I know it was billed as a bit of a feel-good christmas story but the 'aren't we all just great pals' bonhomie throughout made me feel queasy! And I've heard more detailed plot lines in episodes of Scooby-doo. No sooner had a character raised a potential problem than it was resolved by another. I say character in the loosest possible sense, as they were all one-dimensional and interchangeable. Swap a name or bit of dialogue here and there and you won't tell the difference.
It quickly became irritating being told how train journeys are 'all about the friendships'. This occurs so frequently I think the author is on some sort of commission from Amtrak marketing. Even the villains were good, really. Saccharine! The disaster had me bored stiff, it was so poorly described. Just saying things like 'they recounted their amazing adventure' did not make it 'amazing' or an 'adventure'. The whole book left me wanting to kill the next person who said they live for the job on the trains and had so many stories to tell. Well tell them then, anything is better than this dross!
This book is not funny, not romantic, not bitter-sweet or poignant, not uplifting, not exciting, not memorable, not worth reading.
I bought another book by this author before reading Christmas Train, and I'm hoping he was just cashing-in on the xmas market with this one, otherwise I fear I've wasted even more of my money.