David Baddiel Pic: Contributed
David Baddiel Pic: Contributed
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THE old railway ads used to recommend you ‘Let the train, take the strain,’ and that’s exactly what comedian and award-winning children’s author David Baddiel did when penning his latest kids’ story, The Girl Who Had Never Been On A Train.

Perhaps fittingly, the story was commissioned by Virgin Trains to help occupy little minds while travelling between Capitals and further afield, and is exclusively available via Beam, their on-board entertainment system.

The Girl Who Had Never Been On a Train, tells the tale of eleven year-old Chrissie who loves trains but has yet to travel on one.

When she finally does, with Grandpa Henry, to go to London for an important operation, her trip from Scotland to London turns out to be literally magical.

Baddiel travelled the East Coast line over the summer months to get inspiration from the passengers and staff for his tale, which is illustrated by Jim Field.

By spending time on the trains and interacting with passengers, he also unearthed people’s summer memories, which inspired his story.

“I’ve always loved trains. They may be my favourite form of transport,” he says.

“I also think trains are inspirational for the imagination, especially on a long journey like Edinburgh to London.

“In a way, I’d like a private train to stay on every day, as I think I write better on them than at home. I hope my readers like this new story, about a disabled girl who also loves trains, but has never actually been on one: till now.

“As is usual in my stories, something a bit weird and magical happens early on in the journey, and Chrissie gets taken somewhere she really didn’t expect to go - although it all takes place on the train. Rather like the writing of it.”

To read The Girl Who Had Never Been On A Train, passengers must access Beam, the on-board content hub where the story will be freely accessible to read on to their own device. Beam also features around 200 hours of films, TV, magazines and games.

So next time you find yourself travelling to London with the kids, let Virgin Trains’ Beam take the strain and fill the time in the company of Chrissie.