Letting the Train take the Strain with Liz Fielding

LET THE TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN

I love trains. Step aboard and even the twenty-five minute journey from my home into the nearby city of Bath is an adventure.

I can enjoy the scenery. The river, the canal, the weir at Avoncliff, the soft hills, the blackthorn flowering in spring and, last week, those blackthorn heavy with sloes. Then, finally, the view of Bath laid out over the hills, golden in sunlight.

When I was ten years old I travelled with my family by train to Austria for a holiday in St Anton. There were horrible green upright seats on the French trains (my Dad slept on the floor, my aunt stayed awake and knitted socks). The Swiss train had park bench style wooden seats which were bigger and a more ergonomic shape but then our travel courier said there was a spare first class carriage and we were moved to luxury as we swept by Lake Geneva. And we stopped in Basle for breakfast in the station restaurant – stiff white cloths, silver cutlery, our first “continental” breakfast!

I once had a fabulous day out with the dh and the children travelling from London to York on a privately hired Pullman, a treat from the client for all the consultants working on a big project. A fabulous full English silver service breakfast, a day in York (if you go there do not miss the Yorvik Centre – a recreation of medieval York with all the sounds and smells) and then home with roast beef and all the trimmings, good wine and a disco on board. York was amazing, but it’s the train that lingers in the memory. I sometimes see a Pullman waiting at the platform in Bath, the tables laid, lamps lit and long to be one of the passengers stepping aboard.

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