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Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:36:07 EST Luton, Bedfordshire, England - Richard Branson's Virgin may be about to lose the contract for the UK's WestCoast mainline railway, but a new Kindle novel by former rail worker Paul Gallimore may yet make him smile.
The Mary Celeste Papers is a humorous yarn set in the 1970's against a backdrop of Britain's unions-dominated, nationalised railway. According to the author the jury is still out over whether private rail companies are better than the state owned version. 'When I was an apprentice I can recall the old railway guys telling me how bad the railway was when it was run by private companies. They thought that the nationalised railway was much better, but then it went full-circle and got privatised again. Personally, I can see virtue and vice in both setups.'
Gallimore's book, draws strongly on his teenaged experiences in British Rail depots yet, surprisingly for a semi-biographical work, there are a couple of famous maritime mysteries woven into a plot that even involves the CIA and the Mafia. He explains, 'The old London-Midland apprenticeships were great, as the railway used to send us around all of their depots. We saw the railway at its best and at its worst and there were certainly some stories.'
So, what inspired this 57-year old Luton based engineer to write about his experiences and how did the plot come about? 'The story is really a homage to the Railway and a look back on something that I remember fondly, my teens for one thing. But despite all of the true tales that I put into the book, I also wanted to write about a couple of other things that interested me at that time, so I married them together in The Mary Celeste Papers.' More author details are available at www.TheMaryCelestepapers.com
Does he imagine that Richard Branson's struggling enterprise is much like the railway that he knew? 'I imagine Virgin is a lot more efficient and hard working,' he replies, 'and I don't suppose too many coaches get accidentally shunted backwards into the office buildings, as they did on at least one occasion when I was there.'
The Mary Celeste Papers is available on Amazon Kindle.
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Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Luton, Bedfordshire, England - Richard Branson's Virgin may be about to lose the contract for the UK's WestCoast mainline railway, but a new Kindle novel by former rail worker Paul Gallimore may yet make him smile.