Best Railway Books | For Train Enthusiasts [2024]

by | Last modified on Jan 11, 2024 | HD

Finding the perfect book for a train enthusiast can be difficult, especially with so many fantastic options to choose from. To make this process easier for you, I’ll share my curated list of the best railway books for 2023. 

Whether you’re a train superfan or searching for the perfect gift for one, you’ve clicked on the right post. Each book on my list offers a unique look into the world of trains. I’ve sorted my list into 3 sections:

  • Best non-fiction railway books
  • Best fiction railway books
  • Best railway books for children

Best Non-Fiction Railway Books:

1. The Iron Road: An Illustrated History of the Railroad

Buy Here
Author: Christian Wolmar

Christian Wolmar is well-known for his comprehensive and well-researched books on trains. He starts with the inception of the steam locomotive and even talks about the creation of modern high-speed trains. “The Iron Road” covers everything a train enthusiast needs to know and includes beautiful illustrations and captivating storytelling. 

2. Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World 

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RRP: £11.99
Author: Tom Zoellner

This next railway book I recommend explores the impact of trains on human history and various societies. Zoellner has an engaging writing style that makes reading non-fiction easy and fun. And, his attention to detail really shows just how much trains have shaped travel, industrialization, global culture, and our day-to-day lives!

3. The Great Railway Bazaar 

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RRP: £10.99
Author: Paul Theroux

This next train book is a little different from the other books on this list. But, it’s a great choice for train enthusiasts who are interested in traveling by train. In this classic railroad book, the author takes readers on his railway journey across the world. Theroux’s vivid descriptions of the people, places, and experiences he encounters make this book unique and unforgettable. So, I highly suggest looking into this book as a present!

4. The Railway Station: A Social History

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RRP: £9.99 (Paperback)
Author: Jeffrey Richards and John M. Mackenzie

For more serious train enthusiasts and history lovers, this final non-fiction book really goes into depth and explains the social impact of railways. Published by Oxford University, “The Railway Station” gives readers plenty of historical information to sink their teeth into!

Best Fiction Railway Books: 

1. Murder on the Orient Express 

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RRP: £14.99 
Author: Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express” is a must-read for any train enthusiast. It follows Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder aboard the luxurious Orient Express. Agatha Christie, who is well-known for her masterful plotting and intriguing characters, makes this book well worth your time. This railway-based mystery fiction will have you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

2. Mugby Junction

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RRP: £3.95
Author: Charles Dickens

For centuries, trains have captured our imagination with their rhythmic clatter, powerful engines, and winding tracks. Some of the most celebrated authors in history have written about railroads, this includes Charles Dickens! This collection of short stories centers around trains and contains stories of mystery, adventure, and even ghosts. It’s also another great choice for train enthusiasts as it gives readers a glimpse into railroads during the 19th century! 

3. Stories of The Railway 

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RRP: £4.99
Author: VL Whitechurch 

This next collection of railway-themed stories is an absolute gem! Especially for anyone who appreciates train journeys and the mysteries they can hold. Whitechurch’s storytelling is enchanting and suspenseful. He easily transports readers to a world where every train ride hides secrets waiting to be unravelled. 

4. The Whistler

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RRP: £8.99
Author: John Grisham

The Whistler” combines intrigue, corruption, and a subplot about railroads. For people who like thrilling legal dramas and trains, this is a great gift. There are tons of twists and turns that keep you hooked. The story also delves into the complexities of land rights and the potential impacts on a nearby railway project, which I think will really interest train enthusiasts. 

Best Railway Books for Children: 

1. Thomas the Tank Engine Series 

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RRP: £40.00
Author: Rev. W. Awdry

No list of railway books for kids would be complete without mentioning the “Thomas the Tank Engine” series. These iconic stories follow the adventures of Thomas and his group of friends. And, with its colorful illustrations and relatable characters, these books are perfect for introducing young readers to the world of trains!

2. Locomotive 

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RRP: £14.23
Author: Brian Floca

“Locomotive” is a delightfully illustrated picture book that takes young readers on a journey through the building of the transcontinental railroad. Its detailed artwork and fun text will teach kids more about the history of railroads. Readers can also see what challenges are involved in railroad construction and how people in the 19th century completed this amazing task.

3. The Little Engine That Could 

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RRP: £4.99
Author: Watty Piper

You can’t go wrong with”The Little Engine That Could“. This charming children’s book follows a small blue engine as it takes on a seemingly impossible task. With its timeless message of perseverance, this story has been a favourite among children for generations.

Children who love trains will really enjoy the colourful train images and illustrations. Even if your kids don’t like trains, the messages of this book will capture their attention.

4. The Railway Children

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RRP: £8.99
Author: E. Nesbit

For older kids, I suggest getting “The Railway Children“. It’s a chapter book with a heartwarming story about family, and it also focuses on railways! This beloved tale follows the adventures of three siblings who move to the countryside after their father is falsely imprisoned. The railway that runs nearby becomes a central part of their lives as they embark on adventures and learn important life lessons.

I hope you’ve found this list of the best railway books, fiction and non-fiction, helpful. Happy reading!

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Bex Band

Bex Band

Welcome to my blog! I'm an award-winning adventurer, bestselling author and founder of Love Her Wild. My work and adventures have featured in BBC, The Guardian and Condé Nast. I love nothing more than travelling and getting outdoors on solo and family adventures. Using my years of experience, I provide advice and inspiration on various topics, including wild camping, charity challenges, glamping and travel itineraries.


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