The International Steam Pages


Railway Travellers' Tales

This site has always been dedicated to the steam locomotive, especially those few still working for their living. But it is also all about railways in far away places and enthusiasts visiting them, not to mention those 'out-of-grice and post-grice' experiences which are repeatable in polite company. This page provides a few links (which I hope will grow) to stories, some are more technical than others but that just reflects the interests of the writers. And also for the sadists, a few international stories which have nothing to do with trains at all. All contributions are very welcome, this page will also link to articles which do not fit in comfortably elsewhere on the site. I am a very light handed editor, 'anything goes' within reason. 

If you fancy a trip to see such places then for travel advice please see "The Man in Seat 61". And if you make a trip let me have a report and tell the man of any updates for that site.

The most recent additions are given below, more contributions, with or without illustrations are always welcome. I will do my best to assist with maps if necessary.

Railway Journeys
General
(14th May 17)
Railway Journeys
Africa
(24th Oct 15)
Railway Journeys
Americas

(10th Aug 15)
Railway Journeys
Asia
(15th Apr 17)
Railway Journeys
Australasia
(24th May 13)
Railway Journeys
Europe
(20th Jul 16)
Non-Railway
Journeys
(14th Mar 17)

"Case Notes" - A series of contributions from Terry Case covering his real steam gricing career, see below for the full list.

Malaysia:


Railway Journeys - General

You don't have to be mad to be a railway photographer but it helps:

Philip Pacey's Music and Railways, a mind blowing list, I thought about doing this and then discovered he had well and truly beaten me to it. (16th April 2014)

  • http://www.philpacey.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/musrail.html (sadly link dead by 25th October 2016)

However a second resource is also great reading (25th October 2016)

John Gaydon's 'Steam Train Stories' (21st June 2013), an interesting experiment although experience suggests that while many people will want to read the stories few will want to pay for the privilege...

An eclectic worldwide collection of photographs and information on mainly times past trains (3rd April 2012):

I stumbled on this new site while researching for some tales of old Java, suffice to say it does just what it says for an extraordinary range of countries (2nd August 2012)

"Case Notes" - A series of contributions from Terry Case covering his real steam gricing career.

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages. Now they have come to the 'End of the Line' I would like to thank Wilson for his efforts, it has been a privilege to host such an eclectic mixture of tales.. He titled them appropriately "Once upon a time, long ago, in a place faraway..." I would welcome similar contributions from other veteran gricers of which I now count as one.

An occasional series of articles on an island theme, now completed

The UK Daily Telegraph has a continuing feature http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/. In 2008, they ran a writing competition, the accounts are a little shorter than the journeys they describe, but worth reading (22nd December 2008).

I highlighted Mike's Railway History (4th March 2009) which has some very interesting items, basically a look at world railway marvels in 1935. I noted that it was migrating to its own domain http://www.engrailhistory.info/ (2nd November 2013), sadly all the links on the original page are now dead and the domain name is 'for sale'). However, I have reinstated the original links for selected items which reflect the interests of those likely to use my website: I have also taken the liberty of putting the full list of links on this site (all this 9th June 2014).

Africa Across Africa by Rail In Northern Africa Nigeria and Sierra Leone Pioneering in Nyasaland Progress in Rhodesia
Railways in the Nile Valley Railway Invasion of the Gold Coast The Gold Coast Through Desert and Jungle
Americas A Gateway to Brazil Across the Andes British Enterprise in South America Main Lines of Brazil Out to Sea by Train
The Magic of the Andes

Asia Burma's Metre Gauge System Travelling by Train in China The Development of Malaya Hill Lines of India Himalayan Loop Line

Modern Transport in India

Speed Trains of Java The Taurus Express
Europe Poland's Main Lines State Lines of Latvia The Channel Tunnel
General Articulated Locomotives

Island Railways

New and Novel Articulated Locomotive

Engineering in New Zealand - North Island

Engineering in New Zealand - South Island

Rack Rail Locomotives The Trans Siberian Express Unconventional Locomotives

Glen Brewer's

Andrew Jones and Jonathan Lee

Robert Hall

Railway Journeys - Africa

Angola

Cameroon

  • Camrail 2012 - A report by Thomas Kautzor (12th March 2013)

Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire)

Ghana:

Kenya

Liberia:

Madagascar

Malawi

Mali

Mocambique:

São Tomé e Príncipe

South Africa

Sudan

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Railway Journeys - Americas

South America

The Caribbean

Cuba

Brazil

Chile:

Cuba:

Dominican Republic

Guadeloupe

Guatemala:

Haiti

Honduras:

Martinique

Mexico

You name it, it's got it in! (13th December 2012)

Three visit reports from the end of steam south of the border (19th October 2012):

Paraguay

St. Kitts

St. Lucia

Trinidad

Arguably this should be on the YouTube page but Glen Beadon's films are far too interesting and important to be included in a collection of trivia. Firstly three clips on the history of railways in Trinidad: 

Lost Railways including the last run before total abandonment:

USA

Railway Journeys - Asia

Burma (Myanmar):

  • Hastings, Domesday... More extraordinary journeys (12th December 2010) including the journey directly linked below:

  • Rob and Yuehong in the Golden Land, 2009, a bit of everything, amazing train journeys, unconventional tourism with more than a dash of stationary steam in the rice mills (updated 3rd March 2009) including the journeys directly linked below:

China

India:

The Railways of Imperial India (15th April 2017)

  • Ravindra Bhalerao's blog - fiction based on fact, describing Indian Railways the way they used to be from the inside. 

A trip of a lifetime (1st April 2014)

Doing with diesels in India what an earlier generation did with steam... Utterly and delightfully mad. (added 9th October 2011)

Diesel hauled trains but they are often incidental, with the kind of wonderful atmospheric pictures that only Indian Railways can produce (5th May 2012).

Broad and Narrow Gauge Mumbai and Gwalior

Broad Gauge - Agra, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer

Metre Gauge - Ahmedabad – Udaipur, Mavli – Marwar and Ratlam – Indore – Mhow – Khandwa – Akola lines:

Descriptions of very many journeys in the backwaters of India in the days when steam was king:

Ian Manning on the Indian Railways 1965-1969 - a buried treasure - (3rd April 2012)

The Indian Railways Fan Club carries reports of its members trips, a selection of the best of them is linked on this page (added 15th September 2011):

Other stories including a visit to Sheopur Kalan from the IRFC above:

Indonesia

Israel

A series of articles arising from a February 2015 visit:.

Malaysia:

Nepal

Sumit Sharma, Real India Journeys

Pakistan

Classic Gricing

Another gem from Owais Mughal (12th March 2010)

  • Ghora Tram: Historic Horse Tram Returns to Gangapur (Link to http://pakistaniat.com/2010/03/09/horse-tram-gangapur/ dead by October 2014)

Owais Mughal has produced a series of articles on items of railway heritage interest in Pakistan (9th April 2009):

Philippines

Sri Lanka

Taiwan:

Thailand:

Bob Wilson on a journey during a classic railtour

A Singaporean writes about visits to Thailand:

Andrew Robinson at large

Accounts written by an expat in Southern Thailand in the 1970s.

  • Last Train to Haadyai 1975, http://www.songkhlaline.com/Phil_Abbey/HAADYAI.html (link dead by 25th August 2015)

  • The Songkhla Bullet 197x, http://www.songkhlaline.com/Phil_Abbey/SONGKHLA.html  (link dead by 25th August 2015)

  • The Smugglers' Express 1973, http://www.songkhlaline.com/Phil_Abbey/SMUGGLER.html (link dead by 25th August 2015)

Not strictly 100% tales (but there is lots of useful information too on this site):

Vietnam

  • The abandoned Songpha-Dalat Cog railway - http://vnafmamn.com/tracing_shangrila.html (6th April 2013, link dead by 26th April 2014)

Railway Journeys - Australasia

Australia

Fiji

  • "Cane Train" by Peter Dyer and the late Peter Hodge is a marvellous account of the railways here. Published by the New Zealand Railway & Locomotive Society Inc., in 1988 it is still available from them www.railsoc.org.nz. The Fiji Sugar Corporation has 'borrowed' the images from the book which provide a taste of its contents http://www.fsc.com.fj/history_of_sugar_in_fiji.htm (6th October 2012).

Railway Journeys - Europe

General

Austria

The Azores

Belgium

BeNeLux Countries

(Former) Czechoslovakia:

Denmark

France

Germany

Ireland

Robert Hall's views on the current scene and lament for being 70 years too late...

John Raby's Peat Bog Blog (all 21st August 2010)

Jugoslavia:

Norway:

Poland:

Robert Hall has written at length about his experiences of train travel in Poland in the closing years of steam:

Robert has also written an epilogue, a two week trip to Poland in July 2010. (4th October 2011)

Portugal:

Romania:

Russia:

Slovenia:

Spain:

Sweden

UK

Non Railway Journeys

Burma (Myanmar):

China:

Indonesia:

Malaysia:

Thailand:


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk


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