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Narrow-gauge railroading conjures images of marginal track, wooden coaches, and antique steam locomotives. Yet consider the extraordinarily glamorous and comfortable South African Blue Train and Australia's Queenslander as well as the electrified network of meter-gauge mountain railways in Switzerland that run with a precision similar to that of the country's famed timepieces. Often used to penetrate the most challenging and breathtaking terrain that larger trains are unable to reach, narrow-gauge railways offer even the most seasoned of travelers an experience to remember. Karl Zimmermann, railroad author and accomplished photographer, chronicles his journeys aboard these rarest of trains. Individual chapters weave history and travelogue, complemented by more than 170 color illustrations. The result is a spirited tribute to the world's most charismatic railways.
Karl Zimmermann has been a contributor to the travel sections of various newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He is author of The GrandLuxe Express (Indiana University Press, 2007).