Single Track Obsession

A book of extraordinary railway journeys

by Rob Sissons



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/7/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 7.5x9.25
Page Count : 260
ISBN : 9781425162399

About the Book

Books about railways usually fall into one of two categories. Some are so full of technical and historical information that they are very dull to the layman, whereas others go to the opposite extreme, describing the journey but giving no information on the train or the history of the railway. I hope that SINGLE TRACK OBSESSION will break the mould. It was during my student days that I started riding on trains simply for the fun of it. Since then I have travelled all over the world, using trains wherever possible. In recent years I have started e-mailing friends with accounts of my travels, and this has led several of them to say "Rob, you ought to write a book!" Well, here it is! This book describes 40 of my favourite railway journeys. They range in length from two miles to many hundreds, and include steam, diesel and electric trains. Often the main point of interest was the scenery; sometimes it was the quaintness of the rolling stock, and sometimes the companionship of my fellow travellers. Some were once-in-a-lifetime trips and others regular commuter runs. You will find the world's oldest railway here, as well as the steepest adhesion-only line and the first to have an automatic train control system. But there are also the unsung byways of the iron road: the decrepit Paraguayan system, the little French branch-line where the crew gave me a cab ride, and the Spanish journey when I discovered another meaning for the word 'chocolate'.

About the Author

Rob Sissons was born in Kent and has lived in the county for most of his life. He came to creative writing at an extremely young age; his first 'book', Lambkin and the Men with Guns, was written on the day of President Kennedy's assassination: Rob's mother supplied him with crayons and sheets of scrap paper to keep him occupied during a family dinner-party while the grown-ups were watching the news from Dallas on television! He often wonders whether he is the youngest person who can recall that particular day. After studying French and English literature at University, Rob spent two years teaching English abroad and several years working as a tour manager taking tourists around Europe, including escorting railway tours in the UK, France and Switzerland. He has subsequently worked as a copywriter for one of the UK's leading tour operators, and has had articles on Spanish and Costa Rican Railways published in The Railway Magazine. Perhaps his greatest achievement in railway history was purchasing and using the last return ticket from North Weald station in Essex, England, before it closed! Rob lives on the Kent coast, within sight of the English Channel, less than a mile from the former home of H G Wells, one of his heroes. He is a qualified Blue Badge guide for London and South-East England, and his hobbies include travel, vintage transport, collecting things and swimming - occasionally with dolphins! Rob's novel 'A Coach Load of Chaos' was published by Trafford in 2008.