This post is pure nostalgia for a time I never knew but somehow love of railways is in my blood. My maternal grandfather was a railway signalman for L.N.E.R, my mum talks affectionately about taking the train to go on family holidays to the seaside as a child and a local company in the town I grew up in did the ironwork for the magnificent St. Pancras station in London. Even though I frequently lament the sad state of railways and sky high ticket prices in the UK, taking the train is still something I really enjoy doing. Here’s a selection of some of great pictures I’ve found connected with the golden age of rail travel, including the one of Kim Novak, above, from 1955. Bon voyage!
The great hall at Euston Station
A Victorian masterpiece, built in 1846 and sadly demolished to make way for the current monstrosity in 1962. Here it is just two years before with the statue of George Stephenson and a staircase leading to a gallery and a room for shareholders. At least the statue survives. Photo by Ben Brooksbank, 1960.
Grand Central Terminal, New York, 1930
The old Gare d’Orsay, now the museum, in Paris
Restaurant dining cars
Classic scene from Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest’
The Southern Pacific’s All-Pullman Lark between Los Angeles and San Francisco
The Venice-Simplon Orient Express – few things represent the idea of luxurious travel so well – here are some shots from the 1950s
Eugène Monnier, the legendary head waiter in the 1950s, renowned for his excellent wine recommendations
Before limos and aeroplanes took over, many legendary stars travelled by train.
Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh taking the train to Denmark in 1937
Marlene Dietrich leaving the Gare St. Lazare in Paris in 1939 to return to Hollywood
Hollywood stars Clara Bow, pictured left with singer Harry Richman
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall about to board the Santa Fe in Los Angeles, 1945, to travel to Mansfield, Ohio for their wedding.