It is possible I might have amassed the world’s largest collection of Egyptian railway tickets during my long stay in Egypt in the early 1990s. If you know better, I would love to know! I was lucky to live there just before most of these traditional old items were swept away during a twin round of computerisation and ticket office closures a few years later. There is a large range of Edmonson-style tickets and they are mostly only in Arabic. The ones I use here are mostly in English as well as Arabic. They tend to be older or for use for the superior classes such as 1st Class and 2nd Air-Conditioned Class.

These travels amid diverse landscapes of desert, river, city and countryside eventually resulted in my 2002 book Steel in the Sand. My aim is to showcase this type of ephemera, but also to stimulate your own memory and travel stories.