The UK’s busiest and least used railways stations during 2015 have been named in a report issued by the Office of Rail and Road.
Trollope’s fiction, in spite of appearing during the Victorian era when railway mania took hold, features surprisingly little in the way of railway scenes. Perhaps he bowed to the pressure of his own creation Mrs Proudie, who frowned on railway travel on the Sabbath.
There is, of course, the railway speculation at the heart of Melmotte’s Ponzi scheme in The Way We Live Now, but that is located in the south-west of the USA and Mexico so it features more as a financial talking point than as a real presence.
In fact, the only truly dramatic railway scene is the end of the scoundrel Ferdinand Lopez who, like Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (published at the same time), calmly walks into the path of an express train thundering through fictional Ten Ways Junction in The Prime Minister. He travels the “six or seven miles north” to reach that station on a first class return ticket (was the return a ruse to forestall the label of “suicide”?) bought at Euston.
Euston, it is true does feature in the top ten busiest stations, coming in at number six, some distance behind the busiest station, Waterloo – through which, presumably, though I don’t recall it being named, Septimus Harding passed on his journey up to London in a doomed attempt to resolve his worries about his role as The Warden.