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Great Continental Railway Journeys

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Great Continental Railway Journeys

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Season 6

Saturdays from 15 December at 9.30pm Channel 017

Michael Portillo is armed with his Bradshaw guidebooks again, as he returns for a new season of Great Continental Railway Journeys. Picking up his 1913 Handbook on Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, Michael embarks on four spectacular railway journeys through India: from Amritsar to Shimla, Jodhpur to New Delhi, Lucknow to Kolkata and Mysuru to Chennai. Each travelogue explores a different region of the country, showcasing India’s majestic mountains, scorching desert and plains watered by holy rivers. Michael meets maharajas, explores ornate palaces and golden temples, rides some of the world’s most exhilarating trains and uncovers stories from India’s past, 70 years after India became the great independent nation it is today.

In the final two episodes, Michael returns to the Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide as he heads to two former Soviet republics at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and embarks on new railway journeys. In the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains, he starts in the Georgian city of Batumi on the Black Sea, travelling by rail to the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Further north, he explores the vast land of Ukraine, an independent country only since 1991. This is a country whose very name means ‘borderland’ and on the course of his journey, Michael learns about its long history of being torn between east and west.