RAILDATE 2022.10.14

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Thank you to this week's contributors.

Where is this?

A new poser: The OS map is from the 1950s. It shows a town/city with criss-crossing railways and three stations. Where is it? Answers by email. Prize: None.

Where was I last week?

The answer to last week's poser is Woodbridge, Suffolk. Congratulations to Richard Maund (first) and Ian Bromley for supplying the correct answer.

Woodbridge is a charming medieval town on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line at the head of the River Deben estuary. Sutton Hoo nearby is where it is believed King Rædwald of East Anglia was buried in 624 in his longboat surrounded by his finery. A replica seaworthy boat is taking shape in a Woodbridge boatyard. saxonship.org


UK television listings with a transport theme for the next eight days

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Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor sets off from Seattle on an Amtrak Cascades train into Canada, where he is struck by the beauty of Vancouver and the warmth of the locals. He then takes a two-day rail journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. While the other passengers relax and enjoy the luxury service, Tony is put to work in its kitchen. Lastly, he travels via Alaska to the small town of Talkeetna. Boarding a float plane, Tony flies over snow-covered mountains to reach the base of the Alaskan glaciers, where he witnesses the impact of climate change up close

Channel Tunnel: Life On The Inside -:- With up to 400 trains a day on its 62 miles of track, the channel tunnel is the busiest railway system in the world - and doing things at the double is key to its success

Cheyenne -:- The wandering cowboy is hired to guard a payroll being transported by rail. But when the train is robbed, a man shot during the hold-up names Cheyenne as the perpetrator

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Broadcaster Chris Tarrant continues his travels along the world's most challenging railways. Here he attempts to cross the Andes, setting off from the coast of Chile and heading for the Bolivian capital of Sucre. Along the way he traverses some of the driest and most inhospitable environments on the planet, hitches rides on unusual trains and deals with altitude sickness at more than 3,000 metres

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris journeys a thousand miles across Japan, starting out in Nagasaki, where the story of eastern railways began 150 years ago with the help of an enterprising Brit. In Fukuoka, he visits one of the Bullet Train's giant repair centres and in Hiroshima, he unravels what happened to its streetcar network after the world's first atomic bomb devastated the city. Along the way, Chris also meets a superstar cat and a singing conductor, while also checking into a popular trainspotter hotel and riding a steam-powered mountain railway

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris sets out to reach the northernmost railway station on Earth, inside Russia's Arctic Circle. This is an epic 2,000-mile adventure from Moscow into Arctic Siberia, and begins with a marathon 19-hour leg. Along the way he enjoys a reindeer stew with a local family and takes the controls of one of the massive locomotives that power the trains, before pressing on along railways built under the brutal regime of Joseph Stalin

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris takes a railway trip across Canada, revealing how 2,500 miles of transcontinental railway was built against huge odds in just a few decades, helping to join together a vast wilderness of isolated communities and create the country that exists today. He begins his journey on one of the earliest sections of track to be built, on a train that is now a lifeline for hunters and fishermen. He then sees one of the biggest, most famous trains in the world - the Canadian, before heading for the Prairies, and on to the port of Vancouver. Along the way he also searches for Winnie the Pooh, crosses raging rivers and meets the descendant of a pioneering Yorkshire family who arrived here more than 100 years ago

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris Tarrant returns for more train journeys through some of the world's most challenging terrain. He heads to the Arctic for a trip along the Alaska Railroad, but as he arrives in the port of Seward, it's not a great start as there are no trains running, so he ends up hitching a ride with a track inspector's car. He continues his journey on a freight train heading for Anchorage, Alaska's biggest city, and finally heads north on the Aurora passenger train to the town of Healy. Along the way he checks out the tiny village of Eklutna, which has great importance for the indigenous inhabitants, and goes for an intrepid fishing trip on a thawing frozen lake

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris travels through Argentina, starting his journey at British-built railway station in Buenos Aires and taking an overnight train to the pampas lowlands. In the major port of Bahia Blanca, Chris meets four veterans of the Falklands War and finds out what the locals now think about the British, before ending his journey by riding La Trochita, known in English as the Old Patagonian Express

Derelict Rescue -:- From crumbling railway stations to abandoned RAF bases, enthusiastic families across the UK are turning neglected relics into a unique place to live

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam -:- The revolution in transport brought about by steam power, charting the technology's development from the earliest colliery railways, through the first passenger train services and to the end of an era in the 1960s

Great Asian Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's 2,500-mile railway tour of South-east Asia reaches its southern most point in Indonesia, with stop-offs in Java and Jakarta among the highlights. Michael uncovers Indonesia's colonial past as part of a Dutch empire and its rich history as a port and centre of the spice trade, negotiates the city's infamous traffic, takes a ride on the newly launched MRT metro and dines like a local, on Jakarta's famous street food

Great Asian Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's next leg begins in Ho Chi Minh City, where he uncovers the traumatic 20th-century history of Vietnam, a country that went from a French colony to a socialist republic. He also braves the city streets on a motorcycle, samples French-Vietnamese fusion food, and tries his hand at the national sport, Da Cau. Moving on to the Annamite Mountains west of Da Nang, Michael joins modern Vietnamese on holiday in a quirky facsimile of a medieval French village. Then, in the tailoring capital of Hoi An, Michael sees how Cham weavers make their distinctive brocade

Great Asian Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo tours the imperial city of Hue, crosses the former demilitarised zone that once separated North from South Vietnam, and takes a boat ride on the Red River Delta. Approaching Vietnamese capital Hanoi aboard the Unification Railway, Michael passes the famous street where the locomotive passes within centimetres of the houses either side of the tracks. He also visits a former Soviet factory that once supplied military uniforms to the North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong, which now makes sportswear for the United States Olympic team. He ends this leg at the limestone islets and turquoise waters of Halong Bay

Great Asian Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo visits the Thai capital of Bangkok, where he learns how the late 19th-century King Rama V built a grand palace and introduced railways to the country. Michael also learns that King Rama V's love of steam engines was inspired by Queen Victoria. Moving on, the presenter also confronts his fear of snakes to assist in a surgical operation on a venomous king cobra and steps into the ring to learn Muay Thai boxing

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo begins his journey to the Isle of Man from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, and examines the cross-border history of the town. Plus, he hears the story of the Pitman Painters of Ashington and learns about the perils of working on the rails in Victorian times

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues following the route Queen Victoria took from Windsor Castle to the Isle of Wight, and reveals the oil fields hidden beneath some of England's seaside resorts. During his journey, he also explores the role the Dorset town of Weymouth played in the D-Day landings during the Second World War, and visits the site of Victorian Britain's most famous building rock in Portland

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey along the route of the historic Irish mail service from Ledbury to Holyhead, stopping off in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, to visit the world's first iron bridge. He also explores Wrexham's Chirk Castle, and tries his hand at making traditional Cheshire cheese

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo discovers micro-mines hidden in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and finds out why the Victorians were so enamoured with Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley along the border between England and Wales. Plus, he investigates the railway engineering behind the Newport Transporter Bridge

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo discovers the importance of Cardiff's Victorian coal heritage to the city's development. He also finds out why Barry Island has been attached to the mainland since the 19th century, and takes a steam ride through the Brecon Beacons National Park

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on another journey around the nation with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook to discover how the railways have affected people and find out what remains of Bradshaw's Britain. He begins by exploring Brighton's Victorian aquarium, the underground quarries of Godstone, Surrey, and the wonders of the Crystal Palace in suburban south-east London

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the next leg of his journey, learning about the London Necropolis Railway, a funeral service that transported coffins from Waterloo to Surrey's Brookwood Cemetery from 1854 to 1941. He also discovers how London's West End became a popular shopping destination in the 19th century and examines the changing fortunes of the city's docks

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the second leg of his journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Isle of Man, beginning in the Northumberland village of Bardon Mill. He follows in the footsteps of Victorian archaeologists at Hadrian's Wall, discovers how the introduction of ticket machines transformed 19th-century train travel and learns about the impact of railways on the west Cumbrian town of Wigton

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo ends his journey across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by walking across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Co Antrim. He then follows in the footsteps of the Victorians at Giant's Causeway, and explores the history of Londonderry

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo ends his journey through the west of England and south Wales by exploring the connection between the Victorian railway and Port Talbot's steelworks. He then follows the trail of 19th-century waterfall hunters in Neath, and reveals Milford Haven's whaling past

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores the rich history of Belfast's Victorian docks, learns about a 150-year-old spade-making tradition and takes a walk along coastal paths of Whitehead, Co Antrim

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores the Victorians' fascination with antiquity as he continues his tour of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He visits the cromlech stones of Dundalk, Co Louth, and an observatory in Co Armagh, and travels on the steam railway in Downpatrick, Co Down

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo goes fishing at Ely in Cambridgeshire with the last remaining eel trapper on the Fens, and visits the Denver Sluice, one of the great triumphs of 19th-century engineering. In the Norfolk town of King's Lynn, he uncovers an ambitious plan to reclaim the Wash in Victorian times

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo has a go at playing Winchester Cathedral's Victorian organ as he continues his tour of Britain's railways. He also goes behind the scenes at a rail works in Eastleigh that began operating in the 19th century, and travels to the Isle of Wight, one of Queen Victoria's favourite holiday destinations

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo heads to Cumbria, where he visits the Sellafield site that reprocesses fuel from nuclear reactors, drinks a Victorian brew made from the waters of Cockermouth and explores a Japanese-inspired garden created in the 19th century

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo journeys from Brockenhurst to Poole. He heads to the New Forest, where he seeks venomous adders, discovers a library in Wimborne containing rare books and visits 19th-century potteries that are still trading today

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets off from Dereham in Norfolk on the final leg of his journey to the seaside town of Cromer. Along the way he gets the opportunity to drive a heritage diesel train, discovers why Norfolk black turkeys appeared on the Victorian Christmas menu, and samples classic Cromer crab

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets off on a journey from Oxford, through the Malvern Hills toward south Wales. He gets a special view of the city of Oxford, and discovers a unique and colourful crop in the Cotswolds

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets out to follow the route of the historic Irish mail service from Ledbury in Herefordshire to Holyhead on Anglesey. He begins by tasting the Victorian drink perry, meeting a pedigree Hereford bull and visiting the world's first iron-framed building in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's tour takes him to Alton, Hampshire, where he samples Victorian super food, explores Whitchurch Silk Mill, which has remained untouched for more than 150 years, and drives a steam train on the challenging Watercress Line

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from the Co Meath town of Enfield to the east coast port of Drogheda in Co Louth. He explores the railway network within the Bog of Allen, learns about the Victorian secrets of the Boyne Viaduct, and ventures into underground zinc mines

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo visits the Worcestershire village of Hartlebury, which was once home to a bishop who captured Queen Victoria's attention, on the second leg of his journey from Oxford to the south Wales coast. He also investigates the secrets of Worcestershire sauce and learns why the Malvern Hills were popular with 19th-century health enthusiasts

Great British Railway Journeys -:- The second leg of Michael Portillo's journey from Liverpool to Scarborough takes him from Manchester to Bury. Along the way, he finds out about the life of Victorian train enthusiast George Bradshaw, gets fitted for a trilby hat in Denton, and learns how railways helped contribute to the nation's love affair with fish and chips

Great British Railway Journeys -:- The third leg of Michael Portillo's journey from Brighton to Cromer begins in the London borough of Enfield, where he visits the Royal Small Arms Factory, the largest machine shop in Europe in the Victorian era. He then discovers the influence of trains on horse racing in Newmarket, and heads to Cambridge to find out why it could be considered the birthplace of football

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on a Greek odyssey from the Athens port of Piraeus, north to the city of Thessaloniki, exploring the Acropolis and sampling moussaka and baklava on the way. He also discovers the parlous state of Greek finances at the time of his 1913 Continental Railway Guide, and learns how an aristocratic English poet became a Greek national hero

Japan Railway Journal -:- Moka Railway north of Tokyo is famous for its steam locomotive - however, inspection and maintenance are very costly. See how the railway keeps its locomotives running despite these difficult times.

Japan Railway Journal -:- Tobu Railway has been restoring a steam locomotive to enhance the operation of their popular tourist train - see all the work that was done over three years to restore the old iron horse.

Railroad Alaska -:- A train hauling the biggest load ever moved on the Alaska Railroad suffers a communication shutdown, which leaves the locomotive hurtling towards a 'dead zone'

Railroad Alaska -:- The arrival of the spring thaw puts railroad staff on high alert, and crossing the Hurricane Gulch causes a freight train to stall on the line's highest bridge

Sar-Threanaichean/Mega Trains -:- The continuous push for even higher speeds on the French railways, which began back in the 1950s with the CC 7100 series and its electric locomotive

Steam Train Britain -:- At the South Devon Railway, Andy Leech and Liz Turner host afternoon tea for 44 passengers. In East Lancashire, volunteer Chandra Law takes on the new role of Stationmaster

Steam Train Britain -:- Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway are celebrating their annual Victorian Weekend, while in south Devon, silver service waiter Andy Leech runs the three-course Sunday lunch

The Big Bang Theory -:- Leonard and Howard attempt to distract Sheldon with a trip to a historic railway when he slows the progress of their work on the Air Force guidance system. Raj and Stuart look after baby Halley, while Penny and Amy take Bernadette out

Union Pacific (1939) -:- The overseer of a railway construction falls for a woman who is secretly involved with someone else, leading to tense confrontations and soul searching as the love triangle develops further. Melodrama, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Robert Preston, Akim Tamiroff and Antony Quinn

Walks Around Britain -:- Series featuring inspirational walks between from around Britain. Andrew White walks on a disused railway in the Peak District and alongside the Caledonian Canal

Witness -:- Documentary. As Ukraine's railways come under attack by Russian bombs, Ira leads her crew on a rescue mission to the frontline.

World's Greatest Inventions -:- The idea of underground railways, which were initially ridiculed, only to change the world as giant drills cut through the earth and electric trains were used

World's Greatest Train Journeys from Above -:- Aerial footage of railway journeys, exploring spectacular scenery and engineering, and meeting the people who live and work alongside them. In the opening episode, the Glacier Express is filmed from above, winding along alpine peaks to connect St Moritz and Zermatt. Engineers battle deep snow drifts, harness the latest tech to protect the line from landslides, and set explosives to guard against deadly avalanches

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- A journey from the Mexican border at San Diego, following the Californian coast north to the city of San Luis Obispo, aboard the aptly named Pacific Surfliner. Pulled by a gleaming Siemens Charger locomotive, the rake of five double-deck coaches takes viewers on a 350-mile trip. Narrated by Bill Nighy

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- A magical mid-summer railway journey through central Sweden starts in Mora on the Inlandsbanan. This traditional town is in the county of Dalarna, the heart of Swedish traditional culture and often known as 'Sweden in miniature'. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- An epic 10-day expedition through Africa on a train made up of 18 vintage coaches, travelling from Walvis Bay in Namibia through the Kalahari Desert to Pretoria, South Africa. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- A six-hour journey through Yorkshire to Northumbria and the Borders onboard the Tornado, enjoying some of the best food and luxury service that trains can offer. While in Northumbria there is the chance to discover local traditions such as Craster's famous smokery and kippers, and step back in time to delve into the wonders that lie beneath the sand at Bamburgh

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- A trip from the Kyle of Lochalsh, a tiny fishing village on the far west coast of Scotland. The journey heads east across the Highlands, then turns south through the whisky country of Speyside to Aberdeen, Scotland's oil capital

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Bill Nighy narrates a trip along the Far North Line between Inverness and Wick, a four-hour ride that travels 167 miles along the coast. There is a stop at Beauly for a visit to a renowned tartan tailors and a spot of fly fishing, as well as a look at Dunrobin Castle, the abode of the Duke of Sutherland, who built part of the railway and then fancied himself a castle styled like a French chateau

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Cameras focus on a railway that weaves in and out of England and Wales aboard the grande dame of luxury heritage trains, the Northern Belle. This historic adventure charts the story of two ancient nations from Norman times to the industrial revolution. Viewers meet the Fron Choir by Cefn Mawr viaduct and swap wheels for water to travel across the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, a huge stream in the sky. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Cameras focus on Austria's stunning Transalpine railway, which crosses the snowy peaks of the Tirol. Our journey begins in the historic city of Graz and heads west through famous alpine beauty spots, including Zell am Zee, where the sounds of yodelling still echo across pristine mountain valleys. The final stretch passes through the 10.6- kilometre Arlberg Tunnel. Narrated by Bill Nighy

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Cameras follow a train route from Bergen to Oslo, through the extraordinary mountains of southern Norway in winter. This super-fast train travels daily to the country's capital, and first stop is Dale - a place where Norway's most famous knitters design and craft the country's famous jumpers. The final stop is Sandvika, where Monet painted around 30 scenes. Narrated by Bill Nighy

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Following the Neapolitan Line in Italy, travelling west from the seaside town of Pescara, through the remote and wild Apennine Mountains down to the bustling city of Naples on the west coast. Rising into the Apennines on coaches that date back to the 1920s, winter descends, on a section of the line given the nickname of Italy's Trans-Siberian

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Globe-trotting documentary featuring a coast-to-coast journey through the Australian outback. On board the iconic Indian Pacific, cameras focus on the spectacular Blue Mountains. There's also a look at one of the oldest steam railways in Australia, the Zig Zag Railway. Narrated by Bill Nighy

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- In Anchorage, Alaska, cameras focus on flagship service the Denali Star, a luxury passenger train and part of the great Alaska Railroad fleet. The vehicle then heads north along the Knik Arm, and crosses this huge sea inlet to enter the vast wilderness of Alaska, America's largest and remotest state. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- Starting a mile above sea level in Colorado's state capital Denver, cameras follow the Rocky Mountaineer as it makes its way through the state of Utah. Entering the red rocks of the true wild west, there's also a look at the grave of Doc Holliday, the famous gunslinger. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- The latest train excursion includes a trip to Portugal's Quinta de Vargellas, a vineyard that has been making port for centuries. Cameras also focus on the seaside city of Aveiro, and there's a trip to Lisbon to visit the home of the regional custard tart. Narrated by Bill Nighy

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- The Train des Pignes explores France. Leaving chic 21st century Nice behind, the Train des Pignes, or the 'Pine Cone Train', takes viewers back to the Provence of the past. Cameras explore the village of Villars-sur-Var, where olive oil is made using the same stone-wheel technique the Templar Knights used 1,000 years ago. Narrated by Bill Nighy

Yr Ysgol -:- The gang from Llanrug and Sant Curig play with all sorts of vehicles, and Emily goes on a steam train


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A history of Raildate (by Howard Sprenger - previous editor)

Issues of Raildate up to 18th December 2009 are archived at http://raildate.co.uk. This page includes a master catalogue of items that have appeared in previous editions

©  Matthew Shaw 2022