andrew osmond andrew at ozma.demon.co.uk
Sun Jun 23 03:29:17 EDT 2002

Kathleen Jennings <s368333 at student.uq.edu.au> writes

> I'm looking at, e.g. Prince
>Caspian/Voyage of the Dawntreader/Last Battle, Harry Potter, Railway
>Children, Bear called Paddington, school stories (e.g. Chalet School) -
>anything and everything which mentions or depicts trains, railway travel,

Bit off the beaten track, but there's a very famous Japanese children's
fantasy called Night on the Milky Way Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa. A
translation is available from amazon.co.uk, but it's rather pricey
(forty quid!) 
IMPORTANT: The above page has a useless 'synopsis' that spoils the plot,
so you might avert your eyes. There's also a cartoon version light-years
away from what people normally think of as anime. It's the version I
know and I think it's wonderful. It's only available as a US import, but
here's the relevant page (with better info):
(Also available dubbed and on DVD.)
For any anime fans out there, the imagery from Milky Way pervades a lot
of titles, including Evangelion and Hayao Miyazaki's new film Spirited
Away. There was also a popular Japanese comic, Galaxy Express 999, which
spawned a long-running TV cartoon and several films; it's more science-
fictional, but uses the central image of a train in space.
andrew osmond
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