Little Trains to Faraway Places

Little Trains to Faraway Places

Karl R. Zimmermann
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/22/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-00149-8
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Narrow-gauge railroading conjures images of marginal track, wooden coaches, and antique steam locomotives. Yet consider the extraordinarily glamorous and comfortable South African Blue Train and Australia's Queenslander as well as the electrified network of meter-gauge mountain railways in Switzerland that run with a precision similar to that of the country’s famed timepieces. Often used to penetrate the most challenging and breathtaking terrain that larger trains are unable to reach, narrow-gauge railways offer even the most seasoned of travelers an experience to remember. Karl Zimmermann, railroad author and accomplished photographer, chronicles his journeys aboard these rarest of trains. Individual chapters weave history and travelogue, complemented by more than 100 color illustrations. The result is a spirited tribute to the world's most charismatic railways.

Author Bio

Karl Zimmermann has been a contributor to the travel sections of various newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He is author of The GrandLuxe Express (IUP, 2007).


“A spirited tribute to the world's most charismatic railways, Zimmermann chronicles his journeys aboard rare narrow-gauge railways. Weaving together history, travelogue, and over 100 color illustrations, he recreates his adventures on the trains that penetrate the most breathtaking terrain.”

“A fine writer with a keen eye for descriptions of the odd corners of the world reached by these highwater marks of the railroad tide.”
 — Francis H. Parker, co-author of Railroads of Indiana

“Karl Zimmermann’s observations will surely bring back memories to many readers, and his richly developed commentary on cultural and historical details will provide an exciting introduction for those who have never traveled to some of the faraway places described.”
 — J. Parker Lamb, author of Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive

“While most of us may never have the opportunity to visit these faraway places, this book is the next best way to take in some of the most notable narrow railway operations in the world.September-October 2010, vol. 71 no. 5”
 — The Michigan Railfan

“[Little Trains to Faraway Places] is vividly written, researched, and packed full of history. September 2, 2010”
 — ForeWord Reviews

“Karl Zimmermann, railroad author and accomplished photographer, chronicles his journeys aboard these rarest of trains . . . The result: a spirited tribute to the world's most charismatic railways. ”
 — NMRA Magazine

“[F]or any traveler and any fan of narrow gauge railways, this handsome hardcover book is sure to be a winner. Spring/Summer 2011”
 — Sn3 Modeler

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Lure of the Narrow Gauge
Mallets and Meter Gauge (1970)
Switzerland’s Leisurely Expresses (1977)
Narrow and Northerly: The White Pass & Yukon (1978)
Magic at Morro Grande (1984)
Wales: Really Narrow (1987)
The Old Patagonian Express (1988)
Rio Turbo, Coal Hauler (1988)
Switchbacks on the Devil’s Nose (1989)
The Silverton (1991)
A Fragile Treasure (1991)
Steaming Through the Harz Mountains (1994)
New Trains, Old Boats in Switzerland (1994)
Gauge Chaos Down-Under (1996)
Plowing into the Past (1997)
Through Mallorca’s Mountains (1998)
A Railway Reborn (2000)
Where Narrow Gauge is Standard (2000)
Near, Yet So Distant (2001)
Railway Brigadoon (2003)