Railways Of The Great War

June 2018

Season 1 Episode 2 - Railways And Railwaymen Called To Action

3.0 0 x
Michael travels to the north east to find out about the brave railwaymen who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Then it’s on to Banbury where the railways’ manufacturing expertise turned a crisis into a victory. In Hampshire, Michael meets the proud son of a railwayman who, as a Royal Engineer, taught soldiers to be railwaymen and trained railwaymen to be soldiers. Finally, on the south coast he meets the big guns that turned the tide of war.

Season 1 Episode 1 - A Railway War Begins

4.0 0 x
Michael Portillo travels through Britain and northern Europe uncovering railway stories from the Great War. In this first episode, Michael begins his quest in Metz on European tracks built with war in mind, charts the birth of the railway war at a small station in Luxembourg and discovers how Britain’s railways coped with the challenge of sending thousands of troops to join the conflict from Southampton. Finally, he returns to France to learn how the early war of movement gave way to the stalem...
October 2017

Season 1 Episode 5 - Railways And Remembrance

Expired 4.0 9 x
In this final episode, Michael explores the aftermath of this earth-shattering conflict. For four years, the railways had fed the front line with vast numbers of men, munitions and supplies. But even after the Armistice had been signed in a railway carriage, the work of the railways was not done. As Britain continued to mourn its dead the railways played an important part in their remembrance. Michael hears stories of the railways’ war heroes and meets a remarkable railway wagon, used to honour...

Season 1 Episode 4 - On Track To Victory

Expired 4.0 4 x
Michael travels to Bristol Temple Meads to hear a first-hand account from the front line, then in Yorkshire he discovers how women took over railwaymen’s roles and literally began to wear the trousers. He finds out about the extraordinary exploits of Belgian trainspotters who spied on enemy rail movements and hears how the end of the war also marked the decline of the railways.

Season 1 Episode 3 - Keeping The War Moving

Expired 3.0 8 x
In this episode Michael travels through Britain uncovering railway stories from the Great War. In this third episode, Michael gets hands on experience of the miniature tracks and trains that kept supplies flowing to the front line and visits North Eastern Railway Headquarters in York to find out about the Great War’s forgotten railway leader. He hears the story of the Bath railway poet and pays homage at the site of Britain’s deadliest train crash in Quintinshill. Finally, Michael crosses the...