Latest Issue


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.

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect