Vintage train travel

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.

File:Euston old Station Great Hall geograph-2991046-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg

TGrand Central Terminal, shown here around 1930, is one of New York's most iconic landmarks

Grand Central Terminal, New York, 1930

Image result for gare d'orsay

The old Gare d’Orsay, now the museum, in Paris


Vintage posters

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

A woman passenger in a fur coat aboard the Simplon-Orient Express gazes wistfully out at the train tracks in this shot from 1950

Pictured just before the Simplon-Orient Express began its journey from London to Istanbul via Venice and Paris

Eugene Monnier, head waiter was famous for his ability to choose wine. In the Simplon-Orient Express of 1950, six kinds of bourgogne, five of bourdeaux, and six types of champagne could be purchased

Eugène Monnier, the legendary head waiter in the 1950s, renowned for his excellent wine recommendations

Famous travellers

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, and Jean Harlow, pictured right, are shown arriving at Grand Central Station in the 1930s

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.


4 thoughts on “Vintage train travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s