The magic of trains and travel in children’s stories Chapter uri icon

Book Title

  • Railway Heritage and Tourism: Global Perspectives


  • Trains play a prominent role in a number of children’s stories. Sometimes they are the main characters, such as the engines in the Reverend Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine series, and sometimes they are an important plot device, such as the train taken by pupils to Hogwarts School in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The use of steam trains in children’s stories plays on the idea that steam train travel is mysterious and romantic, with wreaths of smoke, mysterious small compartments and a loud whistle warning of danger. An interesting paradox exists whereby most trains in children’s stories are steam-powered, yet no one travels by steam train any more. The exceptions are tourists. They travel on steam trains, journeying back to the world of childhood.

publication date

  • 2014