“I took a trip on a train and I thought about you.
I passed a shadowy lane and I thought about you.
Two or three cars parked under the stars a winding stream.
Moon shining down on some little town
And with each beam the same old dream……”
Johnny Mercer (American lyricist, songwriter and singer. 1909-1976
Early in my blogging adventure I wrote a post entitled “I Took a Trip on a Train”. In this post I talked about all the trains on which we had travelled over many years. At that time I think I had only two or three followers and two of them were my sisters. I note they were the only people to comment on the post.
Anyway, I thought about train travel again today for some reason. And I remembered travelling between London and Glasgow on the train. We always made a point of doing so with our children when we went ‘home’ on holiday.
The train was a highlight of the trip. We would board early in the morning and then when breakfast was called we would make our way to the dining car. I don’t remember whether you had to reserve a table but there was always one ready for us.
Coffee and tea were instantly provided, cereal and toast and then the piece de resistance, the waiters came round with extremely large silver salvers with bacon, eggs, sausages, hashed potatoes, mushrooms etc. These people (in memory they were always men) were adept at balancing these salvers while the train was moving along at high-speed. I don’t recall there ever being an accident with salver and food crashing to the floor.
Tablecloths were pristine, starched white linen as were the napkins. Silver British Railways cutlery and crockery. Tea never tasted as good when travelling by air. There was an aura of quiet distinction and good taste when eating in a BR dining car,
We continued to do this until our children were well into their teens and I do know that they remember this as we have spoken of it to their children on occasion.
I have never been any distance on a train here in New Zealand. I do know that when I worked and caught a train most mornings, one could have coffee and always at night one could have an alcoholic drink, but I am sure that no service ever existed to match the London to Glasgow British Railways breakfast.
And I suppose it no longer exists in Britain where everything now seems to have been taken down to the lowest common denominator. It’s probably McDonald’s and coffee in a paper cup now.
- Travel Smarter 2012: Tips for improving your train travel (gadling.com)
- Train Travel (varietyplus.wordpress.com)
- Ride The Rails (workthedream.wordpress.com)