Marcel Proust, who was fond of trains, wrote of their compelling melancholia. The train journey as life is a popular literary trope that has transported readers since the first steam locomotives of the early 1800s. My own love for trains began with English children’s books, in which they were a frequent plot device, each journey requiring a leap into the unknown.

One of the most memorable train rides I have taken was from Prague to Český Krumlov in southern Bohemia. We had to change from a mainline train to a branch line. It was the dead of winter and we hopped onto what looked like a communist-era milk train. We endured a freezing but nonetheless exceptionally beautiful experience, which brings me back to the appeal of railway literature and the novel Peaces, the latest by Helen Oyeyemi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now