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4.7 out of 5 stars
43
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2011
This is a wonderful book and improves on volume one by including route maps. I have only docked a star because I think the book could be improved by photographs although, on one level, it might risk spoiling it. The descriptive text invites the reader to use imagination.

The author not only describes attractive rail journeys in the UK, some in very unexpected locations, but also characters met along the way. There are bags of historical facts from each location and the narrative is in a charming whimsical style. The story of each route is self contained making this a perfect book whether you have 10 minutes or two hours to spare. Rail buffs will love it but it is also an excellent travel book packed full of ideas for short breaks. Buy, read and enjoy!
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on 28 July 2016
The real test of any travel story is whether it inspires the reader to personally visit the same place or experience the same journeys. In his ‘On the Slow Train’ books Michael Williams has an absolute talent to achieve both. He doesn’t just visit railway stations on branch lines across the UK, he also documents railway buildings, local industry and the interesting people that he meets along the way. Each chapter places the reader as a passenger alongside him with only the sound of the train rattling on the tracks missing from the experience! His passion for the railways is present throughout but so also is his sense of history and his sense of humour, which results in a thoroughly pleasant and relaxed read. Having completed a chapter on a branch line near me, I booked that particular excursion for myself and I took the book with me and it is all still there: Victorian buildings with cast iron spandrels, the old wooden signal box, the wool trade churches and the station gardens and tubs. The good news is that there are now three books in the series ‘On the Slow Train’; ‘On the Slow Train Again’ and most recently ‘The Trains Now Departed’. And a review would not be complete without commenting on the delightful book jacket designs by Lucy Stephens. They are as nostalgic and compelling as the stories themselves!
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on 24 March 2012
One cannot but heap praise on this wonderful book. The hardcover version is beautifully laid out, the added maps of lines a bonus (somewhat missed in the first volume). The author writes in a basically factual, though never academically dry, style. It is interspersed with personal adventures and encounters with local people along the lines. So, all in all, the little book leaves almost nothing to wish for, except that there ought to be a third volume (!) and, hopefully, a filmed version presented by a Mr Portillo or the likes.
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on 18 May 2011
A delightful book. Entertainingly written, Michael Williams takes the reader on another 12 engaging journeys through hidden treasures of Britain. Not just for train buffs - this book is a pleasure to read for anyone with a love of all that is quintessentially British. Easily as good as his first book.
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on 6 June 2011
This is the follow up book to On The Slow Train, and what a delight.The chapter pages now have a small map, which give an idea of the route.
This is well written by the author Michael Williams,you don't have to be a train spotter or anorak to enjoy. A varied
collection of branch lines around the country are featured, so it shouldn't be too difficult for most people to try out
one or two of these lines for themselves.A cracking read!
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on 31 March 2016
I really enjoyed this book. Hopefully it will inspire people to get out and start using these lines otherwise they will be appearing in the next volume of his book, The Trains Now Departed. Michael's writing is amusing, inspiring and educational - highly recommended.
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on 20 December 2012
Although I am something of a train buff Michael Williams researches the social and historical associations of his journeys in a delightful style.. The sort of book you cannot put down and you hope he will continue to share his travels with his readers in the future. Watch out for his next offering..
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on 2 January 2013
bought this after reading on the slow train. what was great about this book was this one had maps of the rail routes which were missing in the first book. Having travelled across the world by train I found this book most interesting.
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on 2 April 2012
Like watching a good BBC documentary.I enjoyed the first book and this is just as enjoyable if not more so.If there is one criticism it is that there are only 12 journeys!.Really hope he finds another 12.Worth more than the available 5 star rating.
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on 14 June 2011
an excellent book, very funny and informative, also a very well researched and insightful look at the railway industry over the last few decades, a must read for all railway enthusiasts, highly recommended.
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