Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Train Journeys and Train Travel Writing

One of my favorite travel writers is Paul Theroux. I like his writing style. I like the way he views and interprets the world. I like how he focuses on the ordinary along with the unusual. 

But mostly I like him because he writes about travel by train.
Theroux is the author of four books about train travel. His first was The Great Railway Bazaar; it featured his trip from London to Tokyo. His only rule: Board every eastbound train that came into sight.


The second is The Old Patagonian Express, which found him boarding Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited in Boston and getting off at the bottom of South America, in Patagonia.
Next was Riding The Iron Rooster, where he vowed to reach the other side of the world without jet lag. Once again beginning in London, he traveled by train across Europe, Russia and China.
In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Theroux re-traced the journey in his first book, writing about the changes along the way, in the world, and in himself.
Finally, there's The Last Train to Zona Verde, where he travels 2,500 miles across Africa.
(Find out more about these, and other travel books by Theroux, on his website.)

The Patagonian Express.


If you aren't as adventurous as Theroux, and have $36,500 to spare, you can take a 53-day trip by train around the world courtesy of Rail Journeys.
According to an article on CNN, passengers will spend 20 days crossing the U.S. by train, then spend the remaining time crossing China to Mongolia, and across Russia and Europe to London.
If 53 days seems a little long, Ffestiniog Travel in Wales offers a similar trip of 40 days, only in reverse (and with the North American portion across Canada). The cost? Only $32,765.

Buying one of Theroux's books is a lot cheaper--and maybe more informative in the end.

1 comment:

  1. I read "Riding the Iron Rooster" and enjoyed it, but I think I would have starved to death with the food choices he had.