Railway times, railway rhymes

Railway Rhymes

When books are pow’rless to beguile
And papers only stir my bile,
For solace and relief I flee
To Bradshaw or the ABC
And find the best of recreations
In studying the names of stations.

CL Graves

SocietyBlogUnfortunately the days of Bradshaw’s and ABC’s have gone but there is nothing like a long railway journey to stir up a certain kind of productive creativity.

Writing on trains (not as in graffiti you understand) is a guilty pleasure. Notebook, pen, a seat booked in the quiet carriage, phone switched off and in a couple of hours and you can polish off a whole to do list that has lingered for days or even weeks.

My hot tip is wear a suit and tie or for ladies a hat and matching gloves. Recreate those days of the ABC and Bradshaw. I’m never called ‘sir’ and treated with such deference when I’m wearing jeans.

After returning my tickets the guard said ‘Thank you for travelling with Virgin Trains, Sir’. I was unsure of the correct response so I pressed sixpence into his outstretched hand and said

‘Take this my good man’.

He mumbled something underneath his breath…… humble thanks…..… well I think that was what it was.

About TheBigForest

TheBigForest. A silly artist maker creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk


  1. Love the poem! I also like trains (when they’re on time), although I don’t really like commuting too much.

    • You are right. There is nothing romatic or poetic about commuting. Long distance train travel is a completely different beast! We always think Trans Canada or the original orient express must have been wonderful journeys.

      • I’d love to do a train journey across the US (if this is possible) and yes, the original Orient Express much have been amazing! Steam engines make trains better, anyway!

      • We were recently re-reading Travels with My Aunt by Graham Green a book with a very evocative description of the orient express journey.
        Ah steam trains! We love the Bluebell Railway in Sussex which gives a glimpse of how branch line travel must have been in the days of steam!

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