King’s Cross Station by G.K. Chesterton

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This circled cosmos whereof man is god Has suns and stars of green and gold and red, And cloudlands of great smoke, that range o’er range Far floating, hide its iron heavens o’erhead God! shall we ever honour what we are, And see one moment ere the age expire, The vision of man shouting and […]

The Railway Junction by Walter de la Mare

From here through tunnelled gloom the track Forks into two; and one of these Wheels onward into darkening hills, And one toward distant seas. How still it is; the signal light At set of sun shines palely green; A thrush sings; other sound there’s none, Nor traveller to be seen- Where late there was a […]

Great Central Railway Sheffield Victoria to Banbury by John Betjeman

“Unmitigated England” Came swinging down the line That day the February sun Did crisp and crystal shine. Dark red at Kirkby Bentinck stood A steeply gabled farm ‘Mid ash trees and a sycamore In charismatic calm. A village street {—} a manor house {—} A church {—} then, tally ho! We pounded through a housing […]

The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay by William McGonagall

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay! With your numerous arches and pillars in so grand array And your central girders, which seem to the eye To be almost towering to the sky. The greatest wonder of the day, And a great beautification to the River Tay, Most beautiful to be seen, Near by Dundee […]

Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat by T. S. Eliot

There’s a whisper down the line at 11.39 When the Night Mail’s ready to depart, Saying ‘Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble? We must find him or the train can’t start. All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster’s daughters They are searching high and low, Saying ‘Skimble […]

Suggested by the Proposed Kendal and Windermere Railway by William Wordsworth

And is no nook of English ground secure From rash assault? Schemes of retirement sown In youth, and ‘mid the busy world kept pure As when their earliest flowers of hope were blown, Must perish; – how can they this blight endure? And must he too his old delights disown Who scorns a false utilitarian […]

From a Railway Carriage – by Robert Louis Stevenson

Faster than fairies, faster than witches, Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along like troops in a battle, All through the meadows the horses and cattle: All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations […]

The Tay Bridge Disaster by William Topaz McGonagall

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay! Alas! I am very sorry to say That ninety lives have been taken away On the last Sabbath day of 1879, Which will be remember’d for a very long time. ’Twas about seven o’clock at night, And the wind it blew with all its might, And the rain […]

Harrow on the Hill by John Betjeman

When melancholy Autumn comes to Wembley And electric trains are lighted after tea The poplars near the Stadium are trembly With their tap and tap and whispering to me, Like the sound of little breakers Spreading out along the surf-line When the estuary’s filling With the sea. Then Harrow-on-the-Hill’s a rocky island And Harrow churchyard […]

Adlestrop by Edward Thomas

Yes, I remember Adlestrop – The name because one afternoon Of heat the express-train drew up there Unwontedly. It was late June. The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat. No one left and no one came On the bare platform. What I saw Was Adlestrop – only the name And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And […]

Song of a Train by John Davidson

A monster taught To come to hand Amain, As swift as thought Across the land The train. The song it sings Has an iron sound; Its iron wings Like wheels go round. Crash under bridges, Flash over ridges, And vault the downs; The road is straight — Nor stile, nor gate; For milestones — towns! […]

Looe by Roland Egan

Bidderly-do, bidderly-do I’m on a train and I’m off to Looe Ra-ta-ta-tar, ra-ta-ta-tar, I’m going to visit my Grandmama. Tickety-tack, tickety-tack, Into a tunnel that’s ever so black. A-rumpety-tum, a-rumpety-tum, I’m taking a present to Granny from Mum. Tickety-boo, tickety-boo, I always enjoy the journey to Looe. Chi-chi-chi-choo, Chi-chi-chi………..CHOO!

Saving A Train by William Topaz McGonagall

A poor old woman lived on the line of the Ohio Railway, Where the train passed near by night and day: She was a widow, with only one daughter, Who lived with her in a log-hut near a deep gorge of water. Which was spanned o’er from ridge to ridge, By a strong metal railway […]

The Newport Railway by William Topaz McGonagall

Success to the Newport Railway, Along the braes of the Silvery Tay, And to Dundee straghtway, Across the Railway Bridge o’ the Silvery Tay, Which was opened on the 12th of May, In the year of our Lord 1879, Which will clear all expenses in a very short time Because the thrifty housewives of Newport […]

A Mind’s Journey to Diss by John Betjemen

Dear Mary, Yes, it will be bliss To go with you by train to Diss, Your walking shoes upon your feet; We’ll meet, my sweet, at Liverpool Street. That levellers we may be reckoned Perhaps we’d better travel second; Or, lest reporters on us burst, Perhaps we’d better travel first. Above the chimney-pots we’ll go […]

Sitting in a Siding by B. Burke

Sitting in a siding, with bugger-all to do the engine goes to sleep while we both admire the view. Sleepy summer morning, when nothing is heard save the mooing of a moo-cow, the twittering of a bird. Isn’t it delightful, miles away from Crewe Sitting in a siding with bugger-all to do. Sitting in a […]

Arrival in Nottingham by Gerald England

The train trundles over the Beeston Canal with swans cruising up past barges parked townward into that long track-covered curve of ground Stops in the Goods Yard North for passengers to take stock of the view of the castle standing at the other end of the curve’s radius, impressive, imposing on its solid rock foundation […]

Complaint to British Rail by Trevor Kneale

An engine banging in the night woke two sleepers side by side caused a coupling of their thighs and shunted forth another life!

The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson

I like to see it lap the miles, And lick the valleys up, And stop to feed itself at tanks; And then, prodigious, step Around a pile of mountains, And, supercilious, peer In shanties by the sides of roads; And then a quarry pare To fit its sides, and crawl between, Complaining all the while […]

An Address To The New Tay Bridge by William Topaz McGonagall

Beautiful new railway bridge of the Silvery Tay, With your strong brick piers and buttresses in so grand array, And your thirteen central girders, which seem to my eye Strong enough all windy storms to defy. And as I gaze upon thee my heart feels gay, Because thou are the greatest railway bridge of the […]