The Next Station Stop

The Next Station Stop

50 Years By Train

Available now at Swan Books

 

Join Peter Caton on his 10,000 mile tour of Britain, discovering what its like to travel on our modern railways and contemplating train journeys made over the last fifty years.

Inspired by finding a childhood notebook, Peter revisits the locations of family holidays, looking at how the journeys and places have changed, and wondering why his parents chose such unlikely destinations. His travels take him to some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the country and on trains so eccentric that sometimes he wonders if Thomas the Tank Engine is round the corner. Sampling a selection of Inter City routes, he questions whether the pursuit of speed and efficiency has taken away some of the enjoyment of travelling by train, but on sleepers to Cornwall and Scotland finds the romance of rail travel is still alive. He ends with a journey to Italy, with a diversion up a snowy mountain, comparing European train travel with British railways.

We read of Peters frustrations with missed connections, inflexible computers, annoying passengers and of an encounter with a machine gun-carrying policeman. He writes of his experiences with ‘health and safety’ and ridiculous announcements, and how these combine to give the book its title.

Illustrated with 60 colour photographs covering the steam, diesel and electric eras of the last 50 years, The Next Station Stop will appeal to anyone who travels on Britain’s trains.

Peter Caton spoke about The Next Station Stop on BBC Radio 4 SATURDAY LIVE on 1st Feb 2014. Listen through link below : 35 – 43mins, 56½ & 72 mins.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03sr0wk

REVIEWS:

Branch Line Britain

As someone who has travelled extensively on Britain’s railway network for work and for pleasure, I found this book both interesting and enjoyable. The author, Peter Caton has walked a fine line between keeping the railway enthusiasts happy on one side, and the casual train traveller on the other. He seems to have achieved it with this book, managing to add the odd historical anecdote along the way.
The main premise of the book is comparing train journeys he made as a child in the sixties and seventies, with those he makes with his work in more recent years. He is not afraid to put forward his views on such train related subjects as ever increasing train speeds, on board catering, train announcements and anti-social passengers. There are a few extra chapters at the end where he has ventured into Europe by train. These are also compared with Britain’s present railways.
All in all an intriguing read, with plenty to amuse, entertain and interest the reader; all written in a clear and concise style, Plus, there are several colour photos showing trains and stations from his younger days, which are compared with their modern equivalent.

 

RAIL MAGAZINE – Nov 2013

 

“Peter Caton has written a lovely book on railways : The Next Station Stop : Fifty Years by Train. It’s not technical, has no locomotive numbers, and (like me) Peter’s never been a train spotter!

However, 50 years ago he took logs of his journeys. Finding his notebook, he decided to take the journeys again, to see how much has changed (for better or worse) in that time. The 25 chapters spread over 240 pages cover most British main lines, and there are 24 pages of colour photos.

One pertinent comment is that he feels “The latter days of British rail were the finest years of modern long-distance train travel.”. This most readable book retails at only £9.99 and is available post-free from Swan Books.”

Barry Doe – ‘Britain’s leading Fares and Service Expert’ – Rail magazine 13/11/13

 

 

RAIL MAGAZINE – Nov 2013

“And like Barry Doe, who mentioned the book in Rail 735, I enjoyed The Next Station Stop, Peter Caton’s quirky and random account of 50 years of rail journeys”

Christian Wolmar

 

 

RAILWATCH – Dec 2013

“In his new book, Peter Caton takes us on a 10,000 mile tour of Britain, repeating his childhood journeys and looking at what has changed in 50 years of rail travel.

He goes to remote parts of the country and writes with affection about lines such as the Heart of Wales, Settle-Carlisle, Far North and Cambrian Coast. But after sampling some intercity routes, he questions if the pursuit of speed and efficiency has taken away some of the enjoyment of travelling by train.

The author enjoyed his journeys on our sleeper trains and encourages readers to try them. He recalls 1970s Merrymaker excursions and retraces a mystery trip from London St Pancras. His journeys end with a trip through the Alps to Italy, comparing European train travel with British railways. Research into old timetables shows a surprising number of routes are now slower than 20 years ago, but frequencies increased.

He writes in glowing terms of lunch in a First Great Western restaurant but laments the loss of virtually all our dining cars. The inevitable difficulties of ticketing, missed connections and lack of information are aired, along with his frustrations with health and safety and public address announcements.

This is very much a pro-rail book, even if sometimes things “were better” a generation ago. The Next Station Stop provides insight into social changes over the 50 years of the author’s travels and describes his exploration of some of the most beautiful parts of our country. It includes interesting stories and snippets of railway history. Sixty colour photographs taken over the past 50 years illustrate how our railways have changed.

A committed environmentalist, Peter Caton is the son of Railfuture’s vice president Michael Caton. Peter has used public transport when travelling for his previous books, which cover the diverse themes of tidal islands, walking and football terraces.”

 

RAIL MAGAZINE READER

“What an interesting, entertaining and informative work, which I really struggled to put down.”

 

MATT SAWYER

“I’ve just read your book “The next station stop,” and enjoyed it greatly. I’m keen to read your other books about walking as I’m also a keen walker and am planning to buy your book about football terraces for my Millwall loving (sorry!) brother. I’ve undertaken many rail related trips like this myself over the years – my “purpose” was to ride on all the lines just because they were there really, though I tried to visit the sights too – I’m not so much interested in the trains as the routes. It also led to me becoming a train driver in the end! Looking forward to the other books!”

 

DR MARTIN HEAZELL

“Excellent Christmas book bought by a railway-mad son for his equally enthusiastic father”.

 

JOHN HILL (RAIL Magazine reader)

“I have never before written to an author about their book, but the fact that I have enjoyed reading “The Next Station Stop” so much, has spurred me into sending you my sincere thanks. You are to be congratulated on all the research you have done during the writing of a wonderful book; thank you for giving me such a thoroughly good read. I look forward very much to enjoying “No Boat Required” very soon.”

 

MAL ROBINSON

“I’ve just finished reading ‘The Next Station Stop’. What a cracking read. I’ve done most of the journeys you describe and it was just like enjoying them again. Many thanks again for a super book”

 

ANDY – Internet review

“This is an honest, witty and sometimes lyrical account of rail travel in the UK. As a railway enthusiast I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks to ‘how it used to be’ and the author’s reminiscences of trains in decades gone by, but it also serves as an interesting travelogue for the UK in general and a reminder of how many amazing locations and landscapes we have on our doorstep.
The division of separate journeys into chapters makes it a good ‘pick up put down’ book if you’re constantly on the move and there is an interesting centre section of colour photos comparing the railways then and now.”

 

ERIC BALDWIN

I have just finished reading your new book, U.K. section and now to start on the European section, let me say how much I have enjoyed it. We took the trip to Wick and Thurso not long ago and your chapter brought it all back.

 

DAVID ALISON

Hello Peter, and thank you for producing the above-mentioned book, which I have enjoyed immensely. I share so many of your views on the present-day railway scene: loco-hauled trains, carriages with seats lined up against windows, luggage storing facilities, catering on trains, repetitive on-board announcements, antics of fellow passengers etc. It has been a pleasure to follow your journeys, many of which are familiar to me, and the content and style of the book made me keep turning the pages.

 

INTERNET REVIEW

As someone who has travelled extensively on Britain’s railway network for work and for pleasure, I found this book both interesting and enjoyable. The author, Peter Caton has walked a fine line between keeping the railway enthusiasts happy on one side, and the casual train traveller on the other. He seems to have achieved it with this book, managing to add the odd historical anecdote along the way.

The main premise of the book is comparing train journeys he made as a child in the sixties and seventies, with those he makes with his work in more recent years. He is not afraid to put forward his views on such train related subjects as ever increasing train speeds, on board catering, train announcements and anti-social passengers. There are a few extra chapters at the end where he has ventured into Europe by train. These are also compared with Britain’s present railways.

All in all an intriguing read, with plenty to amuse, entertain and interest the reader; all written in a clear and concise style, Plus, there are several colour photos showing trains and stations from his younger days, which are compared with their modern equivalent.

 

SETTLE-CARLISLE RAILWAY JOURNAL

This modestly-priced book provides the reader with accounts of journeys undertaken by the author in Britain and beyond over the last fifty years, which are both detailed and entertaining. Each of two dozen chapters describes a journey and the changes which have occurred over half a century. Criss-crossing the mainland of Britain, often experiencing elaborate and sometimes frustrating connections and encounters with officials and fellow travellers along the way, the author introduces the reader to a rich variety of landscapes, rolling stock and rail services in a casual yet informative and cogent style. An excellent and heartily recommended read.