I did a bit of a time leap when I travelled on these two trains within a couple of weeks of each other.
The first is one of the steam engines on the North York Moors Railway. A trip on this line is like stepping into a scene from Brief Encounter. Every detail, from the signs, to the luggage on the strategically placed trolleys beautifully recreates the 1940’s era. The train itself puffed and blew it’s way across the picturesquely bleak moors from Pickering to the seaside town of Whitby (where, I learnt, that Dracula had resided for a while… who knew??) a journey that would take about 25 minutes in the car, but took nearly two hours on the train! A brilliantly fun and relaxing way to travel, but pretty rubbish for commuters!
on the other hand…
We travelled on the extraordinary Bullet Train when we visited Japan in June. I was childishly excited at the prospect of experiencing this sci-fi speedy train, and wasn’t disappointed.
The rail service in Japan is second to none – well, certainly the service here in England doesn’t come anywhere near close. The stations are easy to navigate, the trains are on time, they are clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, and that is across the board not just the Bullets.
But the Bullet trains. Ah, the Bullet trains. They are so beautiful. Swanlike in their elegance. Seemingly never-ending as they cruise into the station. They’re comfortable – you can actually stretch your legs, and excitingly, you can twiddle the seats ’round… ha! for some reason I found that very pleasing.
And of course, they go fast. Very, very fast. And smoothly fast. Cutting through the countryside like a knife through butter.
By the time we left Japan I’d been on a few of them, criss-crossing from one beautiful place to another, but the excitement didn’t wane, and I’d love to do it again one day.