February 1, 2021

Cover reveal: Silver Streak

After what feels like an eternity of writing whilst living in lockdown here at the Engine Shed, things are starting to get really busy. Now that the book is with the publishing team, it’s great to have time to be able to update you on what’s coming. The book is called ‘Silver Streak: An adventure where the railroad and Hollywood collide’. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share just a few details about it today, marking the official reveal of the cover.

The cover has has been designed by Jake Colling. It’s a deliberately simpler look than some of my past books, but I feel it conveys what the book is about beautifully. I really hope you like it too? Please let me know.

What is the book about?

In early 2020 I completed a trip around the United States, following up on a shorter trip across America a couple of years before. The book is all about life travelling by long distance train, the history and workings of the railroad, and the people and places I met along the way. I have also linked many of these places to well known Hollywood films and tried to find the exact location that they were filmed. I also had some fairly weird weekends trying out things off the rails that took me right outside of my comfort zone. The back cover copy can be found on my book page.

There seem to be lots of interesting trains in the cover design. I thought all the Amtrak trains were the same?

Most long distance Amtrak trains run with a pair of Genesis locomotives up front, and a set of either single deck Viewliner carriages or duplex Superliners behind. However, the United States has many heritage railroads where you can enjoy a variety of classic trains, many of which are steam. In addition to Amtrak, there are also a couple of other rail operators, for example the amazingly cool New Mexico Rail Runner – it really does go ‘meep meep’!

Why did you choose to go to America?

After three big trips across Siberia into Asia, I needed something very different to write about. The United States seemed to fit the bill, with the combination of real scale, huge diversity, and for the first time a language which I mostly understood. America has a totally different dialect for its railroad though, so I have included a whole chapter on ‘rail speak’ in the book.

Were you travelling during COVID-19?

No, I returned to the United Kingdom just a few days before everything kicked off. I was very lucky that my trip was in normal times. Back then ‘The Donald’ was talking about some bug from China that he’d done a pretty good job making disappear.

Which route did you take?

All the detail will be coming along with a more detailed Q&A in the run up to the book launch – today I’m just pleased to have the cover officially revealed. However, a look around my blog will give you some good clues!

When is it being released?

I hope to have the date finalised by my publisher shortly, but I understand that it will most likely be on Monday 15th March 2021. As soon the book has gone to print it will be available for pre order on Amazon.

When will we hear more?

I’ll keep you posted on this blog and social media. You can also sign up to receive direct updates to your inbox on my homepage. Twitter is the best place to find me online – @OnTheRails .

3 Comments on “Cover reveal: Silver Streak

Mark wood
February 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

Look forward to reading new American trip Mathew ! Read your car East adventures great reads 👍

Rob Woodcock
February 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Can’t wait to read it and plan our own journey on the trains in America!

Ray Beal
February 27, 2021 at 10:58 am

Read other 3 books 3 to 4 times, each, fantastic style of writing; gripping reads. Looking forward to America book.
If I may be lavertorial: why faff about with with toilet roll, I have devised a travellers bidet using zip lock bags, a used, shampoo
bottle and a couple of camping flannel cut offs. Used it for over 40 years during my travels by bike train foot. tent hostel etc
I am now 84,still travelling, but not as much, ergo I read your books


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