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Great British Railway Journeys

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Great British Railway Journeys

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Season 3

Saturdays from 24 August at 7:30pm Channel 017

In this series, Michael Portillo travels the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to see how the railways formed a framework for the business and culture of today. In the Victorian era, at a time when railways were new, George Bradshaw was a household name, and ‘Bradshaw’s Guidebook’ was the perfect travelling companion. Michael uses the guide to explore the landscape, industry, society and leisure time of modern Britain. Beginning with the grave robbing history of Great Yarmouth, he tries his hand working a Victorian swing bridge in Reedham. In Waltham Cross, he sees how gunpowder fuelled an empire, and uncovers the gruesome details of the first murder on a train in Hackney. He gets a special view of the city of Oxford, before making his way to Cardiff and Ireland later in the season. The series uncovers British history in a way it’s never been seen before, showing just how many stories go unnoticed a million times over on trips between big cities and small towns. In an age where everyone is looking at the destination, Michael’s experiences along the railway amplify how the journey just as important and encourages travellers to stop and take a closer look.