Book review

ALMOST every country with a railway appears in this Japanese-language overview, including those such as Lebanon where services have long been suspended but are theoretically not quite dead.

An outline history of each country's rail network is given, with a map and information on train operators. Each entry is illustrated with a range of photos highlighting the variety of the world's trains, stations and infrastructure.

Exotic and far-flung locations appear among the well-known views within the 344 pages. Rails on the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge illustrate the existence of a short section of disconnected railway in Laos, albeit with no services or further links, and a map shows the proposed Libyan network.

A table summarises the railways of each country, and a glossary translates important acronyms into Japanese.

Japan Railway Technical Service