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.