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April 15 , 2010

Leaves on the Line

Letters on Trains to the Daily Telegraph


Whether it’s leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, whether the extortionately priced, curled-up sandwich on sale in the buffet car, or the militancy of the rail unions that seem to be endlessly on strike over nothing, everyone in Britain has an opinion about our railways. After the weather, they are probably the country’s most reliable talking point.

With Telegraph readers being the trenchant, choleric and waggish letter-writers that they are, our railways have always figured high on the list of subjects requiring a missive to the Editor.

Now, in this fascinating and hilarious selection, Gavin Fuller has put together the best letters on trains to the paper over the years. Here is the end of Steam and the start of Eurostar; the punctuality of Swiss trains and the signal failures of ours; the laments for the branch lines lost under the Beeching cuts, and also for the much-missed peace and quiet of a railway carriage, replaced by the menace of personal stereos and fellow passengers booming, ‘I’m On The Train!’ into their mobile phones.

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