Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last sitting for lunch

The first railway passengers to enjoy proper meals served on the train during their journey were travelling on the East Coast line in 1879. The last to experience the unique pleasure of a visit to the dining car were those on the same line who made the same trip yesterday.

Restaurant cars returned the the raliways of Britain after the war. And from 1946 to 1955 lunching on the express from Scotland to York, and in the opposite direction on the way home, was for me one of the highlights of the annual summer holiday in Scarborough, only exceeded by the feeling of rightness with the world if the train was being hauled by the majestic locomotive which was Mallard...

Later in adulthood I lunched on the Brighton Belle, dined on the Night Ferry from London to Paris, the Talgo to Barcelona, regularly on the TransEuropExpress from Paris to Zurich and memorably but not often enough on the Train Bleu, destination Cote d'Azur.

I love trains and I loved above all the dining cars. 

"Thank you, steward, the second sitting will suit me fine."

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