The Three Ages of Man | #TBU11

So quite a few of us in the travel blogging community made it to Manchester for the Travel Bloggers Unite Conference at the weekend. I’ve loads of video, audio and written commentary to ply you all with alongside my usual content this week. But, at the request of @BudgetTraveller, I thought it would be quite amusing to put this up first:

The wonderful @BudgetTraveller, @traveldudes and @velvetescape listening intently on the panel at #TBU11.

Love in the Asylum | Funk Russia

I love the Station Sessions, every Thursday 6pm- 7pm at St. Pancras Station. Clearly, as a blogger wot blogs about trains, stations are one of my favourite places to hang out. This band, Love in the Asylum were brilliant. They are now my new favourite band. Here they are performing ‘Funk Russia.’

#Blog4NZ | A sign near Kaikoura

As many of you know by now, and as I was helpfully reminded by @kevinlukemay in his blog post this morning (via @rtwflights), today until Wednesday 23rd, the travel blogging conglomerate will be celebrating all things New Zealand, to promote tourism to the country after the devastating earthquake there. You can find details at: http://blog4nz.indietravelmedia.com/

I went to New Zealand in 2006 and loved it very much. While I scour my notes to prepare a more in-depth train-related NZ post, I thought I’d share this sign I saw near Kaikoura with you:

The New Stansted Express Rolls Out of Liverpool Street

Once again, my lovely conductor friend @theflob has provided me with some fantastic photos for the blog. Here are some pictures he took of the shiny new Stansted Express before its maiden voyage. They had a red carpet and everything. I’ll have to take one of the trains to see how spectacular they truly are. Wonder where my brother flies out from at the end of the month…

Smart Uniform. Photo: @theflob

That red carpet shot…

For me? You shouldn't have. Photo: @theflob

The lucky fella even jumped aboard so we get to see inside…

Interior Shot. Photo: @theflob

Thanks Mark!

Monday 7th March 2011 | Last Week in Trains

I begin with a story I saw yesterday, when @GoldenTours tweeted it. 19 year-old mother Ulrike Kracht was taking her luggage off a Deutsche Bahn train in Germany, when the automatic doors closed. Her daughter Marie Luise was still inside.

Deutsche Bahn employees banged on the doors as Ulrike panicked, but when she asked them to radio the driver to hold the train, she was told the train ‘must run on schedule.’ The train pulled away with her daughter on board and travelled for an hour to Neurippin without Ulrike, who was in a police car racing alongside it. You can read the full story in the Telegraph here.

Over in Japan, the new Hayabusa (which translates as ‘peregrine’) bullet train has been launched. It operates at 185mph. Demand for travel on the first day was so great that one ticket sold for nearly £3,000 on the internet. For an additional charge, passengers can travel GranClass – in which there are leather seats, personal reading lights and an unlimited supply of alcoholic drinks. I’m not sure how much of a good idea the all-you-can-drink option is, but it sounds fancy. To read the full Sky News article which features an exciting video of the dolphin-esque train click here.

Southeastern Trains announced that it’s going to put 60 extra trains into service to carry passengers to London for the Virgin London Marathon, Sunday 17th April. Extra services will run from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge to Blackheath, Greenwich and Maze Hill. To read the Rail.co report click here.