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May 8, 2017
Earlsdon-based writer Chris Arnot will be pulling into the Criterion Theatre on a whistle-stop tour to promote his new book.
He has a freight-load of experiences he wants to share from his travels along narrow-gauge lines, the oddballs of the British railway system.
He said: "They could get to parts of the UK that main-line trains couldn’t – round sharp bends and up steep gradients in largely remote parts of this small, offshore island with its widely varying landscapes.
"They were built on the whims of wealthy men, be they the owners of slate mines, sand quarries, paper mills or dairies."
Today, the tracks carry passengers rather than freight as part of the “leisure industry”. One weekend Chris Arnot found himself on the UK’s only official desert, on England’s south coast, watching flocks of exotic birds explode across an expansive skyline.
The following Sunday he was being shunted up Britain’s second highest mountain as part of a five days of train-trails through Wales.
He also found himself tumbling down a steep railway embankment in the wilds of Scotland, en route to visit Santa Claus down a disused lead mine.
And late one night, he groped his way across a treacherous track in pitch darkness in coastal Cumbria.
Hear those stories and many more when he talks about Small Island by Little Train: a narrow-gauge adventure, published by the AA, in the bar of the Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, at 7.30 on Thursday May 18.
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