This book provides an in-depth exploration of trains and train travel. Letherby and Reynolds have conducted extensive research with all those concerned with trains, from leisure travelers and enthusiasts to railway workers and commuters. Overturning conventional wisdom, they show that the train has a social life in and of itself and is not simply a way to get from A to B.The book also looks at the depiction of train travel through cultural media, such as music, films, books and art. The authors consider the personal politics of train travel and political discussion surrounding the railways, as well as the relationship trains have to leisure and work. The media often paints a gloomy picture of the railways and there is a general view that the romance of train travel ended with the steam locomotive. Letherby and Reynolds show that this is far from the case.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Train Now Standing * Points and Branch Lines: Locating the Train in Time, Place and Space * Leaves on the Line: Current Discourses of the Train * Signs and Signals: Finding the Train in Western Culture * All Aboard the 'Play Station': Leisure and the Train * Working on the Line: Working Patters and the Train * Standing Room Only: Personal Politics and the Train * Final Reflections: Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Gayle Letherby is at the University of Plymouth.Gillian Reynolds is Senior Researcher at Coventry University.
This [book] is refreshingly different from the previous work in railway studies. . . - Ian Carter, University of Auckland