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  • Location: London, Leighton Buzzard

The Railway Detective (1)

The Railway Detective (1)

Why a Booktrail?

1851: The great train robbery  – long before that of 1963

  • ISBN: 978-0749083526
  • Genre: Cosy crime

What you need to know before your trail

The railways are soaring in popularity but not everyone likes them. Then a train robbery takes place

London anticipates the grand opening of the Great Expedition, a festival which will bring fame and fortune to the capital city. The railways are a new engineering triumph but not for everyone.

A train carrying money and parcels to Birmingham is derailed and robbed. It’s clear that this was a meticulously planned robbery and Scotland Yard is called in.

When the train driver’s daughter disappears, things turn very ugly indeed

Travel Guide

Leighton Buzzard – The Great Train Robbery

Although the real life robbery took place in 1963, the one in the novel has many similarities and takes place in more or less the same location.

Leighton Buzzard is the nearest town. The train from London’s Euston station is on its way to Birmingham when it’s stopped and robbed. Two men on board are injured and the train’s takings are gone. A horrible experience in a remote part of track – remember in the 1800s this would have looked very different but have been probably even more remote.


The London of the time is a dark, harsh place to be. One of those the police wish to speak to is hunted down in Devil’s acre. A part of London which sits ‘cheek by jowl’ with the likes of Westminster but which is a haven for drunks and prostitutes and everything in between.

The Devil’s Acre was almost as menacing by day as by night. Danger lurked everywhere in its narrow streets”

The grander of the time however is linked to the railways as this is where the future of engineering and the development of the British landscape is to be found. Euston for example is described like  palace:

“Euston Station was one of the architectural marvels of the day”

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Railway Detective

Destination:  London, Leighton Buzzard  Author/Guide: Edward Marston  Departure Time: 1851

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