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I am a trainspotter. I write down engine numbers in one book and then underline them in another. Could I be any more sad?

By Nicholas Royle   June 2009

Since I moved out of the capital five years ago I have been able to enjoy something I was never really in a position to while living there: going down to London on the train.

I love everything about this. I take a certain satisfaction in booking far enough ahead to obtain a cheap ticket. I sit in the quiet zone in standard class—coach A, seat 28—where I get a little table and a power supply. They’ve shortened the journey time and radically improved Hotline, the free onboard magazine. But there’s something else that I love above all these things.

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