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Mr Raymond

I’m writing this blog on a moving train, so it’s a Toad first. I’m on the East Coast service from Edinburgh to London today, which will also be the start of my big trip as far as Newcastle as I am taking the boat from there to Amsterdam. So from the comfort of seat 31 in coach L, let me tell you about Mr Raymond.. I finally decided that I would get an agent to sort out my Beijing – Shanghai ticket, so I have got CTT based in Hong Kong on the case. The ticket has cost about £40 […]

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Shanghai Surprise

Preparing for blast off in Beijing (photo from Sydney Morning Herald) I loved the train information on the Beijing Travel website “Attendants on Beijing-Shanghai high speed train are aged 19 to 22 years with height above 165cm. All of these pretty girls have high education background with ability to speak both Chinese and English.” This sounds like my sort of train! The G (high speed) train looks quite different to the Trans-Siberian. Its going to cover the 1318 kilometres from Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao in 4 hours 48 minutes, travelling of speeds of up to 350 kmh. After a […]

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The secret key

The magic key and cork – an unlikely combination? The only reason I discovered the existence of the “golden key” was when I started looking into how to open the window to my compartment if it got too hot. I understand that in the winter it can do owing to the Russian desire for a “toasty feel” to the carriage. Given I’m hoping not to share my first SV compartment with anyone, there should be no arguments and I’m hoping to secretly get some ventilation. Rumours are to be found in several travel blogs that the key to the windows, […]

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