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
(2nd July 21)
Railway Journeys
(17th Mar 18)
Railway Journeys

(8th Mar 20)
Railway Journeys
(5th Nov 20)
Railway Journeys
(23rd Mar 21)
Railway Journeys
(4th Jun 19)
(10th Sep 21)

A Garland of Islands

Updated to include the short lived Sarawak Government Railway (2nd July 2021)

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

A recent tale from Terry was #100, that's many hours of hard work put in over the last 4½ or so years and now we have the last one in the series. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank him for this.

Major Tales

A summary list (with links) of themed features on this website. Each has at least 500 and some several thousand pictures and all are best digested in stages. The latest addition is Incredible Indonesia (13th November 2020).

In Search of Real Working Steam 2011 - 2020

A photographic record of travels in what was effectively its last decade (10th November 2020).

Railway Journeys - General

Major Tales

A summary list (with links) of themed features on this website. Each has at least 500 and some several thousand pictures and all are best digested in stages. The latest addition is Incredible Indonesia (13th November 2020).

In Search of Real Working Steam 2011 - 2020

A photographic record of travels in what was effectively its last decade (10th November 2020).

Victor's Story -

Below you will find links to Mike's Railway History which contains material from 'Railway Wonders of the World' which was a weekly magazine published in 1935-1936. Now the whole series has been gathered in a dedicated site The contents menu is a pain but worth perseverance (31st January 2020). 

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)

  • (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 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 (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



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

Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire)








São Tomé e Príncipe

South Africa




Railway Journeys - Americas

South America

The Caribbean




  • A narrow gauge train ride - (link broken 5th April 2019) between Talca and Constitucion in Chile in 2001 (16th October 2008)


Dominican Republic





  • A Coconut Railway - - in 1997 (16th October 2008, link broken 5th April 2019)



The Mexicano del Pacifico Railroad - Mexico's last steam powered railroad which lasted until 1994 (added 24th February 2021) 

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):


St. Kitts

St. Lucia


'Tapir Baby' has pointed out that Colin Churcher has uploaded an album from the Anthony W. Burges collection which contains 39 priceless images of, inter alia, the Trinidad Government Railway - (8th March 2020).

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 four clips on the history of railways in Trinidad: 

Lost Railways including the last run before total abandonment:


Railway Journeys - Asia

Asia - Who would attempt this trip in 2018?

Burma (Myanmar):

In the land where the Gan-Tree grows

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:



Anglo-Indians, a group who left an indelible mark on Indian Railways (all these 8th May 2018)

A Glimpse of Imperial Indian Railways (31st August 2017)

  • An account by H E Vickers of his posting as a RAF surgeon and travels in the era just before partition - this is a 40MB PDF.

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

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

Broad Gauge - Agra, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer

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

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

  • (link broken by July 2020)

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

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:



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



Sumit Sharma, Real India Journeys


Classic Gricing

Another gem from Owais Mughal (12th March 2010)

  • Ghora Tram: Historic Horse Tram Returns to Gangapur (Link to dead by October 2014)

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


Sri Lanka



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, (link dead by 25th August 2015)

  • The Songkhla Bullet 197x,  (link dead by 25th August 2015)

  • The Smugglers' Express 1973, (link dead by 25th August 2015)

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


  • The abandoned Songpha-Dalat Cog railway - (6th April 2013, link dead by 26th April 2014)

Railway Journeys - Australasia



  • The extensive 610mm gauge sugar cane railway system on the Fijian island of Vita Levu used to operate a free passenger train. It ran several times a week, and was usually hauled by a 4-4-0 built in Leeds by Hudswell Clarke and called 'Lautoka'. In the early 1960s Richard Hope, editor of the Railway Gazette, rode on the 'free train' and recorded his impressions. His daughter Caroline Linfitt has had the recording re-mastered and has now kindly made it available to us. Click here for this MP3 Audio file. (23rd March 2021)

  • "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 The Fiji Sugar Corporation has 'borrowed' the images from the book which provide a taste of its contents (6th October 2012).

This is also covered in my Tiger Steam - Fiji feature.

Railway Journeys - Europe



The Azores


BeNeLux Countries

(Former) Czechoslovakia:





Robert Hall playing 'catch up' again...

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)




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

Robert has also written two epilogues:








Non Railway Journeys

Burma (Myanmar):





United Kingdom

Rob Dickinson


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