In a period of around 80 days – he was not racing to do it in a given time – Jim travelled over 47,000 kilometres by 40-odd trains which varied from real old rattlers to modern high-speed expresses like the Eurostar and comfortable cruise trains like the California Zephyr and Australia’s own Indian Pacific.
Like Homer’s Ulysses before him, “many cities did he visit and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted”. And they were all interesting, especially the people, from conductress “Grumble Bum” in Vietnam to the elusive but tantalising Erica whom he met in Thailand.
This is a book not just for train buffs. Although basic facts are given, the book is not cluttered with technical details like the number of driving wheels of locomotives. It is more of an adventure story, like Tschiffely’s Ride on Horseback through South America, in parts reminiscent of Eric Newby’s The Big Red Train Ride but more varied and interesting - a worthy successor to Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar and covering more countries.
Format: Paperback Dimensions: US Trade (152mm x 228mm) Pages: 218 pgs