Britain’s blessed by an abundant railway network which has influenced its social history and economic development for generations.

And if you’re a railway enthusiast, a UK rail holiday facilitates fascinating activities at locations all the way from Aberdeen to Penzance.

So if your heart’s set on seeing Britain by train, here are seven on and off-track tips.

 

  1. Glasgow Central Station

Visiting Glasgow Central Station is a must — not only will it connect you to Scotland’s scenic delights, but it also has a 91 percent approval rate from watchdog Transport Focus, station master Paul Lyons runs four tours a day and it stars in its own BBC TV series.

 

  1. Birmingham New Street

Birmingham New Street is another station which boasts high levels of customer satisfaction. The West Midlands rail hub was fully redeveloped in 2015 and boasts a choice of cool restaurants, including an in-house Five Guys burger joint — perfect for a pit-stop.

 

  1. Kings Cross Station

No real railway enthusiast would leave Britain without thoroughly exploring London’s King’s Cross Station. It’s next to King’s Cross St Pancras Underground Station, close to Regent’s Park and The British Library and home to mystical Platform 9 ¾, the departure point for the Hogwarts Express — enough said.

 

    4. Raildar

Train app Raildar features a live map of every train on the UK rail network — the dynamic version even shows trains moving around. This train lover’s fantasy app also includes track layouts and junction maps — what a wonderful idea!

 

     5. Light reading

If you’re after riveting rail-related reading, Parallel Lines sees author Ian Marchant take a wry look at 175 years of Britain’s obsession with trains. Penned with passion and humour, it’s an inspirational insight into the British character and culture.

 

     6. Reading for genuine enthusiasts

In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, George Bradshaw’s railway guides were the apps of their day and provided the latest information on train routes around Britain and across continental Europe. The April 1910 guide was written at the unsurpassed peak of Britain’s rail network and has become a bible for rail fans — find reprinted editions online at Amazon.

 

     7. Online learning

Free or reasonably-priced internet access is readily available on many UK train routes and city centres, so if your trip is part of a longer sojourn, studying for an online degree with the likes of Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning can continue uninterrupted. And there’s something life-affirming about chatting to classmates in different countries while you roll around coasts and across clifftops.

 

Follow these seven on and off-track tips for a British rail holiday you’ll never forget — see you at the station.

 

Do you have tips for rail travel? Share them in the comments section and if you need a train – Save A train.

 

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