Looking forward…

The next time I am in Old Blighty, I need to do this.

UPDATE 8 March 1854 GMT:

Can you believe that this entry was picked up by the Scottish Clergy Railway Circle?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Always wanted to ride cross country in a train!!

  2. PeterK says:

    It’s a great ride and the train shops are fantastic. You should also visit the town of Lewes as it is the home of Thomas Paine and the Harveys Brewery

  3. PeterK: The PP in Lewes is a friend of mine.

  4. edwardo3 says:

    It has to be better than Amtrak, but that isn’t hard to do. Also has to be better than the overnight train I took from Paris to Rome. I had just spent five and a half days on the QM2 crossing the North Atlantic without the slightest bit of sea sickness, but by the time the train stopped in Rome, I was six shades of green and it took two weeks for the ground to stop moving under me.

  5. ipadre says:

    Awesome! Nothing like steam!

  6. JARay says:

    I am surprised by Edwardo3’s comment. I would have thought that the Paris – Rome train would have been very fast and very smooth. The last time I travelled by train in Italy I took the midnight train from Venice to Rome and it shot through the countryside smoothly and very speedily arriving in Rome at about 6-30 am. I had a single seat which fully reclined.

  7. Matthew Hewitt says:

    This looks like the Bluebell Railway? It is glorious – I particularly recommend Sunday afternoon tea if they are running one of the dining carriages.

  8. Supertradmom says:

    I have been on two steam trains in England-not counting the Bluebell Railway. In one of the cabins, in Sherborne, in 1991, a lady was fueling coal. I mentioned that I was surprised that a woman would be working in the engine room. She replied, “Well, actually, I own the train.” Even in the late ’80s and early ’90s, one could buy a ticket on the Western Line in England and still possibly get a stream engine. Exciting days.

  9. Andy F. says:

    I visited Wales last summer while I was at school. In a town called Llangollen there is a railway that is similar. Best 10 pounds I spent while there. Since you’re facebook friends with me now, you can check out the photos in the album called “A Wale of a Tale.” I especially liked it when we had to stop the train to move sheep off the rails.


  10. edwardo3 says:


    The Paris to Rome/Rome to Paris train were the worst train rides I had in Europe. The EuroStar from London to Paris was really wonderful and the trains my group took in Italy were very comfortable and nice. The trains from Paris to Rome and back were very old, very dirty, very crowded, and the French were running a scam on Americans and Brits on the return trip, cost me 75 Euros. The French train scam was the major discussion among the Brits and Americans waiting for the QM2 comming back to the States.

  11. roamincatholic says:


    If you ever make it to Walsingham on your pilgrimage route, the Walsingham to Wells-by-the-Sea train (maybe 25 mins) is a great little train– it’s the longest 10″ railway in the world, and a ton of fun!


  12. RichardT says:

    Re update: I can’t believe that there IS a Scottish Clergy Railway Circle.

    But did you notice two things:

    1) it is for Catholic priests only (do protestant clergy have their own railway fan club?) Certainly there does seem to be a specifically Catholic hermeneutic of railway appreciation, with discussion of Vatican railways and Papal railway travel.

    2) it has a Latin motto and, if you hunt hard enough, discussion of the proper Latin terminology for railways.

    Some of the rest of their website is worth a look; WDTPRS readers will appreciate the picture of Paul VI in cassock, rochet, fur-trimmed mozzetta and hard-hat visiting a railway construction site.

  13. tecumseh says:

    Dear Fr Z, we met last year at the London Blognic, the train in question is almost identical to the trains that used to run at Bedlay Colliery, near Glasgow, Scotland. These may have been the last steam trains used for real work, rather than as part of a museum piece. My father who is dying of cancer, worked in this coal mine. He once said that he used to walk the various coal faces saying his prayers…..Out of the Depths…..indeed.
    I too, worked at this coal mine, but it closed back in ’82. Now a days we say our prayers on Oil Rigs…!!! Here is where we used to work….


    And here is where I was working yesterday

  14. tecumseh: Greetings, again! Thanks for chiming in. I am contemplating a short trip back to help a priest friend in a parish who has lost his assistant and isn’t getting anyone else. So… maybe there will be another London Blognic!

  15. Serviam1 says:

    Dear Fr Z.,

    While on visit to the UK in 1989, I rode the 13.5 mile, miniature (15′ gauge) Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RHDR) from Hythe down to the Channel at Dungeness. It is double track and run like a mainline railway complete with termini and a roster of eleven steam locomotives. During the Battle of Britain (1940) the RHDR even sported an armored train and was maintained by the Royal Army. Today the RHDR, has condracts with the local school district(s) to transport children to school. Doesn’t every child be so lucky as to have such conveyance…?


    Also check out:
    National Railway Museum in York; http://www.nrm.org.uk/

    and this preservation railway:
    Great Central Railway, in Loughborough, Leicestershire; http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/

    Check out the LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 ‘Tornado’ project launched in 1990. It is the first mainline steam locomotive built in the UK since BR Standard Class 9F 92220 ‘Evening’ Star Evening Star in 1960. ‘Tornado’ was completed in 2008:


    West Roxbury, Massachusetts USA

  16. Serviam1 says:

    CORRECTION: RHDR is 15 inch gauge

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