Former Minister of State for Transport Michael Portillo takes to the tracks in the BBC documentary TV series Great British Railway Journeys, coming to DVD on 7th February 2011 from Fremantle Media Enterprises as a four-disc collection featuring all 20 half-hour episodes from the first series.
Passionate about trains, Michael Portillo embarks on four epic rail journeys, each split into five 'legs' or instalments, travelling the length and breadth of the UK as he retraces routes that were first documented in the early 1840s in the monthly railway guide, Bradshaw's Handbook. Along the way he witnesses all the things that have changed since the early days of rail transport and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains, discovering the effect the railways had on the public and finding out how the British love of trains all began.
Over the course of the four fascinating journeys - Liverpool to Scarborough (Liverpool to Eccles, Manchester to Bury, Todmorden to York, Pontefract to Bridlington, Filey to Scarborough); Preston to Kirkcaldy (Preston to Morecambe, Settle to Garsdale, Windermere to Kendal, Carlisle to Glasgow, Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy); Swindon to Penzance (Swindon to Bristol, Yatton to Weston-super-Mare, Torquay to Totnes, Bugle to Mevagissey, Truro to Penzance); and Buxton to London (Buxton to Matlock, Cromford to Burton, Walsall to Bournville, Coventry to Watford, St. Pancras to Westminster) - Michael learns to speak Scouse in Liverpool, finds out about the first railway fatality and explores the origins of the Eccles cake. He also reveals how the railways helped to create a national institution - fish and chips - travels back in time on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, searches for the last liquorice grower in Pontefract, fishes for sea bass, learns to decipher traditional knitting patterns in Filey and discovers how the trains transformed Newmarket's races, amongst other things.
An informative and entertaining series hosted by a uniquely enthusiastic guide with an obvious and infectious passion for the subject matter, Great British Railway Journeys makes for essential viewing for fans of series such as Coast, A Picture Of Britain, Great British Journeys and Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys.
- None or TBC
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.