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Tales from the Fast Trains: Europe at 186MPH [Kindle Edition]

Tom Chesshyre
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Tired of airport security queues, delays and all those extra taxes and charges, Tom Chesshyre embarks on a series of high-speed adventures across the Continent on its fast trains instead. He discovers the hidden delights of mysterious Luxembourg, super-trendy Rotterdam, much-maligned Frankfurt and lovely lakeside Lausanne, via a pop concert in Lille.

It’s 186 mph all the way – well, apart from a power cut in the Channel Tunnel on the way to Antwerp. What fun can you have at the ends of the lines? Jump on board and find out...

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Product Description


'Make a note to buy this... If you're tired of the endless delays and extra costs at airports, this book will inspire you to hop on a train. Discover hidden delights of Europe with no hidden charges or taxes. It's a fun-packed read, as well as being very informative.'


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About the Author

Tom Chesshyre is a travel journalist and the author of "How Low Can You Go? Round Europe for 1p Each Way (Plus Tax"). He currently is a staff travel writer for the "Times."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 767 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 184953151X
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers Ltd (31 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,072 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tom Chesshyre was born in London in 1971. He studied politics at Bristol University and newspaper journalism at City University, after which he worked at the Coventry Evening Telegraph, the Cambridge Evening News, Sporting Life, Sky Sports, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent before joining the The Times in 1997. He helped research two non-fiction books: W. G. by Robert Low, a biography of W. G. Grace, and Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist by Colin Smith. He is the author of five travel books: How Low Can You Go? Round Europe for 1p Each Way (Plus Tax), 2007; To Hull and Back: On Holiday in Unsung Britain, 2010; Tales from the Fast Trains: Europe at 186mph, 2011; A Tourist in the Arab Spring, 2013; and Gatecrashing Paradise: Misadventures in the Real Maldives, just published - a description of a 600-mile journey around the edge of paradise, touching on its (often ignored) darker side while island hopping round some of the most beautiful, remote spots on the planet. He lives in London. His website is

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Fast Trains' is Fun, Fast-paced and Inspiring 16 Aug. 2011
TOM CHESSHYRE'S `Tales from the Fast Trains' offers a seductive glimpse of stress-free travel by train to a range of European cities for a two to three day break.. Today's short break travellers want it all - they long for speed, peace and a provoking change of scene. Chesshyre, a travel writer with The Times, is spot on. His 'tales' capture the zeitgeist with fun and quirky wit.

Chesshyre and his companion sample the art (mainly Rubens) and cast an eye over, but do not buy, diamonds in Antwerp. They have fun in Dijon dissing the Dukes of Burgundy who once ruled this area - take your pick of Bold, Nasty or Good. They discover a Rodin tucked away in a dark corner of the main museum and buy a £12 pot of mustard at the Maille shop. Other destinations include Lille (takes less time to get to than Chesshyre's commute to work) beautiful Bruges, very fashionable Rotterdam, and peaceful Lausanne. Marseille, even covered in snow, takes his fancy.

I feel inspired by this fast paced book. Airports, for all the glitz and glamorous shops, are increasingly busy and bossy places especially for short breaks. Have your boarding passes ready, take off your belt, shoes (who knows what next), allow eight minutes - possibly longer - to reach some distant gate. You arrive exhausted. The newer fast trains make it all so easy - and they are part of the holiday. I'll start with Bruges and include a day in Brussels

Elizabeth Allen
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the fast train, it's the only way to fly! 13 July 2011
This is a timely, well-written and ultimately inspiring book in which Tom Chesshyre, a travel writer for The Times, decides to explore the possibilities for weekend breaks around Europe offered up by the increasing number of high speed rail links that have been built in recent years. The author and his girlfriend "E" explore Dijon, Antwerp, Lille, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Rotterdam, Marseilles, Bruges, Tours, Cologne, Girona, and Paris over a six month period. Chesshyre does a beautiful job describing the character of the places he visits and, in addition, also fully imparts a sense of the added enjoyment that travelling by train to these destinations brought him. Apart from the train's green credentials (worthy but probably not your main consideration) the added enjoyment came from the ease of check-in, the central city departure and arrival, the comfort (not only seating but the fact of being able to move around), the sense of being on holiday the moment he boarded the train, and the joy of actually feeling he was travelling (apparently it's a rhythm thing!) and of being able to see and experience up close the changes of countryside and terrain on the way to each destination. The plane will remain the first (and probably only) choice of transport for really long haul holidays, but in "Tales From The Fast Trains" Tom Chesshyre has sold this reader at least on the very real opportunities for taking the train for holiday breaks in Europe, and in a way that makes travel enjoyable again and an integral part of the holiday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read 12 Feb. 2012
By MarkW
Very easy read. Whilst perhaps not the most amusing or action-packed travel book I have read, this easily kept me engaged as it highlighted some of the attractions and sights of a number of European destinations that are reachable by train for a weekend break. The tone is chatty and the book did give me a real feel for what might be involved in travelling there by train, and what could be achieved in a weekend. I have not yet been on the Eurostar but this book got me looking up prices and time-tables to try one of these destinations myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Guide to Weekends in Europe 3 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book while planning rail travel through Europe. I was hooked after reading the sample pages. With Eurostar on my doorstep I often take day trips to Paris and Brussels, and felt I was in the company of like-minded travellers. This is not a guide book, it's a collection of accessible weekend travel narratives, with just enough information to help you decide whether any of the trips are for you. I enjoyed the friendly and often light humorous tone, and felt like I got to know the author, Tom, and his partner. You don't have to read the book in order, I dipped in and out. While I didn't end up travelling around Europe, I did make it to Lausanne, where I found 'Lausanne - beautiful lake beautiful people,' helpful and spot on. I look forward to better use of my weekends, by using this book as my guide, following in the authors footsteps indulging my love of train travel and explore mainland Europe. I suggest you do the same.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best read of 2011 16 July 2011
Just finished reading 'Tales From The Fast Trains' and wanted to recommend it to anyone who wants something a little different this summer... Like most of us, the author is sick of airport delays and long-haul flights and sets out to explore Europe with his girlfriend by high-speed rail. It's an entirely unique adventure - they visit Dijon, Antwerp, Lausanne, Girona, plus many other places you might not think to go - and now I want to see all these places!

It kind of reminded me of an 'On The Road' by train, cos a lot of these cities are off the beaten track, and there's something existential, meandering, almost questing about all these thousands of miles by high-speed (and not so high-speed) rail. And it's all right here on our doorstep, just a few hours away.

I loved this book. Am ordering copies for all the Europhiles I know. And booking myself a ticket to Bruges...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I've always enjoyed the odd train ride
I've always enjoyed the odd train ride.So a book about visiting Europe by train seemed a good idea.Written well,easy to read,enjoyed this book. Read more
Published 28 days ago by David Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
An easy reading book, it explains the journey and the destination very well. Shame the authors stopped I would love to see a sequel
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Richard Talbot
4.0 out of 5 stars Speedy Travel
A nicely written book and a great idea.
I really took to the writer and his wife as they traveled through Europe. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars ... to agree with other reviewers who found this book tedious, with...
I tend to agree with other reviewers who found this book tedious, with banal comments between himself and his girlfriend either in person or on the 'phone. Who's interested ? Read more
Published 13 months ago by Y. Barton
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
"Tales of me and my annoying girlfriend's weekends away".

For someone who is apparently a professional travel writer, this is simply an awful book. Read more
Published 17 months ago by The Sports Book Review
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you want to travel to Europe
Very good book if you want to know what various places that are easy to get to are like. I have done most of the trips in this book already albeit in my car, which takes no longer... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read!
If you have not travelled on Eurostar - read this book. If you have travelled on Eurostar - it will bring each trip back to your memory! Read more
Published 23 months ago by Alan
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensible way to explore Europe
Well written book full of ideas of places to visit in Europe from the UK by train. Something along the style of Bill Bryson.
Published on 9 Jun. 2013 by Man of the woods
4.0 out of 5 stars Along the right lines
Being something of a closet anorak about fast trains I was already interested in this book in paperback, so when I saw that it was only £1. Read more
Published on 11 May 2013 by Kenneth A Swarbrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Travel Book
his is a series of shot travel tales by Chesshyre as he heads out across Europe by fast train to various destinations. Read more
Published on 1 April 2013 by Half Man, Half Book
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