“You only know you’re under the sea by the disappearance of the moon” – Andrew Martin, Night Trains

moon trees boat trip Lake Ihema Akagera National Park 417 2.JPG

I had boarded the first Eurostar of the day. It had been too early even for breakfast, and I slept for the first hour. Dawn broke soon after Ashford International, but then we went into the Tunnel. When Eurostar services began, the ‘transit time’ was always given. Now that we have all become more blasé, the announcement is usually dispensed with, and sometimes, on a late-night Eurostar, you only know you’re under the sea by the disappearance of the moon. (Andrew Martin, Night Trains – The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper, 2017.)

I’m like sleeper trains so it is not surprising I like this book – but it has these poetic parts too – even non-train people might like them. I remember how exciting Eurostar was when it started; my children drew pictures of us on the train with fish swimming past. This image of the moon brings back the excitement, though I think it is more accurate for London-Paris: the last train to/from Brussels is quite early.

In Rwanda, where I was for a couple of weeks last month, the moon passed through full and was easily present. The photo was taken on lake Ihema.

UK tpt waterloo stn eurostar 105.JPG

The second picture shows the train on a January afternoon in 2005, when it left London from Waterloo station rather than St Pancras as it does now.

Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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