luggage was waiting for me, and I had no difficulty
in finding the carriage which Holmes had indicated,
the less so as it was the only one in the train which
was marked "Engaged."-- Dr. John H. Watson
Holmes usually traveled by Hansom cab, which was often the
quickest way to anywhere he wanted to go, but he also
made use of the local London Metropolitan Railway system
known as the "Underground." Baker Street Station
was just "around the corner" from his digs,
providing a convenient portal to local public transportation,
such as in REDH
where Holmes takes the Underground to Aldersgate.
longer journeys, the detective and his chronicler
could use the extended train service, reaching
far into the countryside.
the evening, railways could be seen from a distance,
lit by their red signal-lamps such as at Wandsworth
Common in GREE.
had several classes, just as they do today. When
possible, Holmes and Watson traveled in first
class, often having a compartment to themselves
or at least Pullman car "corner seats"
(SILV, BOSC ).
and Watson take a first class carriage on the
Continental Express while Moriarty is hot on their
tail, having engaged a (much more expensive) Special
- thus being a testament to how well Moriarty's
crime syndicate paid the bills.
related crime sometimes crossed Holmes' radar, such
as the railroad-related death in BRUC
or the case involving the Engineer's Thumb (ENGI).
The latter case was brought to Holmes' attention by
Dr. Watson after he had married and moved to the Paddington
District, close to Paddington Station.
practice profited from its relative closeness to the
station as he "got a few
patients from among the [railroad] officials. One of
these, whom I had cured of a painful and lingering disease,
was never weary of advertising my virtues, and of endeavouring
to send me on every sufferer over whom he might have
any influence. One morning, at a little before seven
o'clock, I was awakened by the maid tapping at the door,
to announce that two men had come from Paddington, and
were waiting in the consulting room. I dressed hurriedly,
for I knew by experience that railway cases were seldom
trivial, and hastened downstairs" (ENGI).
Holmes makes a mental exercise of calculating the rate
of travel by using the telegraph poles (which are 60
yards apart). Scholars can't quite agree on how he did
this "simple" calculation, but it surely helped
him pass a moment or two of time. Holmes also took his
slew of papers on the train, reading them to pass the
time and stuffing them under the seat when he was done.
Watson, on the other hand, passes the time with a relaxing
OF TRAIN TRAVEL:
to Leatherhead train (ENGI,
Bradshaw to Winchester train (COPP)
Paddington to Dartmoor (SILV)
Winchester to London (SILV)
Paddington to Boscombe Valley (Near Ross) (BOSC)
Waterloo to Woking (NAVA)
Portsmouth to London (NAVA)
London to Canterbury (FINA)
Canterbury to Newhaven (FINA)
"A short railway journey" (BERY)
on the types of trains and engines used in and around
London at this time is most welcome.