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In praise of … Thomas Cook timetables

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					In praise of … Thomas Cook timetables
You don't have to be an obsessive to find a sort of romance in their pages - and
happily they now record a growing rail service

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      Comments (10)

      Editorial
      The Guardian, Monday 9 August 2010
      Article history

By rights, Thomas Cook's European rail timetable, and its worldwide counterpart,
should have vanished long ago, a relic in the age of online information and Ryanair.
But happily it survives. The company published its first continental timetable in 1873,
well before the Orient Express began puffing east from Paris, and it is still publishing
them in 2010, though Thomas Cook itself has gone through nationalisation and
privatisation, and is now in German ownership. Six times a year, on thin brown-grey
paper, it issues the times of trains around the world. Once a month it publishes a
comprehensive schedule for Europe. You do not have to be an obsessive to find a sort
of romance in its pages: imagining journeys on the overnight Stendhal from Paris to
Venice, or the weekly through-carriage from Warsaw to Astana, out on the desert
steppes of Kazakhstan. The Thomas Cook timetable reveals a train from Berlin to
Sochi, if you want to take it; or the times of the new direct service from Sarajevo to
Belgrade. There is a steam train in the Harz mountains in east Germany that will puff
you up to the site of a former Soviet watchtower; and the Lusitania hotel express
which leaves Madrid for Lisbon each night, just after 10. No low-cost airline can
match that for interest, or for environmental sustainability, for the best thing about
these timetables is that they now record a growing rail service, not a declining one.
Britain still comes first in its pages, but the best trains now run elsewhere.

• This article was amended on 9 August 2010. The original referred to the Hartz
mountains. This has been corrected

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/09/in-praise-thomas-cook-
timetables
                             The first edition of Thomas Cook Timetables appeared in March 1873, becoming
                             monthly from January 1883. They still remain the ultimate series of reference
                             titles for global travellers having all the essentials for planning a rail trip and for
                             en-route reference.




The monthly European Rail Timetable and bi-monthly Overseas Timetable are available singly as well as on
subscription, and together cover the whole world. For further information select the timetable you require
from the menu at the bottom of this page. We also publish Independent Travellers Editions of both
timetables containing additional travel information.


" I never travel in Europe without it!"
A subscriber to the European Rail Timetable

"If you're going to take a lot of trains, the Thomas Cook Overseas
Timetable is indispensable, especially if time is short"
Wanderlust


Subscriptions

Frequent changes to schedules means that an annual subscription is essential for travel agents and other
users who need to have the latest timings and information. A subscription to the European Rail Timetable
gives you 12 issues a year, and a subscription to the Overseas Timetable means you get all six issues.

Remember that certain editions of the European Rail Timetable contain advance information of future
changes to international services in the form of Summer or Winter Supplements, so as a regular subscriber
you will not only get the latest changes, but also advance notification of the next season's timings for the
most popular routes.

Not only that but the regular features in alternate editions of the European Rail Timetable and in every
edition of the Overseas Timetable means that you will have a library of information covering many aspects of
rail and surface travel.

Subscription Prices:
A full subscription to the European Rail Timetable (12 issues) costs £150.00 including postage and packing in
the UK.
For postage to Europe the price is £174.00, and for the rest of the world £192.00.

An annual subscription to the Overseas Timetable (6 issues) costs £75.00 including postage and packing in
the UK.
Including postage to Europe the price is £87.00, to the rest of the world £96.00.

call 01733 416477 for details


Further useful information
http://www.thomascookpublishing.com/series.htm?series=Timetables

Home / Timetables / Overseas Timetable - Winter 2010/11 Edition




Overseas Timetable - Winter 2010/11 Edition
 The Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable covers surface travel throughout the
 continents of America, Africa, Asia and Australasia - everywhere outside
 Europe, in fact - with timings for over 11,000 towns and villages. As well as rail
 timings, it includes a large number of coach and bus services, even local ones
 in many cities. Ferry and river sailings are shown where appropriate, and there
 are even services operated by truck in remote regions. Also includes: 30
 detailed maps, plans of major cities showing the location of stations, exchange
 rates, climatic variations, summary of visa requirements.

 This special Winter edition is based on the November-December edition of the
 Overseas Timetable. As well as the rail, bus and ferry timings from the regular
 edition for almost everywhere outside Europe, this expanded version also
 contains the features on Japan, South-East Asia and North America which have
 appeared in recent editions, and of course the Australasia feature from the
 November-December edition.

 These features are packed with extra information on transport operators and
 rail and bus passes, and include useful telephone numbers. There are also
 extra pages on Health and Safety, and Passports and Visas, which include a
 wealth of country-by-country information.

 The Winter edition is now available. Please note that the bimonthly edition
 (which ceased with the November-December 2010 edition) is now out of stock.

 Timetables are normally despatched within two working days of the order being
 placed, subject to availablity.


 http://www.thomascookpublishing.com/book.htm?series=Timetables&book_id=679


 Product Description
Product Description
 Covers Africa, Asia, North and South America and Australasia. This book features
 maps and town plans throughout to aid the traveller. It provides information on
 rail and bus passes. It offers information on passport and visa requirements. It
 includes useful addresses and phone numbers of transport providers and tourist
 offices.



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 Most Helpful Customer Reviews

 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 5.0 out of 5 stars Thos Cook Overseas Timetable, 8
 Sep 2009
 By
 Mr. R. H. W. Lander "Ron Lander" (UK) - See all my reviews
 (REAL NAME)
 This review is from: Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable 2009
 (Independent Traveller's Edition) (Paperback)
 An excellent and very comprehensive timetable.
 Lightweight and easily carried when travelling.
Index print very small and difficult to read. Even with
glasses a magnifying glass is almost a necessity!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Overseas-Timetable-Independent-
Travellers/dp/1848480970


 Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable

The best place to find train, bus and ferry times in Japan and every country in Asia,
Africa, America and Australasia is the famous Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable,
published every two months. It's essential for every serious overland traveller, and an
inspiration for armchair travellers!

This costs £13.99 from the bureau de change section of any branch of Thomas Cook,
or you can order online at www.thomascooktimetables.com. Alternatively, you can
buy the twice-yearly Independent Traveller's edition at Amazon.co.uk also with
shipping worldwide.

http://www.seat61.com/Japan.htm

The Most Up-to-Date Source for World Rail Timings!

Published every 2 months, the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable is the only rail and public
transport timetable to cover the world outside Europe.

The Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable is the companion volume to the European Timetable, and covers
surface travel throughout the continents of America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. It is published
every two months, at the beginning of January, March, May, July, September and November.

As well as rail services, the Overseas Timetable includes a large number of coach and bus services,
even local services in many cases. Ferry and river sailings are shown where appropriate, and there are
even services operated by truck in remote regions. Each edition also includes a highly informative
Special Feature (see below) dealing with a particular topic or part of the world.

As with the European Timetable, an index of places together with 30 detailed maps helps you to find
the information you need, whether you are planning a bus journey in Brazil, a rail trip to Alice Springs or
need to catch a ferry across the Red Sea. Plans of major cities show the location of stations and other
transport information, and there are details of exchange rates, climatic variations, and a summary of
visa requirements.

Packed with rail, bus and ferry schedules it includes timetables for:
Canada, Greenland, USA, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, South America, North,
West, Central and East Africa, Southern Africa, Near East Asia, and Turkey, Russia east of
Moskva, China and Korea, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, South East
Asia, Indonesia, Borneo, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New
Zealand.

         A year's subscription includes six issues sent to you January, March, May, July, September,
         November.
         A part subscription includes three issues sent to you March, July and November.

Every issue contains
        All main and tourist rail routes outside Europe
        Most comprehensive worldwide bus timetable in existence
        Shipping services
        Index maps
        City plans of 48 major centres featuring rail and metro lines, bus terminals and airports
        Travel information for each coutnry such as driving license requirements, voltage and much
        more...

Overseas Timetable - Special Features

Each edition of the Overseas Timetable contains a special 16 or 32 page feature. These are updated on
an annual basis as follows:

        January - February edition: Health and Safety Detailed country by country information
        includes which vaccinations you need to get, what the climate is like, currency and language,
        what sort of driving licence you need, electricity voltage, BBC World Service frequencies and
        contact details for principal tourist offices.
        March - April edition: Passports and Visas Country by country information showing where
        passports and visas are needed, and what documentation is required. Includes public holidays,
        postage details, time zones and import and export restrictions.
        May - June edition: North America Includes the different types of accommodation on
        American and Canadian trains, together with notes on long-distance coach operators and city
        transport. Also a section on passes and useful telephone numbers.
        July - August edition: Japan Information on travelling by rail in Japan, including details of
        individual operators, station and sleeping car plans, how to buy a ticket, passes, and useful
        telephone numbers.
        September - October edition: India and South East Asia The various national transport
        systems are described, as are the major city transport systems. Also includes rail pass
        information and useful telephone numbers.
        November - December edition: Australasia Similar information for Australia and New
        Zealand, including the major bus and coach operators' passes.

http://www.newconcepts.ca/product.php?productid=6



Simon Calder: End of the line for the
Thomas Cook book
The man who pays his way

Saturday, 23 October 2010
Out of steam: the guide that covers the world's best train journeys has reached its final
edition

"As long as travellers crave adventure, as well as solid travel information, there will
be room for the Overseas Timetable" – so writes Owen Hardy, America's leading rail
guru, on page two of the latest edition of that very publication: the Thomas Cook
Overseas Timetable. "Adventure and romance drip from its pages, despite the agate
type and monotone hue. Care to ride the overnight Train L'Equateur? Cook's tells me I
can, from Owendo to Franceville in Gabon."

Mr Hardy's words were written to mark a special occasion the 30th-anniversary
edition of the "blue book". In the past three decades, globetrotters – such as those
inspired by our Traveller's Guide to Round-the-World Flights (pages 14-17) – have
come to rely upon this compendium of terrestrial transportation. But we must get used
to life without it: the latest edition will also be the last from the company founded to
provide mass mobility by rail (initially only from Leicester to Loughborough, but
even Thomas Cook had to start somewhere).

Sad news, most notably, for the staff who keep track of everything that moves on land
or sea to create an alphabetical odyssey from Aasiaat in Greenland (table 250, one
ship a week if you're lucky) to Zyryan in Kazakhstan (table 5100, accessible
overnight from Zashchita at a dawdling average speed of 30km/h). The compilers
assess the intelligence and distil it a 400-page paperback – rather than the overload of
information available online. Its passing is a loss for travellers seeking to make sense
of the world's long and winding railroads, bus routes and ferries.
There is some good news: the European Rail Timetable is thriving, and some
timetables from the Overseas book will find a new home in the sister publication.

In travel, as in life, information is power, and the web packs a mighty punch. Many
sites sing the praises of the weekly train across Cambodia from Phnom Penh to
Battambang. The website for UIC, the international railways federation, even lists the
senior executives of Cambodian Railways. I prefer to trust in Peter Bass, editor of the
Overseas Timetable, who explains all trains are suspended because "Many metal
spikes have been stolen. Trains can only run at 17km/h and are regularly derailed."
The compilers note that "Phnom Penh remains one of the very few capitals of the
world without buses" – a trait ascribed to a national unwillingness to walk 20 metres
to a bus stop or to wait more than one minute for a bus.

Mr Bass and his team rely upon a network of correspondents who make it their
business to turn up at stations great and small, armed with notebooks (or, these days,
digital cameras). Their reward is not the once-a-year mention in dispatches; it is the
desire to help other travellers in a more tangible manner than adding a review to an
online travel site. "We have heard that the service between Wadi Halfa and Khartoum,
in the Sudan, is no longer running": a wistful example of the expertise now lost.

The natural successor to the Overseas Timetable is the excellent website Seat61.com,
run by the very expert and committed Mark Smith. His site even has a photograph of
the locked station gates in Cambodia, with a chalked notice reading "Battambang-
Phnom Penh suspend".

King Cook is dead; long live King Smith. But the best obituary is the book itself. If
your description of the ideal travelling companion includes a stipulation for reliability,
wisdom and humour, look no further than the final edition (price £13.99). This
delicious mix of expertise and inspiration should be savoured now, then preserved for
future generations of travellers who won't know how lucky we were.

Journeys you wish you had taken

While you bide your time at Grodekovo on the Sino-Russian frontier (at five hours,
the longest pause I can find in the book), you can marvel at the many definitions of
childhood (aged 10 in Egypt or North Korea, but height 140 centimetres or less in
China), and picture yourself in Ecuador ("All trains carry passengers on the roof").

It appears that I am not alone in finding a Thomas Cook timetable stranger and more
entertaining than fiction. A tribute from Nicky Gardner, the editor of Hidden Europe
magazine, recalls her adventures through the shipping small print from 1980: "I learnt
the schedules of the little steamer that plied the coast of Istria, and wondered whether
anyone had actually ever used the MS Dmitri Shostakovich, which every three weeks
set sail from Odessa for Libya." Her favourite: the one that "recorded the movements
of vessels crossing the Sea of Japan".

travel@independent.co.uk

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/simon-calder-end-of-the-line-
for-the-thomas-cook-book-2114010.html
Company Archives

Thomas Cook possesses a unique collection of archive material covering all aspects of the
company's history from the founder's first excursion on 5 July 1841 to the present. This material is
held in the Company Archives, which functions as a corporate 'memory', offering an information
service to Thomas Cook's various departments and to interested members of the public, as well as
providing research facilities for academics, journalists and picture researchers from all over the
world.

Main Collections

Handbooks, programmes and brochures, 1845-present


Our main series of brochures begins in 1889 and, apart from a few small gaps, continues
uninterrupted right up to the present day. This is the most extensive collection in the Archives,
numbering several thousand items and covering most holiday destinations around the world. We
also hold a small number of 'handbooks', forerunners of the holiday brochure, the earliest of which
was published in connection with a trip to Liverpool in 1845. These small booklets contain detailed
itineraries, descriptions of the chief places of interest along the route and lists of suitable hotels
and boarding houses.


Copies of Cook's Excursionist newspaper, 1851-1902, and its successor, The Traveller's
Gazette magazine, 1902-39 First issued by Thomas Cook to promote his trips to London's Great
Exhibition in 1851, Cook's Excursionist provides page after page of detailed itineraries, fares, lists
of hotels and Cook's offices, testimonial letters, accounts of tours, advertisements and editorial
comment. The monthly issues of this publication, which was eventually issued in 13 separate
editions around the world, document not only the expansion of Thomas Cook's business but also
the early development of tourism itself. As such, this is probably the most important collection in
the Archives.


Travellers' incidental records (ephemera), 1851-present A wonderful miscellany of itineraries,
tickets, hotel coupons, luggage labels, menus, circular notes and handbills issued to Cook's
tourists.


Travellers' diaries (originals and copies), 1855-1980 Many of Cook's early tourists maintained
written accounts of their travels and adventures. Around 35 of these diaries, including those of
Miss Jemima Morrell (who accompanied Thomas Cook on his first trip to Switzerland in 1863) and
Miss Riggs (who went on the first Cook's Tour of Egypt and the Holy Land in 1869), may be
consulted in the Archives.


Photographs of premises, staff and travellers, 1860s-1970s We have an extensive collection of
historical photographs of Cook's offices around the world (mostly exterior shots), the majority of
which date from the first half of the 20th century. We also hold photographs of Cook's tourists
(mostly in Egypt) and staff from the late 19th century.


Company business records, 1870s-present Relatively few business records survive in the
Thomas Cook Archives. The main series include agreement books (1871-1929), John Mason
Cook's correspondence (1870s-1890s), board minute books (from 1924) and annual reports (from
1947). We also hold detailed information about Thomas Cook's sale to Wagons-Lits in 1928 and
the company's arrangements with the British Government during and immediately after World War
Two. Our most extensive collection of business records, however, relates to Thomas Cook's
operations in Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Railway timetables, 1873-present First published in March 1873, Cook's Continental Time
Tables and Tourist's Handbook listed details of all the main railway, diligence and steamship
routes across Europe. The handbook soon became a regular publication and today, more than 125
years later, Thomas Cook's European Timetable is still produced every month; a companion
volume, Thomas Cook's Overseas Timetable, is also published six times a year. Copies of the
earliest timetables (1873-75) may be consulted in the Archives, along with almost every issue from
1946 to the present. Our collection for the period 1909-1939 is also extensive, but unfortunately we
hold only two further examples from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.


Travellers' guidebooks, 1874-present Thomas Cook published his first guidebooks - for
'Switzerland' and 'Holland, Belgium & the Rhine' - in 1874. These guides were designed to provide
relevant information for tourists, particularly those travelling under Thomas Cook's own
arrangements, and were not intended to rival the more comprehensive volumes of Murray or
Baedeker. Cook's guides still proved very popular, however, and more than 30 titles (some revised
many times) appeared over the next 65 years. Many of these pre-WW2 guidebooks are available
to researchers in the Thomas Cook Archives, where they may be studied alongside their modern
counterparts (still produced by Thomas Cook Publishing today).


Historical images Some 500 images from the Thomas Cook Archives are currently available as
transparencies, on a loan basis only, to picture researchers and private individuals. (A smaller - but
growing - selection of images is also available in digital format.) All the images have been taken
from our collections of posters, brochures and photographs and cover an enormous range of
tourist destinations and travel-related subjects.


Film material The Thomas Cook Archives retains a series of 45 short films used by the company
in the 1950s and 1960s to promote overseas holidays to the new mass market. Video copies of
these films may be viewed here by researchers. The original films are stored in the Huntley Film
Archives in London (www.huntleyarchives.com) and any requests to use or reproduce this material
should be directed there.
Contact Details

For further information about Thomas Cook's history or archives, please contact:


Paul Smith, Company Archivist
Thomas Cook Archives
The Thomas Cook Business Park
Coningsby Road
Peterborough
PE3 8SB
United Kingdom


Telephone: +44 (0) 1733 417350
Fax: +44 (0) 1733 416255


E-mail: paul.smith@thomascook.com

Access to the Archives
           The Thomas Cook Archives are open to researchers, by appointment only, from 10am to 4pm,
           Tuesdays to Thursdays (except public holidays).

           Space is limited, so it is advisable to contact the Archives at least one week before your proposed
           visit.

           All researchers must provide a written reference and sign a copy of our standard research form
           on their first visit.

           A copy of any work resulting from research in the Archives should be sent to the Archivist upon
           publication.


Location and Directions

The Company Archives are situated within the Thomas Cook Business Park, roughly three miles
north of Peterborough city centre. By Train


           Peterborough is on the main East Coast GNER line between London Kings Cross and the North.

           Visitors arriving by train should take a taxi from Peterborough station to the Thomas Cook
           Business Park in Bretton.

           On arrival, please ask for the Company Archives at the main reception desk.


By Car - From the A1(M) Northbound


           Remain on the A1(M) until the A1139 exit for Peterborough.
           Leave the A1139 at the third slip road exit (junction 3) and at the roundabout turn left onto the
           A1260.

           Proceed on the A1260 to the A47 (junction 15) and turn right to join the A47 towards Wisbech.

           Leave the A47 at the second slip road exit (junction 17) and at the roundabout turn left into
           Bretton Way.

           Proceed to the third roundabout and turn right into Stirling Way.

           Turn right into The Thomas Cook Business Park (Coningsby Road) and report to main reception
           (in unit 17).


By Car - From the A1 Southbound


           Leave the A1 at the exit for the A47 towards Peterborough.

           Remain on the A47 for 7½ miles before exiting at junction 17.

           At the roundabout turn left into Bretton Way, proceed to the third roundabout and turn right into
           Stirling Way.

           Turn right into The Thomas Cook Business Park (Coningsby Road) and report to main reception
           (in unit 17).


By Car - From the A47 (Leicester)


The A47 runs East from Leicester City Centre through to the A1. · Beyond the A1, see 'From the
A1 Southbound' (above), point two.

http://www.thomascook.com/about-us/thomas-cook-history/company-archives/

                           by
         Nicky


                           Gardner

                                               Look                            at
   the
Thomas                                                         Cook
European                                                 Rail
Timetable                                         and                                        you
                                                    might
              think                                                                   there
                are
hardly                                       any
                trains                  in
                                       eastern
                                                 Europe.
                                                     Indeed,
the
         monthly
                                                                     timetable,
                                                 which
      runs                   to                                         over
                 500
pages,
                             typically
                                    devotes                                       less
                                   than                  a
                         dozen
pages                    to                             the
                                                         eastern
          half                    of                           the
                       continent.                            We
                       make              a
                                                 friendly
      plea                             for
                                                                     visibility
         on                                                                   behalf
           of                                    rail
          travellers                     to
                          Kazan,
                            Samara                                   and



                                   Volgograd.

Two companion timetables have shaped the lives of many travellers. They are the
Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, for long just dubbed Cook’s Continental and
published monthly since 1873, and the same company’s Overseas Timetable, the very
last edition of which was published in November 2010. Nicky Gardner, who is co-
editor of hidden europe, reflects on how the demise of the Overseas might be just the
moment to breathe new life into the European Rail Timetable.

Isn’t it interesting the way our travel horizons change over time? The Thomas Cook
Continental Timetable with its trademark persimmoncolour cover was a mainstay of
my early explorations. Older and wiser travellers referred to it as Cook’s Continental
and I learnt to do the same.

Cast back to 1980 and the Continental nicely mapped the extent of my world. I judged
myself a pro because I had ventured beyond Table 763. The interesting bits of the
world started at 764, which cut across the German Democratic Republic to Poland and
beyond. I dreamt of one day travelling from Vladimir to Gorki, not because I knew
anything about Gorki but merely because Table 862 sternly advised that ―This route is
not open to tourist traffic,‖ giving instant appeal to a Russian rail route that would
otherwise have seemed quite inconsequential.

I learnt the schedules of the little steamer that plied the coast of Istria (Table 1419)
and wondered whether anyone ever actually used the MS Dmitri Shostakovich which
every three weeks set sail from Odessa for Libya (Table 1475). My favourite table in
the Continental was 1480 which recorded the movements of vessels crossing the Sea
of Japan.

Then there was a revolution. I had a hint that the world was changing.

This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with
online access to hidden europe. Of course you can also read the full article in the print
edition of hidden europe 32.

http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk/new-hope-for-kharkiv-and-kazan



I feel like the voice of gloom and doom, but really, it is sad saying good-bye to the
Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable. If you want to get the last edition of this venerable
publication, order. And do it now. We very recently got the bad news that the current
issue is its last. IRT caught up with Editor Peter Bass of Peterborough, UK, who will
be 62 in January, and who has worked for the Thomas Cook timetables for almost 36
years. It would be 36 years to the day on Dec. 2. He became editor of the Overseas
Timetable in 1980. That winter, the publishers decided to split the overseas info from
the European edition.

Stopping the presses on the OTT ―was a shock on this end…We have known it was
probably going to happen at some stage or other, but to be so quick. This was quite a
shock,‖ said Bass in a telephone interview today. ―Everyone who has heard the news
has been upset by it.‖ Basically, the information from the OTT won’t be available in
any one place, he said. You can get it from each railway separately — if you are
lucky. But the OTT had 100 contributors from all over the world. Bass and his part-
time assistant had to condense the info significantly and well, edit it. ―If we published
timetables from every country, the book would be the size of a bus… The art is to get
enough information to make it useful, but not so much that people are overwhelmed.‖
Mr. Bass was philosophical about his upcoming retirement. ―The OTT was so much
more than just an information pack. It was an aspirational thing. A lot of people buy
the timetable and never go anywhere. They just loved to read and work out how they
could go from A to B.‖
The Society of International Railway Travelers® and our far-flung members wish it a
fond farewell. As Owen Hardy, Publisher of The International Railway Traveler,
wrote before he knew this was the last issue: ―Adventure and romance drip from its
pages…In the past 30 years, travel has become safer, speedier-and more blandly
homogenous. But as long as travelers crave adventure, as well as solid travel
information, there will be room for the OTT. Thanks for the fantastic ride, OTT
editors.‖

Thanks indeed. And readers, what say you about the Overseas Timetable?

One Response to “Thomas Cook: RIP Overseas Timetable”



   1.

        Amy@ClickClackMom November 26, 2010 at 7:46 PM #

        Oh wow! I am so surprised, though I’m not sure that I should be. Thanks for
        this informative piece.

http://irtsociety.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/thomas-cook-rip-overseas-timetable/

Recent trends

Due to the development of the internet and electronic memory systems, conventional
thick paper timetables are gradually being replaced by website searching or CD-ROM
style timetables and the publishing of comprehensive printed timetables is generally
decreasing. France's SNCF, for example, publishes timetables only for the RER and
Transilien commuter rail services that operate in the outskirts of Paris; the rest of the
timetables must be accessed indirectly by means of a search engine.

[edit] Formats
Timetables are published as books, booklets, folded or plain cards or paper, posters,
on-line in HTML, pdf, and other formats, printed, hand-written on posters or
blackboards, back-lit displays, and SMS messages.[7]

Thomas Cook Publishing has published timetable books showing the schedules of
major European railway services since 1873 (appearing monthly since 1883) and also
produces a similar bi-monthly volume covering public transport services in the rest of
the world.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport_timetable

Islandhopping

Hi there,
I am planning to travel through the Caribbean together with one more person. The
plan is to start from Miami and end in Panama and during two months hop between
all the countries of Caribbean. I do not mind if we have to go via one of the islands
belonging to other countries on the way, but the most important thing is to go through
all (or most of) the autonomous countries there except Cuba. I also want to include
Guyana in this route. This we want to do at an as low cost as possible...


An example could be - Miami - Bahamas - jamaica - (Haiti?) - Dominican republic -
St Kitts and Nevis - Antigua and Barbuda - Dominica - St Lucia - St Vincent and
Grenadines - Grenada - Barbados - Trinidad and Tobago - Guyana - Panama.

We want to start from Miami some time around 10th of november and end in Panama
sometime around 12th of january. We want a little bit longer stop in Guyana to be
able to travel overland to Surinam and back. Other than that I am open for your
suggestions on the length of stay in each place. The form of transportation does not
matter as long as it is the cheapest one...


I cannot find information about good boatconnections and the airline companies I
have heard about that do island hopping answers that they don´t. I would be VERY
grateful for help!!


Thank you…

davidcalgary29




12-Jun-2008 01:22
Posts: 305

1

I'd start off by getting the latest edition of the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable,
which will give you a good idea if your plans are at all feasible. It's comprehensive,
cheap, and fairly accurate, if a bit difficult to decipher.

Your trip will be both difficult and expensive. There are few inter-island ferry
services, and you'll have to double back on your route several times in order to get
around the numerous sea service gaps that exist between certain countries. You can't,
for instance, go island-hopping through the Bahamas and then take a (legal) boat to
Haiti; all international departures leave through Nassau. You'll also have to fly
between Trinidad and Guyana and, I believe, Grenada and Trinidad. Several other
ferry services are erratic and/or unreliable. Few people have recommended the border
crossing between Haiti and the DR; I'd check well in advance to determine if it's open.
Finally, air travel will be expensive.

Lodging in most of the Caribbean ranges from downright expensive to exorbitant, and
many countries lack any real amenities for backpackers/budget travellers -- it's
important to remember that tourism is the primary source of income for a great many
people, and you will be encouraged to spend as much as you can.

Camping is often difficult (if not impossible), and most governments in the Caribbean
frown on the idea of itinerant tourists.

I'd suggest that you reconsider your trip and break the region down into separate
groups that are prioritized according to your own needs and interests. If you're
looking for a truly cheap Caribbean vacation, and are American, you'll probably want
to make the DR your base, and make shorter circuits from there. While the
northeastern Caribbean can be frighteningly expensive, interisland connections can be
quite good, and you may be able to do a few island circuits quite cheaply. I'd forget
about the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos (expensive for you, and they're really
not in the Caribbean), and leave the southern Caribbean for another time. You might
also consider forgetting about the islands, and just do the Caribbean coast of Mexico
and Central America -- it'd be cheaper, and probably just as much fun for you.

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 Rail travel to
 Europe:          About me . .
 general
 information      .

     Who is the Man in Seat
     Sixty-One?
     My name is Mark Smith, and I live
     in England in deepest darkest
     Buckinghamshire, with wife
     Nicolette, 4 year old Nathaniel and
     2 year old Katelijn.
     I'm a career railwayman who ran
     away from Oxford to join the circus
     (or British Rail as it was then
     called) as soon as he could... I
     became the Station Manager for
     Charing Cross, London Bridge &
     Cannon Street railway stations in
     London in the early to mid 90s, and
     subsequently the Customer
     Relations Manager for two major
     UK train companies. Until recently,
     I worked in London for the
     Department for Transport managing
     the team that regulates fares and           On board Eurostar, in Seat 61...
     ticketing on Britain's railways.
     When not travelling, of course...
     I've been lucky enough to travel
     around the world on trains and ships
     to many interesting places, and I've
     worked as a European rail agent
     issuing tickets and advising other
     travel agents on train travel across
     Europe. So if you'd like some help
     with a journey you're planning, why
not ask the Man in Seat Sixty-One?


                                            Why Seat 61?
                                            Zaharoff, the notorious arms
                                            dealer, would always book
                                            compartment 7 on the Orient
                                            Express to or from Istanbul.
                                            When treating myself to
                                            Eurostar's first class, I would
                                            always request seat 61 (in cars 7,
                                            8, 11 or 12) to make sure my
                                            seat lined up with the window,
                                            one of a cosy pair of seats facing
                                            each other across a table
                                            complete with table lamp, rather
                                            like those in an old Pullman car.
                                            It became something of a
                                            tradition, and I've left London in
                                            seat 61 on many occasions, en
                                            route to destinations as diverse
                                            as Italy, Greece, Malta, Albania,
                                            Tunisia (via Lille & Marseille),
                                            Marrakech (via Paris, Madrid &
                                            Algeciras), Istanbul (via Vienna,
                                            Budapest & Transylvania),
                                            Aleppo, Damascus, Petra &
                                            Aqaba, Ukraine & the Crimea,
                                            and even Moscow, Vladivostok,
                                            Tokyo & Nagasaki via the
                                            Trans-Siberian Railway. Just
                                            make sure you don't book seat
                                            61 when I need it!



What does the site aim to do?
In a nutshell, two things: First, it sets
out to HELP people who already
know they want to travel by train or
ferry, but who can't find out about it
through normal commercial websites
or travel agencies. These days, many
people want to cut their carbon
footprint or are simply fed up with the
hassle of flying. Many of us prefer         Above: On board the Rangoon-
train travel, and a significant number       Mandalay overnight express
of people are afraid of flying or
medically restricted from doing so. However, information on alternatives to
flying can often be difficult if not impossible to find. Second, the site aims to
INSPIRE people to do something more rewarding with their lives and their
travel opportunities than going to an airport, getting on a globalised airliner and
missing all the world has to offer. There's more to travel than the destination.
It used to be called a j o u r n e y ...



                                          How did I come to set up the
                                          site?
                                           The problem is this. Travelling by
                                           train from London to anywhere in
                                           Europe is a far more practical option
                                           than most people imagine, in fact it
                                           can be easier and less stressful than
                                           flying. But a world dominated by
   Above: Giving a presentation to         flights, finding out about train travel
  the Cambridge University Railway         has become frustratingly difficult, if
                  Club.                    not downright impossible. Although
                                           many people would prefer a more
civilised, comfortable, interesting, adventurous, romantic, scenic, historic,
exciting, less stressful and more environmentally-friendly way to travel, the
average travel agent only sells flights, flights, car hire and more flights. The
train operators themselves are little or no help, even Eurostar provides very
little useful information on its website for travelling beyond Paris or Brussels.
What was needed was basic 'how to' information for train journeys from the
UK to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Russia and every other country in
Europe. And how about reaching Morocco, Tunisia, Ibiza, Corsica, Crete or
Malta by combining train & ferry? I thought it was a gap that needed filling,
and that I could fill that gap myself...
So one day in 2001 I found myself at London's Marylebone station looking for
something to read on my train home from work. I wandered into W H Smiths
and spotted a 'teach yourself HTML' book costing all of £2.95. I had just
bought a computer and my internet provider offered some free webspace. I
read the book, tried a test webpage, and surprised myself when it worked. One
thing led to another, and here I am. There's a lot of work involved in keeping
the site even remotely up to date, but people seem to find the site useful, and
this keeps me going. If you've any feedback or suggestions to make about the
site, please e-mail me or use the guestbook. I'd be glad to hear from you!

Is seat61.com a hobby or a business?
Seat61.com is a personal website, started purely as a hobby. It's grown and
grown, and became my full time occupation in September 2007. Which is just
as well, as keeping it updated has indeed become a full-time job. However, I'm
not a company or a travel agency, just an individual with knowledge that others
might find useful. All the information on the site is provided free of charge to
users, with the aim of providing sound practical advice to help people make
journeys by train or ship instead of flying, affordably, comfortably and safely.
The site generates income through Google adverts and affiliate schemes, and
this supports the site, helps fund my travel habit (...er, I mean research, of
course) and buys me a beer or two...

"The Man in Seat 61" book...
I've written a book based on the site, an essential handbook for train travel
from the UK into Europe that's so far sold over 10,000 copies. First published
in June 2008 by Bantam Press, a new edition came out in April 2010 with
updated timetables and information. You can buy it from Amazon.co.uk. A
second book, this time about train travel worldwide beyond Europe, is due to
be published on 3 February 2011.

'The Man in Seat 61' TV series? Watch the 'pilot' video
A TV series called 'The Man in Seat 61' is on the cards, if a sponsor can be
found. We are planning to make THE MAN IN SEAT 61 the world’s first
international train travel series made exclusively for the Internet. In the pilot
video, The Man in Seat 61 helps actor Kenneth Cranham travel from Trafalgar
Square to Waterloo battlefield on the first leg of an overland journey to St
Petersburg, on the trail of Napoleon...

Guardian & Observer Travel Awards 2008...
I'm absolutely delighted
that Seat61.com has won
the 'Best Travel website'
category in the prestigious
Guardian & Observer
Travel Awards, held in
Fes, Morocco 10-13
October 2008. Naturally, I
travelled there by train and
ferry, which helped update
that part of the site!
                                  Above: Receiving the award for Best Travel
                                    Website from Mariella Frostrup & Andy
Wanderlust Travel                 Pietrasik at the Guardian & Observer Travel
Awards 2010, 2009,                   Awards, held in Fes in October 2008.
2008 & 2007...
Seat61.com was voted "Top Travel Website" by readers of Wanderlust
Magazine in the prestigious Wanderlust Travel Awards 2007, and again in the
Wanderlust Travel Awards 2008, held at The Times Destinations Show at
Earl's Court. It made the top three once more in 2009 & 2010 out of over 600
websites, receiving the Bronze Award in 2009 and the Silver Award in 2010.
I'm truly delighted that the site has been recognised in this way, and am very
grateful indeed for everyone who voted for the site.
Responsible Tourism Awards 2010, 2009 & 2006...
I'm delighted that seat61.com won the 'Best Low Carbon Transport &
Technology Initiative' category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel
Awards 2010. The awards were presented on 10 November 2010 at the World
Travel Market at the Excel exhibition centre in London's docklands.
Seat61.com previously won the 'Best Personal Contribution' category in the
First Choice Responsible Tourism Awards 2006. Seat 61 was in the top 3
finalists and was 'highly commended' in the 'Best Low Carbon Transport &
Technology' category in the 2009 Responsible Travel Awards.

The Oldie Travel Awards 2008
Seat61.com was judged 'Best Travel Website' in October 2008 in the Oldie
travel awards, sponsored by Voyages Jules Verne.




 Above: Receiving the 2008             Above: Receiving the 'Best Personal
 award from Wanderlust's co-          Contribution' award at the World Travel
    founder Lyn Hughes.                          Market in 2006...



Press room...
'The Man in Seat Sixty-One' has been fortunate enough to feature in
newspapers, magazines and even on TV & radio both in the UK and overseas.
I've been asked to write about train travel for The Times, The Observer, The
Guardian, The Independent and Wanderlust Magazine, amongst others. I've
also been asked to give presentations to several organisations and societies.

25 October 2010       Now one of the Daily Telegraph's panel of experts, answering a
                      reader's question on overland travel to Spain.

19 October 2010       Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, about high speed rail.


24 September 2010     Interviewed by Simon Calder in an Independent podcast at
                      www.independent.co.uk/travel/

20 September 2010     Wrote a panel in The Guardian World News section about DB's
                      intention to run high-speed ICE trains from London to Germany.
15 August 2010      Interviewed by Lesley Joseph on BBC Radio London


24 May 2010         Guest on TV's 'Holiday Show' on the Travel Channel


17 May 2010         Guest on BBC Radio 4's The Travellers' Tree.


2 May 2010          Your carriage awaits, a front-page feature article on European train
                    travel by yours truly in the Sunday Telegraph.

20 April 2010       Interviewed by Simon mayo on 'Drive Time' BBC Radio 2


7 November 2009     Guest speaker at the Globetrotters Club in London


4 November 2009     Guest speaker at the Geographical Society, Trinity College Dublin


8 July 2009         Interviewed by Simon Calder in the Independent in 'Crossed Lines'


14 March 2009       Independent 50 best travel websites (seat61 makes it to number 14)


1 March 2009        Sunday Times travel section InterRailing for Grownups: Four great
                    rail journeys.

1 February 2009     The Observer Slow Train from Thazi.


19 October 2008     The Observer Me and my travels- interview.


18 October 2008     The Guardian A Winter's Trail- The Man in Seat 61's top winter train
                    trips.

29 June 2008        Sunday Times The Man in Seat 61's eight great train escapes 4-page
                    guide to European train travel

29 April 2008       Interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on 'You and Yours'


28 April 2008       Interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridge


26 April 2008       The Guardian, Saturday travel section, 'Long-haul train journeys' in
                    '100 no-flying holidays'

16 April 2008       Interviewed by BBC Radio Bucks, Beds, Herts


7 & 14 April 2008   Guardian online, My top train trips & More of my top train trips


30 March 2008       Daily Telegraph, 101 most useful websites


9 February 2008     Featured in The Telegraph magazine, 'Eco heroes', with photo of
                    yours truly standing on Stoke Mandeville station platform holding a
                    world globe (as you do...)

5 January 2008      Guest on BBC Radio 4's 'Excess Baggage' travel programme, hosted
                    by Sandy Toksvig.

December 2007       Asked to write a paragraph for Where's hot for 2008 in The Observer


October 2007        Appeared on BBC World's 'Fast Track' TV programme as rail expert in
                    feature on the luxury Eastern & Oriental Express from Singapore to
                    Bangkok.

September 2007      Appeared on BBC World's 'Fast Track' TV programme as rail expert in
                    news item about the new 'Rail Team' alliance of European high-
                   speed train operators.

9 August 2007      Featured in The Guardian's Top ten green websites.


July 2007          Featured in The Times best 100 travel websites.


3 July 2007        Interviewed on BBC World Service radio on "The World Today" about
                   the new European RailTeam initiative.

28 April 2007      The Independent, "Best 50 travel websites". Seat61 was listed as, er,
                   well, number one..!

24 April 2007      BBC Radio Newcastle, asked about European Motorail
                   on the breakfast show.
21 April 2007      The Guardian travel section InterRail back on Track by
                   yours truly.
30 March 2007      The Man in Seat Sixty-One quoted in USA Today.

24 March 2007      The Guardian travel section Why hurry? by yours truly.

2 March 2007       The Guardian travel section The Right Kind of Snow
                   by yours truly.
1 February 2007    Seat61.com wins the Top Travel Website category in
                   the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2007, as voted by
                   readers of Wanderlust Magazine.
31 January 2007    BBC Radio 2: Seat61 was Miles Mendoza's Website of
                   the Day on Steve Wright in the Afternoon.
30 January 2007    Seat61 mentioned in The Guardian editorial, In praise
                   of...seat61.com.
30 January 2007    Feature on seat61 in the 'People' section of Railnews,
                   the UK rail industry's staff newspaper.
20 January 2007    The Man in Seat Sixty-One was a guest on BBC Radio
                   4's Excess Baggage, hosted by john McCarthy.
20 January 2007    Article in The Guardian travel section, Two Tickets to
                   Marrakech, please..., by yours truly.
16 January 2007    Article about me and seat61.com published in Haaretz
                   newspaper in Israel,
                   www.haaretz.co.il/captain/spages/814130.html
12 January 2007    Seat61 mentioned in Metro newspaper, London, in 'A
                   greener way to travel', about taking the trainhotel to
                   Spain.
29 November 2006   The Guardian travel online: 10 best long weekends to
                   Europe by train, by yours truly, complete with
                   interactive map.
November 2006      Seat61 'Website of the Fortnight' in ComputerActive
                   magazine
28 October 2006    The Guardian "Maltese Crossing". A week's holiday to
                   Malta by train+ferry, by yours truly.
16 September 2006   The Times: "50 people to know in travel". Yours truly
                    makes it to number 48, right behind Michael O'Leary of
                    RyanAir and EasyJet's Stelios.

9 September 2006    The Daily Telegraph, "Travel without leaving a trail".
                    Yours truly called "an international man of mystery". I
                    think I can live with that....

4 September 2006    Article about seat61.com written by Robert
                    MacPherson syndicated to Yahoo and South African,
                    Canadian, Taiwanese, Malaysian, French, Greek &
                    Italian newspapers.

4 September 2006    Article about seat61.com published in 'La Republica',
                    the Italian national newspaper.

3 September 2006    Mail on Sunday, seat61 featured in property section for
                    travel to Spain.

2 September 2006    Financial Times (weekend): "All aboard for the future
                    of real travel", Seat61 featured and yours truly quoted.

26 August 2006      The Guardian, "Sites that changed our world".

19 August 2006      The Guardian, "A hotel on wheels", of businessmen
                    and goatherds on the trainhotel from Spain.

31 July 2006        Interviewed on ABC local radio, Perth Western
                    Australia.

23 July 2006        The Guardian, "Into the Valley of Vines...', by train to
                    discover the valley of the charge of the Light Brigade.

24 June 2006        The Guardian, "Take the train not the plane', a weekend
                    to Poland by train, written by yours truly. Now a
                    monthly column.

10 June 2006        The Times (travel section), 'Sitting pretty', top tips for
                    train travel by yours truly.

20 May 2006         The Guardian, "Back on track", train travel to Greece,
                    Syria & Petra, written by yours truly (with nice photo
                    of Nicolette..!).

May 2006            TNT magazine, "On the right tracks...", The Man in
                    Seat Sixty One quoted.

29 April 2006       The Times, "100 best travel websites", seat61 the first
                    of 10 sites in the rail & ferries section.

9 April 2006        The Observer, travel section feature: Guide to Rail
                    Travel, written by the Man in Seat Sixty-One...
27 March 2006       The Times Online: Seat61 recommended and yours
                    truly quoted in 'Rail Travel' by Ginny McGrath

8-15 March 2006     TimeOut magazine: Seat61 recommended in "The
                    Good Life" article.

March 2006          CNN online: Quoted in Ultimate train journeys - The
                    Orient Express.

March 2006          Seat61 featured in Adventure Travel Magazine.

March 2006          Seat61 featured in Lighter Life Magazine.

19 November 2005    Daily Telegraph - seat61.com mentioned in the Gill
                    Charlton travel advice column.

13 November 2005    Wisconsin free radio - The Man in Seat Sixty-One
                    interviewed live on 'Here on earth'...

26 September 2005   Irish radio RTE1 - The Man in Seat Sixty-One
                    interviewed live on the Ryan Turbridy show...

20 September 2005   Seat61 recommended as explaining greener travel
                    options in 'Your planet and how you can save it..' by
                    Julia Stephenson...

15 May 2005         London radio station LBC 97.3 - The Man in Seat
                    Sixty-One interviewed live on the Charlie Jordan
                    show...

23 April 2005       The Independent - Seat61 'one of the 50 Best Travel
                    Websites to Browse...'

5 April 2005        The Times - Seat61 one of the 70 best travel websites
                    & the deputy online travel editor's five favourite travel
                    websites.

17 March 2005       USA Today - Seat61 mentioned in 'Globetrotters click
                    online for advice'

March 2005          South China Morning Post (Hong Kong's main
                    English-language newspaper) - Seat61 'a peerless hymn
                    to train travel'.

8 January 2005      The Guardian - The Green Consumer, recommended
                    for those 'doggedly insisting' on rail & sea travel.

16 December 2004    The Guardian - Cream of the Crop 100 best websites.
                    Seat61.com one of the five in the Travel category.

23 October 2004     The Times - seat61 mentioned (and yours truly
                    quoted...) in 'Holidays by Rail' feature.
October 2004        Living France Magazine - 'Website of the Month'.

19 September 2004   The Observer - Recommended in 'A family holiday to
                    Syria? You can't be serious..!'

18 September 2004   The Daily Telegraph - Recommended in 'On the case'
                    readers' travel questions answered.

28 March 2004       The Brisbane Sunday Mail - Recommended in 'Escape'
                    section.

13 March 2004       The Times - 'Website of the Week' in the Travel
                    section.

11 March 2004       BBC World TV - Recommended in 'Click Online'.

11 March 2004       The Guardian - Mentioned in Guardian Unlimited.

2 February 2004     BBC TV - Recommended on BBC1's 'Holiday 2004'.

22 January 2004     Recommended in 'ComputerActive' Magazine.

21 January 2004     Recommended in 'Rail' Magazine.

4 January 2004      The Observer - mentioned in 'Ask the Experts' in the
                    travel section.

September 2003      Reviewed in 'Web User' magazine.

9 August 2003       The Guardian - recommended in an article 'Freedom of
                    the Net' in Saturday travel section.

21 June 2003:       'The Nation' newspaper of Thailand - site reviewed

8 June 2003:        Alpha Radio, Darlington area - The man in seat sixty-
                    one interviewed 'live'...

12 April 2003       The Guardian - 'the most useful railways site to
                    bookmark' in 'Best of the Net' in Saturday travel
                    section.

4 January 2003:     The Guardian - one of five 'websites to watch in 2003'
                    in 'Best of the Net' in Saturday travel section.

15 November 2002: The Wall Street Journal - recommended as top choice
                  in a 'Desktop Traveller' article on train travel.

13 October 2002     The Sunday Times - seat61 'an essential global rail
                    guide' in an article called 'More rattling good trips by
                    train'.

7 April 2002:       The Sunday Times - featured in the 'Doors' internet
                    section in an article called 'Home page heroes'.
December 2001:              Reviewed in 'Wanderlust' magazine.

5 May 2001:                 The Guardian - featured as 'Website of the Week' in the
                            Saturday travel section.




Top travel tip...
"Never travel without a good book and a corkscrew..."



A few favourites...

Favourite cities:     Cairo, Istanbul, Havana, Tangier


Favourite hotels:     Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling - Afternoon tea to the sound
                      of a piano, dinner by candlelight served by white-gloved,
                      turbanned waiters. At around £65 per night including food,
                      it's not the cheapest hotel in India, but it's worth every
                      penny. See the India page.
                      Baron's Hotel, Aleppo, Syria - Where else can you pay just
                      US$45 to sleep where Roosevelt, Agatha Christie and
                      T.E.Lawrence slept? Lawrence's bill (unpaid...) is still on the
                      premises, in a glass case in the lounge. See the London to
                      Syria page.
                      Pera Palas, Istanbul - The grand hotel built by the Wagons-
                      Lits company for their Orient Express Passengers, and still a
                      very grand hotel. Around £75 a night for a single.
                      Strand Hotel, Rangoon - Raffles' little brother, but with
                      even better service and unlike Raffles all 32 suites are in the
                      original 1901 main building.
                      Royal York, Toronto - A grand hotel, Canadian-style, and
                      so handy for train departures from Union Station across the
                      road..!

Favourite journeys:   London-Fort William on the Caledonian Sleeper - For as little as £19 one-
                      way including berth in a 2-berth sleeper, you can travel 550 miles North of
                      London straight into the magnificent West Highlands. In spite of having
                      travelled all over the world, it's still one of my favourite journeys. And even
                      Siberia is hard pressed to match the bleakness on Rannoch Moor on a cold
                      February morning, seen from a warm sleeping-car room. The sleeper runs
                      daily except Saturday nights, year-round. See the London to Scotland by
                      sleeper section on the UK Travel page for more information. To book, call
                      ScotRail on 0845 7 55 00 33 or you can book online at www.ScotRail.co.uk.
                      Auckland-Wellington on the Overlander: New Zealand's
                      epic train ride, see the Overlander page.
                      Chicago-Oakland (San Francisco) on the California
                      Zephyr - See the USA and Canada page, or visit
                      www.amtrak.com.
                      New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling on the Darjeeling-Himalaya
                      Railway - Narrow gauge, and still partially steam-worked.
                      56 miles in 7-8 hours, but still more comfortable than the bus
                      (which takes 4 hours). New Jalpaiguri is the railhead where
                      the overnight 'Darjeeling Mail' to and from Calcutta arrives
                      and departs. You can book Indian Railways (and Indian Rail
                      passes) through an excellent agency in Wembley - SD
                      Enterprises. Visit www.IndiaRail.co.uk for details.



     Inspiration...
     What inspired me to start travelling..?
     Many things. But in a world where you are
     bombarded with adverts for air travel,
     motorway buses and package holidays, I
     owe a lot to the two great world timetables,
     the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable and
     European Timetable, for showing that even
     in the 21st century, civilised, romantic,
     exciting overland travel by train is still
     possible, across Europe and beyond. Just
     one look through the list of exotic placenames, countries, train and shipping
     routes will have you longing to catch that train or board that ship...
     The Thomas Cook European Timetable shows train, bus and ferry times for
     every country in Europe, and the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable shows
     train, bus and ferry times for every country in the world outside Europe.
     Each timetable costs £13.99 from the bureau de change section of any branch
     of Thomas Cook, or you can order online at www.thomascooktimetables.com.
     Alternatively, you can buy the twice-yearly Independent Traveller's editions at
     Amazon.co.uk also with shipping worldwide.



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