got a bit of context, I’ll begin…
Beijing is crazy. Stepping off the Trans Siberian, we soon realised that we had made the mistake of arriving during Golden Week Celebrations. So it was extra busy, crowded, noisy and utterly chaotic. For some ridiculous reason (despite having lived in Hong Kong in my early childhood) I had expected China to be peaceful, tranquil and serene… I literally have no idea why I had that expectation. Needless to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was an assault on the senses – at times in a good way, more often than not in a bad way. Visceral is a word I like to use when describing it.
To read more CLICK HERE and to find out more about That Railway Girl CLICK HERE
Issue 3 Autumn goes with a flash!
In our next issue (autumn) we're going to take a look at early electric locomotives on both sides of the Atlantic - we profile Italy's E.626s and the US Pennsylvania Railway's GGs1. Do they have any similarities and which lasted the longest? Clue take a read of the caption below!
E.626 TFT (Trasporto Ferroviario Toscano S.p.A., regional Tuscan railway) locos are both ready to leave Bibbiena station, hauling freight trains to Arezzo. These locomotives, Nnumbers 223 and 311, are the only ones in the whole E.626 group that have remained in regular service (Bibbiena, 22/08/2015). Photo Andrea Sosio
Pic of GG1 by instagrammer vefa_nuri
It's looking like we will have an interview with Tony Thompson, the great railroad author and authority all things, Southern Pacific and we also have a contribution from a young railfanner (we love it when young guys and girls) send us in material. NS8104 on insta has some cracking shots of preserved steam locos running right by where he lives! He tells us about, for example, Reading Blue Mountain and Northern's Light Pacific number 425. We can't wait, can you?
And don't forget to check out our current issue - link in header.
Above pic: Nancy Station under a beautiful sunset
As a train fan we're always looking forward to hopping on a train, whether it be a commute, or something much longer, like a hop across the channel on the Eurostar and onto the north-east/east region of France.
If you've been following our instagram page, you'll have seen that we posted some pics of our journey and asked a few questions along the way. The shots were candid i.e. of the roof at St Pancras and an exit (depart) sigh, in the facade at Gare du Nord (congrats to instagrammer Fw.Kelly who somehow got that one). Boarding our train on Sunday morning meant that it was not too busy a journey, but the Eurostar was packed.
It was a speedy and uneventful sprint into the 50-odd km tunnel and then onto Paris. A quick 10-minute left-right walk then got us to Gare d'Lest, for about a 90-min trip to Nancy by TGV. Relatively flat and not that inspiring countryside flashed past on what looked like to relatively new line.
Nancy is a large-ish station with connecting services to Metz, Stasbourg and Luxembourg for example. We took the 30-min service to Metz a day or so after our arrival. Well, 30 minutes on the way there as we took the stopper on the way back which took an extra 20-min and was air-conditioned by opening the windows. Still this enabled us to see more of the sights, such as they were. The views of forested hill-tops and rivers were much appreciated and there were quite a few industries along the line with plenty of trackage and what looked like a coaling facility for coal trains (Mrs OfftheTracks was less impressed with the latter).
Nancy is worth a visit for the Place Stansislas - a UNESCO world heritage site. It is stunning and construction began in 1752.(more on this in a planned in-depth article in Off the Tracks (autumn issue). With easy connection from the UK and other points across mainline Europe we'd say go there!
Oh, there's also a model train shop just across from the station called Nancy Train... yep, we did go there too...
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Off the Tracks is created through social media for train fans, train travellers. Over fifty percent of our readers are under 40 and it's an equal male/female split by train fans.. .in case you are interested!