Tag Archives: Train


The lights went out,

as we left Cornwall,

never to be lit again,

unless we returned to the land

of Cornish rain.


George brings us coffee

and we thank George;

for many decades

George has brought us coffee

and we have thanked George –

It never hurts us to say,

“Thank you, George.”

Replacement Egg Service

Replacement Egg Service

Announcement: Would all passengers be aware that there is an ongoing replacement egg service between Penzance and Paddington; all onboard sandwiches that hithertofore before now were comprised of egg in any combination with cress, mayonnaise, salad cream, coleslaw, limp lettuce or thinly sliced carrot will be affected by this development. Could all travellers please be reminded that purchasers of any of our “egg” combination sandwiches will still be required to eat their purchases in Carriage E, where the air conditioning is currently working at a staggering 75% efficiency level. Thank you for listening, and please enjoy your journey.

There is… always a train.

There is… always a train

… always a train;

in every episode of Poirot;

well, in most of them,

I should say.

Time and time again

we see Hercule

upon a train,

waving goodbye to,

or greeting one

in a Herculean way.

‘There’s always a train

Mm-hmm, there’s always a train

Always, always (always a train)‘*



always a train.

*from Always The Sun by The Stranglers

“What did you get?”

“What did you get?”

The Flying Scotsman

came to my station today.

With tracks to lay,

and scenery to buy, or make.

It travelled forwards,

then travelled backwards

(with, and without a tender and carriages).

And I am happy,

Jane makes me so.

“Choo! Chooooo!”

Train Poetry

Have you ever tried

writing poetry on a train

you’ll write it time table and again

and the rhythm’s always the same

when you’re travelling on the train;

because, although life’s a pain,

a train will take away the strain

and leave you less insane

than you were inside your brain.


Wherever you go

whatever you do

there’s always a train

travelling through

you get on the train

and look at the view

that’s passing you by

as you’re going to Looe.

Comet – 99-Worder

“The ‘Comet’ is coming!” hollered little Billy Ollerenshaw, at the top of his voice. “The ‘Comet!’

Billy passed by nos. 17 and 19 Combination Street heading towards the town centre.

“Do you think he’d be so happy if he knew that it was a rogue comet that’s going to destroy the Earth, rather than that old steam train that he so loves? He has a picture of it on his wall.”

Mrs. Ekkerslike was a placid lady, the far side of sixty, and resigned to her fate.

“Best to let him think of steam trains.” said Mrs. Wensleydale, sighing.

Paddington to Penzance on the Night Train (carriage 1)

Paddington to Penzance on the Great Western for a precise eight hours and eight minutes – what more could anyone want?

Journeying South and West from our departure point – at a speed well above fifty miles per hour – left us feeling exhilarated; and the journey ahead was full with the promise of our travelling like an arrow to its Cornish destination – our adventures had begun.
Too excited to sleep, we began by listing ‘all’ the places we ‘had’ to visit, arranged in a largely alphabetical order; then we prioritised: firstly the castles, then the ‘recently found’ Lost Gardens of Heligan, Mousehole (always pronounce it ‘Mouzzle’), St. Ives, Perranporth, Polperro, Looe, ‘all’ the little ports; and, finally, the various ‘miscellany’ of places that we had only read (and dreamed) about in our literary wanderings.
“We must visit Carnglaze!” squeaked Cally.
“St. Michael’s Mount!” I proposed. “Rushing back across the causeway when it’s under a foot of water is an exhilarating dash to safety!” I’d never done it; but, it sounded like the sort of thing one has to do at least once in a lifetime.
We made another list of places to avoid – it was short, but there were still a few destinations that we didn’t want our steam train of an adventure to stop at. I won’t name them here for fear of upsetting the people of ‘N’ and ‘C’.
The train was passing stations young and old in a flurry of nameboards and waiting room cafés; we barely noted the names.
The train sped on into the night, unaware of the broken rail just outside of Newton Abbot.
In a couple of hours, our journey was going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

TBC – 

Please Read Pt. 2 next – thank you.

(Poem 6 – upon a train) 24 Poems in 25 Hours

Poem 6 – 05:00 16-05-2017

With my back to the engine

Not everyone can do this

Not everyone can travel on a train.

It is raining.

It always seems to rain;

Although, obviously, it doesn’t,

And I am wet.
It is raining outside of the train.

Inside it is not.

I am wet.
The dampness seeps into my inner layers of clothing

(At least I had a coat)

My coat is not waterproof.

I sit upon the train.


And write this.

It is not a poem.

Or is it?

It looks like a poem.

It has the pervading sense of poetry…

And yet…

I am wet.
There is a train going past 

In the opposite direction

It is going to where I have come from (and maybe beyond)

This train is going to where the other train came from (possibly)

And maybe beyond.

Life is full of things.

And I



My ‘Adlestrop’ Sequence (Extended)

Adlestrop 9th July, 2015 - photograph courtesy of Jane Goldsack Adlestrop 9th July, 2015 – photograph courtesy of Jane Goldsack

A Sequence in homage to Edward Thomas’ Adlestrop

Like a Bullet Train
Through the heart of my country:
Your words travelled at speeds
Beyond my belief.

On the surface, overland
They said one thing;
But, they were saying something
Deeper, darker, underneath.

I felt their bite
As they hurtled through my station;
And, although they failed to stop,
Their passing left me changed,
Like Adlestrop.


You are not really a poet
Unless you’ve been to Adlestrop;
It’s an old, abandoned station,
Where the trains don’t stop;
So, don’t think you’re smart
With your beat-box rhymes
And your new hip-hop;
Because, you are really ‘not’ a poet
Until you’ve been to Adlestrop.


I Stopped at Adlestrop
For a very short while
Had to clear some memory on my phone
In order to capture the moment
And then someone else needed to stop there
For a photographic potpourri;
And the bees buzzed,
And carried on their way;
As I carried on mine,
After an all-to-short stop
At a place with a name
And a bench with a poem upon it.

Edward’s Adlestrop has changed,
As everything does in time,
No train stopped
Or pulled away
From Adlestrop
On that sunny July day.



Adlestrop by Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adlestrop

The name, because one afternoon

Of heat, the express-train drew up there

Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.

No one left and no one came

On the bare platform. What I saw

Was Adlestrop—only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,

And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,

No whit less still and lonely fair

Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang

Close by, and round him, mistier,

Farther and farther, all the birds

Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Return to Adlestrop – Graeme Sandford


I can’t sell you a ticket to Adlestrop!
There’s no station there, and the train won’t stop
It’s been a long time since Adlestrop
was there at all, There’s no way you’ll be reaching
that destination, since Beeching removed the station.
He took out the heart of the railway nation – seemingly with elation.


I can do you a return to Kingham
or Moreton in Marsh, sir.
But there’s nothing closer
I know it’s harsh
to lose such a place,
it’s a proper disgrace,
almost an ‘improper’ disgrace,
and you can tell I’m upset
by the look on my face.