A book that you would definitely not take with you on a trip: the magnificent illustrated book has a gigantic format and weighs a good four kilos. On countless trips in the mountains, Berthold Steinhilber has photographed alpine railways and hiked more than 1000 kilometers in search of the best locations to take photos.
The effort was worth it: the mountain world comes across as grandiose in the large-format photos, some trains look like a tiny model railway in front of the gigantic summit backdrop, from the Tendabahn in the west to the Semmeringbahn in the east of the Alps.
The book not only shows popular railways such as the Glacier Express, the Gotthard railway or the Tauern line, but also local, little-known routes. Like the Tendabahn, which leads from Piedmont to the sea and was almost shut down a few years ago. Or the Train des Pignes, the magical pine train in Haute Provence. Or the rustic Centovallibahn from Ticino to Italy.
The texts for the brilliant photos come from Eugen Hüsler. He talks lovingly about bridges, tunnels and viaducts, cog railways, steam locomotives and panoramic trains. After just the first few pages, you want to get on board and travel each route individually - the book is the ideal train travel stimulant.
Berthold Steinhilber, Eugen Hüsler: "Alpenbahnen", 320 pages, Frederking
Advice, travel guide, illustrated book, collection of reports - this book brings together everything you could want to read about night trains criss-crossing Europe. The competent introduction does not shy away from criticism of the misconduct of politicians, which has cut and discontinued night trains.
But then it starts, up north to Bodø and Rovaniemi, east to Budapest, Gdansk and Lviv (with the hint that the tour to the Ukraine will hopefully be possible again soon). In the west it goes to Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and of course to the south: Barcelona and Rijeka, for example.
For each report, the info section “And this is how it works” explains everything about the trip. You will also find books and films on the topic and background information about catering on the trains, the differences between night trains and a dictionary with tips ranging from A for locking compartments to K for through coaches and Z for train numbers. At the end there are websites with further valuable hints.
After reading it you want to book the next night train as soon as possible. Fortunately, the wish in the foreword that the book should age because new night train connections are added is fulfilled. There is now a new night connection between Hamburg and Stockholm, and a Trenitalia night train between Zurich and Rome is expected to be available before the end of this year. May it not be the last!
Jörg Dauscher, Veronika Wengert: “Night Train Travel. The most beautiful routes in Europe”, 224 pages, Con Book Verlag, 24.95 euros
What a crazy idea: in 1900, guests at the Paris World Exhibition could travel through Russia on a train - the Transsiberian with restaurant, saloon and sleeping cars rumbled through eastern landscapes. In theory anyway. In fact, the train stopped – the landscape passed him on a screen almost a kilometer long.
Painted by the chief decorator of the Paris Opera, who had previously traveled around Russia to be able to draw Siberian steppes, Manchurian hills and Lake Baikal. To make the ride seem even more real, the inventor of the system, Georges Nagelmackers, had the train connected to a vibrating machine.
Gerhard J. Rekel unearthed such exciting details in his book about Nagelmackers. He was a visionary of railway history, he was also called "Monsieur Orient-Express". He made people want to travel by train and connected countries with each other. Born in Belgium in 1845, he founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), which operated sleeping and dining cars in many European countries. Nagelmackers was instrumental in the Orient Express running from Paris to Constantinople in 1883.
Even if the book only bears the name of the prominent train in the title: Rekel unravels the history of luxury trains in general. And also describes adventurous projects such as a direct mail train from Calais in France to Brindisi in Italy, to which the Nagelmackers wanted to attach a sleeping car. Unfortunately, that didn't work, but it couldn't stop the train pioneer in his efforts to connect Europe by rail.
Meticulously researched, excitingly written and provided with many illustrations, photos and posters: the book is a celebration, a journey into an era when traveling by train was still a pleasure.
Gerhard J. Rekel: "Monsieur Orient Express", 288 pages, Kremayr
Representatives of the federal states question the punctual start of the nationwide 49-euro ticket for local transport. April 1st was the last time we were talking about the start date. Bremen Senator Schaefer is now talking about May 1st.
Source: WORLD | Rixa Fursen and Jonas Feldt