by Zoë Pollock

Tony Judt waxed poetic about trains and the railways that carried them:

They were about travel as pleasure, travel as adventure, travel as the archetypical modern experience. Patrons and clients were not supposed to just buy a ticket and go; they were meant to linger and imagine and dream (which is one reason why “platform tickets” came into being and were very much used). That is why stations were designed, often quite deliberately, on the model of cathedrals, with their spaces and facilities divided into naves, apses, side chapels, and ancillary offices and rituals. 

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.