Five years ago I stepped off the Charminar Express in Chennai and marked my 80th train journey around India. Journalist Monisha Rajesh and her fiance Jeremy circumnavigated the globe in 80 train journeys, covering more than 72,000 kilometres along the world's most remarkable railways. For me, flying is expensive and boring, while car journeys are cramped and tedious. To order your copy for £9.9 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk, A one-month continuous Interrail Global Pass costs €626 in second class (interrail.eu). The story describes Phileas Fogg of London and his French valet Jean Passepartout circumnavigating the world in 80 days in an effort to … • 27 reasons trains are better than planes. ‘Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure’ by Monisha Rajesh is published by Bloomsbury, £9.99 paperback, £9.58 ebook ", TIP: "Don't book a ticket in first class where the windows are tinted and you can't see any of the gorgeous views. You must book each segment individually naming the dates and stations you wish to alight at. • Overnight sleeper trains: 10 of the best trips. It went nicely with the gas mask Jem had stolen from our hotel in Moscow. The air-conditioning didn't work, and the windows served only to channel hot air into the compartments. Trains magazine offers railroad news, railroad industry insight, commentary on today's freight railroads, passenger service (Amtrak), locomotive technology, railroad preservation and history, railfan opportunities (tourist railroads, fan trips), and great railroad photography. Featuring high on bucket lists, the train is the benchmark by which rail enthusiasts measure one another. 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The initial iciness with which the Russians greeted us had thawed, and as the miles accumulated, our shared experience of pleasures and pains spurred the natural symbiosis unique to train travel. I could travel around the world in 10 trains; I could do it in a hundred if I wanted to. I’ve never understood the bizarre need to complete a route in the fastest time possible. For us, an around the world trip did not extinguish our wanderlust. From the author of Around India in 80 Trains comes another witty and irreverent look at the world and a celebration of the glory of train travel. Why waste an opportunity to absorb all that a place and its people have to offer by shooting in and out? WINNER OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 'Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. Taking temperatures to both extremes, Siberia's heat was crippling. Starting at St Pancras International in London, she travelled around the world in 80 trains, taking seven months and Our British trains have lost the sparkle and spirit of their heyday, reduced to little more than a tired, delayed, grossly expensive form of transport for jaded commuters. Osta kirja Around the World in 80 Trains Monisha Rajesh (ISBN 9781408869772) osoitteesta Adlibris.fi. But the heat and the swaying did nothing but lull me to sleep each time I began War and Peace: I never made it past the list of Kuragins before dropping off. Her book Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000 Mile Adventure was published by Bloomsbury on 24th January 2019, £20. Armed with nothing but a 90-day rail pass, an outdated map, and extraordinary naivety, I had travelled 24,855 miles – the circumference of the Earth – reaching the southern, western, northern and easternmost extremities of India’s railways. They are a microcosm of society, embodying literal class division: in India I could eat hot cornflakes with the ambassador to The Hague in a first-class carriage, then 36 carriages along, sit on wooden slats sharing pears in paper bags with a farmer from Gujarat. Leaning out of doorways, perching on steps and sleeping in the odd linen cupboard, I covered the length and breadth of the country in four months and was drawn into its warm embrace by the whole railway family – from her royal highness the Deccan Queen and the sleek and chic Durontos, to the puffing and panting toy trains and thundering Rajdhanis. The station’s arched ceiling slid back like a sunroof, allowing a blaze of orange light to ignite the carriage. Having picked up our location on Google maps in Moscow, I followed the blue sphere as it bobbed across blank territory. Between Moscow and Irkutsk, the train stopped at around 80 stations, for no more than two minutes at a time, with the odd one-hour break when the toilets were bolted and anyone inside was collared and hauled out to continue their ablutions on the platform. Around the World in 80 Trains is being produced by UK indie Rumpus Media along with Motion Content Group. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. They were simply the cheapest and most practical way to travel (my rail pass cost £350 for 90 days, the same price as a first-class return from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley – and that price included sleeper services and most of my hot meals). "You are the first English people I have ever met on board this train," said Aleksandr. Having travelled around India in 80 trains, the most obvious, albeit daunting, next step was to take on the world. Never too fast, never too slow, her journey does what trains do best. Shortly before half past six, the Regionale creaked and began to inch away from Platform 10 at Milano Centrale. ‎WINNER OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 'Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. I will obviously have to “cheat” and fly across the Pacific Ocean. Visas permitting, I will return to Europe through Iran and Turkey, and would like to conclude the trip with the Venice to London route. With a one-month second-class Eurail pass in hand, I began my journey through Europe. You’d be wrong: as Monisha Rajesh triumphantly demonstrates in Around the World in 80 Trains, there’s life yet in both the trip and the telling. Why do all this by train? From the author of Around India in 80 Trains comes another witty and irreverent look at the world and a celebration of the glory of train travel. A mistake I made before travelling to Japan was to watch Lost in Translation and fall prey to Sofia Coppola’s soft-focus illusion.After two weeks of shooting around the country by Shinkansen – the fleet of high-speed, bottle-nosed beauties – it became clear that the film was little more than a stereotypical, insular portrait of a magnetic, complex and multi-layered nation. Winding through jungled territory, the train clatters across the infamous bridge on the river Kwai, making for a stunning but sombre ride. (Gornaya Ulitsa, 16, Listvyanka, Irkutskaya oblast, Russia). Having travelled around India in 80 trains, the most obvious, albeit daunting, next step was to take on the world. maninseat 61 (seat61.com) An authoritative site on almost all aspects of rail travel – at home and abroad. 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In addition to Monisha’s columns on Telegraph Travel, you can follow her journey on 80trains.com and on twitter @monisha_rajesh, Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh is published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing (£10.99). nidottu, 2020. A view out onto the stark landscape bythe Trans-Mongolian Railway. Around the World in 80 Days. She chatted in Russian, wholly unbothered that I replied in English, neither of us understanding the other, but happy in each other's company. See baikalex.com. ", "During WWII the Japanese used Allied prisoners to construct a railway line connecting Thailand and Burma, with one prisoner dying for every sleeper laid, and a segment is still running between Bangkok and Nam Tok. The one-stop-shop, realrussia.co.uk will book your tickets and arrange visas. Since Moscow we had passed through four time zones, yet every station's clock was set to Moscow Standard Time, and we were now jetlagged and roaming around in a state of total disorientation. So, a few weeks ago I left my job, packed my bag and boarded the 14:31 from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Spring on the Circum-Baikal Road to the south of Lake Baikal. I don’t know what I’m doing next week, let alone in 90 days’ time – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Five days on board a continuous train had presented the rare opportunity to read great tomes, and, in keeping with our surroundings, I'd downloaded War and Peace, Crime and Punishment and Young Stalin, hoping to emerge in China a more refined and cultured person. Strictly speaking the Trans-Siberian is not a train, but a route, spanning more than 9170 kilometres from Moscow to Vladivostok. Around the World by Train - Great Rail Journeys Worldwide rail travel is as diverse as it is exciting, from the sleek and ultramodern bullet trains of Japan to the quaint toy trains found traversing the lush mountain valleys of India, and everything in between. Owing to temporary track replacement and repairs, there were no trains between Munich and Prague when I wanted to do that journey , forcing travellers on to a five-hour-long coach journey – my idea of hell. Luring guitar-strumming students, retirees, railroaders and people too frightened to fly, the train is a menagerie of American society where you won't be bored for a second. Two years ago Monisha Rajesh did exactly what the title of her book suggests. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. And I will be sending regular dispatches to the Discover section of The Sunday Telegraph. Passing through 39 tunnels and crossing around 200 bridges, the train travelled around the oldest section of the Trans-Siberian railroad. A passenger car attendant in the Rossiya 1/2 train setting off from Yaroslavsky Railway Station. And if you have a fixed itinerary, reservations can be made anywhere from 90 days in advance. So I took an unplanned and long-winded route via Mannheim and, just before midnight, boarded the 10-hour overnight service to Prague. Like most tourists, we'd stopped in Irkutsk to visit Lake Baikal – the deepest, oldest and largest freshwater lake in the world. We'd already stood in awe overlooking the Disneyland domes of St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square, and from then on, all other architecture was underwhelming. Most of its holidays are tailor-made. Wandering from one buxom babushka to the next, I'd buy a hunk of cheese or cake, or pass the time watching large women in small shorts selling rows of omul fish bunched like keys and hooked through the eyes. Formed in the middle of a giant crack in the Earth's crust – the Baikal rift – the lake is dubbed the "Galapagos of Russia" by UNESCO, owing to the unique species of flora and fauna, most of which are endemic to the area. Rajesh’s 80 trains include the world’s fastest (the ride to Shanghai Pudong International Airport at speeds of 268mph), the world’s highest (the Qinghai railway from Xining to Lhasa, over 5,000 metres above sea level), plus journeys through countries few will ever see in … That afternoon we had boarded the Trans-Siberian, the godfather of trains. A couple of French tourists were skimming stones at the edge of the water, and never one to shy away from Anglo-French rivalry, Jem began to whip a few of his own, pleased at the way his stones bounced just a couple of times more than theirs did, before disappearing with a plop. Get this from a library! C5 goes Around the World in 80 Trains. I lay blinking at the ceiling. ", TIP: "Bring a good book for when the train is delayed to allow freight trains to pass. Profits help support the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. ", TIP: "The train climbs to almost 5200 metres, so passengers should try to acclimatise for a couple of days in Xining to lessen altitude sickness. Planet Rail (01347 811810; planetrail.co.uk) organises first-class railway holidays in Europe (and on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express). Marie pushed her sunglasses on to her head and pulled a face: “You think a rail pass gives you freedom, but actually it’s the opposite. Meillä on miljoonia kirjoja, löydä seuraava lukuelämyksesi tänään! Wet with sweat, I peeled myself off the seat and tugged down the window as fellow passengers pulled open doors, wiped their foreheads and fanned themselves with copies of Metro. I soon put it down again and stared out at the vineyards rolling past the window, the bushes glowing in that wonderful evening light that Italy laps up and in which it basks. If you're lucky you'll spot a few black bears, white-tailed deer, moose and maybe a grizzly or two, all while surrounded by snow-capped Rocky Mountains and armies of fir trees marching down to the edges of sparkling, teal-green lakes. She and I struck up a friendship through a session of mutual sighing and eye-rolling at the inability of Italians to form a queue – a queue, by the way, for a ticket to get into a second queue, so you can then sort out your pre-bought ticket. Via the Trans-Mongolian route, Jem and I could break up the journey in Irkutsk for two nights, then carry on to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, before eventually arriving in Beijing – 11 days after leaving Moscow. But when the Russians stripped off and plunged in headfirst, he sat tight. From time to time concentric circles emerged and expanded on the surface where freshwater seals turned somersaults. Synopsis. Never too fast, never too slow, her journey does what trains do … A passenger platform by the Trans Siberian railway. As the air conditioner hummed and the train relaxed into a gentle rock, a familiar feeling came over me. Map of the trip in Around the World in 80 Days (Source: Wikimedia Commons) London, the UK to Suez, Egypt. ", TIP: "Book into touring class in summer when you can travel in a panoramic dome car with all your meals and drinks included.". A Eurail pass is worth it if you’re planning a series of long-distance journeys: it pays for itself in five or six train rides. Strictly speaking the Trans-Siberian is not a train, but a route, spanning more than 9170 kilometres from Moscow to Vladivostok. But when I was back home in London writing my book, something changed: I found that I was magnetised by the sound of wheels on steel. Much of the trip remains open: I want there to be spontaneity. Hooked on the railways, she then traveled across the globe to write her second book, Around The World In 80 Trains. Met with familiar stares, we quickly realised we were the only foreigners on board. ", "Otherwise known as the Rupert Rocket, the Skeena train curls away from Jasper National Park in Alberta and into the furthest corners of British Columbia, bordering with Alaska. In spite of being one of the most familiar images in existence, the presence of the colourful domes – like big beautiful swirls of gelato – striped, latticed and topped with gold crosses, was glorious to behold. Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for May 2020. Now we are home owners, work full time jobs, and have two kids in public school. If you say you haven't taken it – but that you will one day – their eyes glaze over as you cease to exist. Numb to the ankles, I watched the water twinkle in the light, green and blue hues bleeding into one another's paths. 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