By Nathan Lee
I’ve always been fond of trains. In fact, I’m quite partial to most forms of transport other than the one that is socially acceptable; cars. But burdened as I might be by my nonconformity, I may not be as alone as I once thought. As it turns out, Britain is a nation of train lovers.
A new survey by East Coast trains has revealed 70 per cent of Brits now travel by train because of practicalities such as avoiding traffic, with 50 per cent associating fun childhood travel memories with train travel. More than a third (37 per cent) of us associate the word ‘romance’ with travelling by train over any other mode of transport and 41 per cent associate ‘meeting new people’ with travelling by train. A romantic nine per cent of us even found love whilst travelling on the train.
Now, that’s not to say all train travel is enjoyable. The 08:16 into Victoria can be a complete nightmare at the best of times, but there are certain routes that can really capture the imagination. One of my favourites is the old route of the Flying Scotsman that connects iconic London with tranquil Edinburgh, traversing some of the most scenic areas of Great Britain as it snails up the coast.
As a Yorkshire-born chap I’ve travelled on the route under various different brands since the privatization of the rail network, but I believe East Coast has managed to champion its nostalgic qualities far better than GNER or National Express ever did. Historically based on commerce, the route of today is as much about connecting the tourist hotspots of Britain as the InterCity 225 trains whiz past the National Rail Museum in York, the cathedral in Durham and the scenic coastlines of Northumberland before reaching the Scottish capital. If there was ever a reason to love trains, the route of the Flying Scotsman is it.
Which is why Actress and TV presenter Donna Air, who has changed her name to Donna Trains for the week, is fronting ‘I Love Trains Week’. Take a look at the video below for a few of her fondest family memories on the train. For more information, please visit www.ilovetrains.co.uk.