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Leith on life

The joys of the sleeper train

By Sam Leith   January 2014

Edinburgh’s Waverley station, in the run-up to midnight, has an abandoned and melancholy feel. The vaulting is dark and the row of shops below—WHSmith; Boots—shuttered and lightless. A few railway workers in hi-vis tabards loiter by the turnstiles. Outside on Princes Street the air is bitterly cold, and the cold spills down the escalators into the vacant concourse. The few travellers move like trespassers. Their footsteps and the wheels of their luggage are clattery in the untenanted space.

I had travelled up from London that morning to give a talk at a school just outside Edinburgh. Seeing that the cost…

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