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Brakeman's Holiday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Brakeman's Holiday.

From a few short lines in Britain, the United States, France and Germany in the 1820s and 1830s, the world’s railway networks expanded enormously. By 1910, the combined systems totalled over half a million route miles.

The advent of motor vehicles pushed railways into decline through the 20th century, but the need for clean energy and better use of natural resources has given rail transport a renewed significance. 

 

Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambia/Zimbabwe.
Header image.

Spanning the Zambesi River just below the Victoria Falls, this bridge has been a spectacular viewpoint since 1905. Built in England and shipped to Africa in parts, it was intended to be a vital link in the railway linking Cape Town to Cairo. A vintage train headed by ex-Zimbabwe Railways Garratt locomotive No. 512 stands on the bridge.

Image: Ammonitefoto/Dreamstime.

White Pass & Yukon Route, Alaska, USA

White Pass & Yukon Route, Alaska, USA

Vintage wooden cars trundle behind a pair of diesel-electrics on the way up to White Pass. Trestle bridges, tunnels, cross-water causeways and curving viaducts are all features of the route.

Image: Izabela23/Shutterstock.

'Train Street', Hanoi, Vietnam

'Train Street’, Hanoi, Vietnam

Known to visitors as ‘Train Street’, this thoroughfare in Hanoi’s Old Quarter sees a long-distance train squeeze past twice daily, a popular venue for tourists. It is the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), running 1600km (990 miles) on the single metre-gauge track between the two cities.

Image: Jimmy Tran/Shutterstock.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, West Highland Line, Scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct, West Highland Line, Scotland

Regular steam-hauled excursion trains run on the scenic line between Fort William and Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland. The curving viaduct, built of mass concrete, is 380m (416yds) long, with a maximum height of 30m (100ft). The line opened in 1901.

Image: Dajahof/Shutterstock.

Janakpur Station, Nepal

Janakpur Station, Nepal
This is the terminus of a line from Jainagar in India, and at present Nepal’s only passenger railway. Built to a 762mm (2ft 6in) gauge in 1937, it was primarily intended to carry timber.

Since 2018 it has been widened to the Indian gauge of 1676mm (5ft 6in), and new extensions are under construction.

Image: Marc van Vuren/Shutterstock.

Central Station, Milan, Italy

Central Station, Milan, Italy

Modern signage and lighting in the grandiloquent great hall of Milan Central. The 24-platform station is Italy’s second-biggest after Roma Termini. The foundation stone was laid in 1906 but the building was not completed until 1931.

Image: Michele Ricucci/Dreamstime.

All images taken from the book Rail Journeys by David Ross (ISBN: 978-1-78274-919-6) published by Amber Books Ltd (www.amberbooks.co.uk) and available from bookshops and online booksellers (RRP £19.99).

Bloc Gatwick

Bloc is a short stay hotel designed to give you the very best of everything needed to sleep, shower and step out fresh into a new day, right in the heart of the action.

Its short-term staying designed around you. Lightspeed wifi, to keep you connected when you’re on. High-powered showers, sound-proof walls and big, comfy beds for when you’re not.

It’s everything you need, and none of what you don’t. No bells, no whistles, just pure rest and relaxation. And even better, it’s right at the centre of the action, so you can step right out into it when morning comes, and step right back in when the day is done.

Bloc Gatwick

Bloc magazine.


Welcome to the spring 2020 issue of Bloc magazine, where we have collated a wealth of diverse features to enjoy on your travels.

In this issue we explore New Zealand, a country with hugely diverse regions offering incredible scenery, world-class wines and exciting ecotourism.

There's also an update on Jamie Chadwick, who we are very proud to sponsor as she makes her way up the motor racing grid.

There are the usual features; Meeting the Bloc team, our favourite shows to stream and the pick of Bloc's social media.

Don't forget to sign up to Bloc's VIP Guest List, which makes you eligible for free room upgrades, free coffee and be the first to hear about our blockbuster VIP competitions.

We hope that this magazine provides you with some insight and entertainment on your journey.