I recall reading a set of short stories many years ago. One of them concerned a train-load of people who crashed, yet the train continued on a journey to limbo. It culminated in the main character deciding to not believe in reality, and one of the other characters (an accountant or something) "killing" him for threatening the order of the universe. A bit confusing, but I am keen to re-discover the collection of stories. Can anyone help?

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    Hello, welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange! Please make sure you've checked out the tour, read How to Ask (and possibly How to Answer), as well as the Story-ID guidelines. What language did you read it in? Where were you when you read it? Medium? What does "killing" in quotes mean? Do you remember anything about any of the other stories? I hope you decide to stick around! – Mithical Mar 17 '18 at 21:53
  • Can you please narrow down what you mean by "many" years ago? Was it more like 20, 40, or 60 years ago? Was it a collection of stories by one author or various authors? – user14111 Mar 17 '18 at 22:30
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    Was it in a collection of ghost stories, or a collection of train stories, or a collection of spooky train stories? – user14111 Mar 17 '18 at 23:57
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    It was an English language story, paperback. It was probably 40 or 50 years ago. "killing" is in quotation marks as the people in the train were already dead, or in limbo. It was definitely set in England, and it may have been an underground train. It may have been a little Wyndham-ish in style? I have a hazy memory of another short story in the book concerning a bunch of men marooned on an island, and again discussing the nature of reality. – Brian Mar 18 '18 at 22:50

Pretty sure it was "Confidence Trick"

The premise was that the underground train had crashed. It seemed to the people inside that a lot had got out, but then they realised that the train wasn't stopping and that they had died and were going to an afterlife..

It was in John Wyndham's Jizzle collection https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizzle

Archive.org have the story in one of the scanned/OCR'd issues of Amazing Stories.

OCR https://archive.org/stream/Amazing_Stories_v42n05_1969-01/Amazing_Stories_v42n05_1969-01_djvu.txt

Other formats https://archive.org/details/Amazing_Stories_v42n05_1969-01

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  • Yes, I have the anthology Jizzle and the story Confidence Trick is a good match to the question. – John Rennie Mar 19 '18 at 12:37
  • Thanks a lot. I used to have this book, but not now. I really like Wyndham - I must have lent it to someone. – Brian Mar 20 '18 at 14:06

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