RAILDATE 2022.12.16

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

A busy-looking port, well served by railways in this 1950s Ordnance Survey map. Where is it?

Please email your answers to raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

Last week's Where is this?

This hole in the ground has been worth billions of pounds to the British economy over eight decades, and it still generates big rail traffic flows. Where is it?

Answer: Ribblesdale Cement, Clitheroe, looking south-west along the River Ribble towards Preston. Sadly, no congratulations are due to anyone for correct answers this week.

The quarry and cement works opened in 1936 and quickly attracted a cluster of chemical industries. Some 55 million tonnes of limestone and shale clinker have been extracted since for cement manufacture. The widely-known former name Castle Cement celebrated Clitheroe's castle. The hole measures 1100 x 600 metres, but at only 31m deep there is a LOT more down there in that old geological fault.

Blasting was regularly at 3pm. People were then woken at 6am by the rumble of hundreds of lorries starting their journeys across the North West on the town's narrow dust-whitened streets. Today, the town is bypassed but insidious NOx air pollution is a problem. Carbon capture is a significant priority if production is to continue.

The small quarry on the left of the picture, Salt Hill Quarry, is now a nature reserve. It has been a bountiful source of fossils and hosts a geology trail.

Rail flows helped to keep the Blackburn - Hellifield line open during a lengthy period when Clitheroe had no passenger service. Horrocksford Junction remains a busy signalbox for turning passenger sets and freight.


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

Click me to open/close [Online only, not in the weekly email]

Abandoned Engineering -:- An abandoned railway station near a town in Spain that is home to just 500 people and a record-breaking Arctic facility that goes deep below the surface

Abandoned Engineering -:- The world's most impressive disused railway bridges, including the biggest wooden trestle bridge in the world, which was closed down due to hurricane damage

Bargain Hunt -:- Natasha Raskin Sharp presents the show from York, and looks at some of the items in the National Railway Museum's collection. With experts Tim Weeks and Colin Young

British Rails Are Long and Fast -:- Short promotional film detailing the production, installation and maintenance for long welded track in use on British Railways

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris arrives in Mombasa to follow what was surely the greatest railway endeavour of the entire colonial era - the so-called Lunatic Line. His plan is to follow the now-crumbling line right across Kenya to the shores of Lake Victoria, discovering how the constructors overcame obstacles in their bid to make East Africa part of the British Empire

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris embarks on a thousand-mile trip along Spain's complex rail system, beginning in Gibraltar by exploring the vast network of military tunnels that have helped keep it under British control for more than 200 years. In Catalunya, he learns the role played by the railways in some of the bloodiest battles of the Spanish Civil War, then visits the spot where Hitler and Franco met during the Second World War

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris sets out on a mission to visit all four corners of Ireland in just six days, on an ageing network that has seen better days. His journey starts in the south-west at Cobh in Co Cork and his first stop is Blarney Castle, where Chris kisses the famous stone, before he heads to the west coast to ride on an old local line saved by an eccentric local millionaire. He heads to Dublin to visit the jail made famous by the Easter Rising, before ending in Belfast, where he ponders what the future may hold for the railways and for Ireland

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris travels across Europe to examine the train's role in the First World War. In Northumberland, he enjoys a ride on a preserved locomotive to find out how important the railways were to Britain for mobilisation of troops and the operation of large training camps around the country. Aboard a holiday train commandeered to transport troops and ammunition, Chris tells the stories of two opposing soldiers, one English and one German, who both took trains to the Somme in 1916

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris travels through Turkey, reflecting on the achievements of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the founder of the republic who oversaw the modernisation of the country and its railways. He begins his journey at Istanbul railway station, the starting point of the Marmaray rail tunnel, which passes beneath the Bosphorus and was built to withstand earthquakes. He also visits Ankara and the volcanic spires of Cappadocia, before heading deep into the mountains and ending in the remote borderlands city of Kars

Coastal Railways with Julie Walters -:- The actress travels around the UK coast by train, beginning by boarding the famous Jacobite steam train for a trip along Scotland's West Highland Railway, famously featured in the Harry Potter movies. Along the way, Julie learns about herring gutting and blowing up railway lines, and meets a traditional Scottish storyteller on the Isle of Skye

Coastal Railways with Julie Walters -:- The actress travels from Cardigan Bay to Liverpool, visiting the heritage railway in Tywyn that was the inspiration for Thomas the Tank Engine and a community that is famous for knitting. She also paints a carriage in Boston Lodge, catches the famous Ffestiniog railway through Snowdonia, and visits Europe's fastest zip wire and largest pet cemetery

Coastal Railways with Julie Walters -:- The actress travels from Newcastle to Edinburgh by high speed train. Along the way, she stops off at the coastal town of Alnmouth, discovers where the phrase Keep Calm and Carry On originated, visits the world's biggest gannet colony, and goes out to sea with a lobster breeder. When she reaches her destination, she discovers the connection between the railway and the famous Balmoral Hotel

Coastal Railways with Julie Walters -:- The actress travels on the famous Great Western Railway to Cornwall. She recalls childhood holidays when she stops at Torquay before heading to a supposedly haunted castle at Kingswear. She also uncovers tales of smuggling and joins members of the RNLI on a practice run before visiting an unusual cake shop in Penzance

Gino's Italian Escape -:- For the final leg of his journey, Gino D'Acampo takes a railway adventure to picturesque Lake Iseo, a hidden gem often overshadowed by its big sisters Garda and Como. He starts out angling for sardines, then takes his catch and prepares a dish of grilled fish for the passengers of Treno dei Sapore - a tourist train that takes guests along the lakeside and into the Franciacorta region. While they enjoy the views they also get a seven-course meal - with today's starter cooked by Gino

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Beginning in the heart of academia in Oxford, Michael Portillo visits the Bodleian library to see some Victorian treasures, including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein manuscript and a pocket-sized edition of Bradshaw's Companion. At Bicester, he investigates two new rail projects, finds out about Victorian philanthropy in Bedford and finishes in Luton, where he explores the dark arts of the hat-maker

Great British Railway Journeys -:- In Plymouth, Michael Portillo finds out about the Royal Navy's fighting spirit and mixes his own blend of 'ruin'. Then, crossing into Cornwall, he learns about the last bridge to be built by renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. By Tre, Pol and Pen, the ex-politician comes to know Cornishmen and how to prepare the perfect pasty. This leg of his journey ends in a small village, which in Victorian times became a hub of global communications

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael begins his latest journey in the sailing town of Lymington, where he makes a life-saving discovery. The route takes him through the Dorchester countryside, where he discovers how the introduction of the railway inspired Thomas Hardy. He tries his hand at carpet-making in Axminster and concludes his journey in Exmouth, where he learns about the work of forgotten Victorian landscape artist Francis Danby

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo arrives in Littlehampton, where he discovers how Victorian engineers defended the town's residents from cholera. He stops off at Gosport and experiences the lethal firepower unleashed on the French during in an arms race. In the New Forest, the presenter visits Florence Nightingale's family home, before finishing at Beaulieu, where he seizes the opportunity to drive the first motor car

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo begins in the ruinous gardens at Aberglasney House near Llandeilo before riding shotgun in the driver's cab on one of the most scenic routes in Britain. Over the border in Leominster, Herefordshire, he steps out onto the dance floor at the Lion Hotel Ballroom, where a grand ball was held to celebrate the opening of the Ludlow to Hereford railway, and finishes this leg of his journey at a traditional cider house in Hereford

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo begins the final leg in Egham, Surrey, where a historic steam fair offers the original 'white-knuckle' ride. Across town lies the Royal Holloway College, now part of the University of London, where the ex-politician discovers the institution's philanthropic roots. Moving into Berkshire, Portillo drops in at a factory manufacturing a famous sleep-inducing beverage with historic roots. Michael's journey ends at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, where he learns that rowing in an eight is a challenging business

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo begins underground at Big Pit coal mine in Blaenavon, where he discovers how Victorians toiled night and day to power the Industrial Revolution. On the River Usk, he learns about 19th-century developments in angling before heading to Ascott-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire - once the scene of a farm labourers' dispute that ended in rioting. Michael concludes this leg of his journey at Blenheim Palace

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey through the Lake District, where he discovers a magical world of talking rabbits, ducks, hedgehogs and mice, who have entertained children for more than 100 years. At the village home of author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, he learns about her legacy and her fears about the railways. Michael presses on to Brantwood, home of the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin, and finishes with a brief encounter at Carnforth

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey following his Bradshaw's handbook from south-west Wales to Cambridge, beginning in Pembroke Dock, where Queen Victoria's royal yachts were built. In the little market town of Naberth he investigates what caused rebels to dress up as women, later spending the night at an inn in Carmarthen where Horatio Nelson once met Emma Hamilton. Next day, the former politician pitches in with the volunteers who look after the Gwili Heritage line and ends his leg in Swansea, where he learns how to pose for a photograph in Victorian style

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on a new railway journey along the south coast of England. Beginning in the port of Dover, he takes a plunge into the English Channel, inspired by the example set by a brave 19th-century sea captain. A miniature steam train one third the size of a conventional locomotive conveys him from Romney Marsh to Dungeness, and in Eastbourne, he learns how the 7th Duke of Devonshire managed to market the town's attractions to the refined upper-crust of Victorian London. The first leg of his trip concludes in eccentric style at the Glyndebourne opera festival on the South Downs

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on another journey around the country to discover how the railways have affected people and communities, and the legacy they left. The first leg of a journey through north-west England begins in Carlisle, where investigates the Victorian appetite for the custard cream, before braving a perilous descent into the only operational slate mine in England and discovering a miniature railway

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo enjoys a ukulele lesson in Haddington, East Lothian, birthplace of the Victorian self-improvement guru Samuel Smiles. In Musselburgh, he gets a taste of life as a fishwife, before exploring Edinburgh where a popular 19th-century mode of transport is making a comeback. Michael also visits the Royal College of Surgeons, where he discovers the macabre history of body snatchers and murderers and heads onwards to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, to learn how students use sophisticated technology to study anatomy

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores a Swiss garden in Bedfordshire, drives a 'locomobile', and at Rothampsted, he discovers the Victorian origins of the fertiliser industry

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo journeys from Darlington to Dunbar, following the route taken by George Stephenson's steam engine on its 1825 journey, and visiting Lewis Carroll's childhood home

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo journeys from Newark-on-Trent to Stockton-on-Tees, and a scandalous novel written in Thirsk leads him to a wildlife centre, where he feeds a hungry hedgehog

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo journeys from Stroud to Bath, investigating the Victorian origins of snooker, before ploughing a crooked furrow at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. At his final destination in Bath, he takes tea with the ladies, and also discovers a scandalous novel written by an eccentric recluse, who was once the wealthiest man in England

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo reads the riot act in Preston, and discovers four mill workers were shot dead at a protest in 1842. In Darwen, he traces developments in interior design from wallpaper to paint, before exploring the Victorian industrial landscape of Salford in the paintings on LS Lowry. He finishes his leg of the journey on Kersal Moor, where he discovers the poetry of Edwin Waugh and twists his tongue around the Lancashire dialect

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets off from Oakham in Rutland, where he learns about a noble tradition dating back to the Middle Ages and decides to take part. Heading east to Stamford, Lincolnshire, he discovers why the town is such an attractive location for period dramas, while a ghoulish scene awaits in Peterborough when he visits a Victorian operating theatre where railwaymen were treated. Michael's last stop on his journey is Christ's College at Cambridge University, where he finds out about the student days of Charles Darwin

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets out from Ashord in Kent on the first leg of a trip to Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, lending a hand at a state-of-the-art train maintenance plant that is home to High Speed 1 rolling stock. A visit to the home of a historic make-up brand reveals the foundations of the Victorian cosmetics industry, before he ends his journey at Knole House in Sevenoaks at Knole House, seat of the Sackville-West family

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets out from Birmingham on the first leg of a trip to Dartmoor, and a visit to the city's town hall reveals a magnificent organ and the location for a celebrated music festival. Travelling south to Kidderminster, he works in a Royal Mail sorting office and discovers more about great postal innovator Rowland Hill, before he ending his journey in Worcester, where he learns about the origins of the British Medical Association

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets out on the first leg of a trip from London to Edinburgh aboard the Flying Scotsman, beginning at King's Cross as he heads for York

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's journey from the Irish Sea to the North Sea continues by tram from Manchester. At the imposing town hall of the world's first industrial city, he comes face to face with the Victorian scientist who invented modern atomic theory. The latest stage ends at Silkstone Common, where he tracks down the forge where a Victorian metallurgist created wrought iron axles strong enough for railway rolling stock

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo starts his latest tour as Hampton Court Palace, where he is treated to a private tour of the Great Vine - the world's longest grapevine - before moving on to stately Claremont House, where tragic circumstances led directly to the birth of the Victorian era. He then moves up the line to Wimbledon and the site of a historic duelling event before ending his journey in Teddington, where he hears the story of a reformer whose work revolutionised the care for those with living disabilities

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Blackpool to Manchester, along the way unveiling a monument to 87 railwaymen of the London and North Western Railway who died in the Great War

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Bristol to Glastonbury, entering the foul-smelling world of a Victorian tannery and hearing how a 19th-century entrepreneur made his fortune thanks to mountains of bird droppings, using his wealth to build churches and one of the most luxurious country houses in Britain. When he reaches his destination, Michael heads for the mystical Glastonbury Abbey, where Victorian tourists flocked to hear tales of King Arthur and the Holy Grail

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from East Grinstead to Guildford, with his trip including a visit to Leith Hill Place to explore the compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams. He also dons a boiler suit and takes to the footplate of a locomotive on the Bluebell Railway, Britain's first passenger-carrying heritage line, and witnesses the power of dynamite first hand

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Gainsborough to Ely, along the way learning about a Victorian machine that changed shopping for ever and the poet Alfred Tennyson

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Newhaven to Worthing, examining the nation's hidden defences, and taking in two magnificent engineering achievements - the Ouse Valley Viaduct and the Clayton Tunnel. High on top of a favourite Victorian beauty spot he learns how trains carried hordes of day-trippers to fly kites, and finds a novel way to pick tomatoes in Worthing

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Redditch to Gloucester, beginning with a look back to Victorian times at a needle manufactory. He also learns how to make Gloucester cheese and joins the Gloucester Choral Society in a rendition of Jerusalem

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from St Helens to Knutsford, finding out about modern glass-making and how techniques invented in the Victorian era to construct buildings such as the Crystal Palace have evolved and are powering a new architectural revolution

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Woking to Walton-on-Thames, uncovering the story of Britain's first purpose-built crematorium and visiting Brooklands, the birthplace of motor racing, along the way. As his journey draws to a close, he goes camping and finds out about the unlikely origins of a leisure pursuit that is going strong today

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels through Hampshire and Berkshire, as he continues his journey to Wolverhampton. His stop-off points include Stratfield Saye House, the stately home bequeathed by the nation to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, in 1817. He then heads to Aldershot Garrison, where he is put through his paces under military instruction. At St Michael's Abbey in Farnborough, Michael visits the tomb of French emperor Napoleon III and his family, before ending in Crowthorne, Berkshire, the home of Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael starts his journey in Chapeltown, Sheffield, following what was once known as the North Country Continental service, and finishing in the engineering centre of Doncaster

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the last leg of his journey through north-west England, Michael Portillo makes a clean sweep in Ashley, Cheshire, where in Victorian times the new middle classes set up home in suburban villas with multiple chimneys swept by children. In Macclesfield, he finds the end of the Silk Route and tries his hand at screen printing. Then after stoking the fire on the steam-powered Churnet Valley Railway, the former politician alights at Froghall, Staffordshire, heading for Alton Towers to trace the 19th-century origins of the theme park

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Referring to his trusty Bradshaw's Guidebook, Michael Portillo stands trial at the Bloody Assizes in Taunton, Somerset, and feels the full force of the law. He also gets to grips with a miracle of Victorian engineering on the Somerset Levels at Westonzoyland, and on Dartmoor embarks on a mid-19th century treasure hunt still popular today

Great British Railway Journeys -:- The next part of Michael Portillo's journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton begins in Wokingham, Berkshire, where the former politician finds out how demand from a growing number of rail commuters fuelled the development of the modern printing press. He then learns about a Tudor businessman who manufactured cloth in enormous volumes in Newbury, and ends this leg of his trip in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. Here, a local manufacturer describes how his Victorian forebears were the first in Britain to be licensed to vulcanise rubber

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo takes in Georgia and Azerbaijan as he journeys through the former Russian empire. He begins in the port of Batumi, discovers a surprise 19th-century tea plantation in the West Georgian countryside, visits a private museum dedicated to Joseph Stalin - the most infamous Georgian of all - and discovers that a Briton was the first to conquer the highest mountain in the Caucasus range. Arriving in Azerbaijan, he learns about its role in the 19th-century oil industry

Impossible Engineering -:- A look at the Qinghai-Tibet line, the highest railway in the world, providing an insight into the engineering challenges faced at high altitude and in bitterly cold temperatures

Impossible Engineering -:- The creation of Hudson Yards on Manhattan Island, New York, a construction project built over the tracks and railway sidings of Penn Station - literally in thin air

Impossible Railways -:- Documentary exploring unusual rail networks from around the world, beginning with a look at trains in cities, including an inverted monorail in Wuppertal, Germany. With contributions from Susana Esteves da Fonseca

Impossible Railways -:- How railway engineers have crossed valleys, canyons and waterways, including the Forth Bridge and a viaduct in rural New Zealand

Impossible Railways -:- The wilderness lines that have pushed the frontiers of human endeavour into previously unknown territories, solving a set of complex problems along the way

Japan Railway Journal -:- Discover the secrets of Japan's railways, from the newest technologies and systems in use to travel tips and must-see places.

Japan Railway Journal -:- On September 23, JR Kyushu's Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen opened for business along with a new tourist train. See the shinkansen in action and the redevelopment project along the line to attract visitors.

Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways -:- The historian and broadcaster examines how in just 50 years, Britain's railways grew from a handful of small lines carrying coal to become the nations' biggest industry. The emergence of the rail network changed working conditions for British employees, proved a valuable export across the globe and even changed the way war was waged

Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways -:- The historian and broadcaster examines the impact the railway had on London in the late 1830s, linking it to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. This was the start of a truly national network and one of the greatest civil engineering projects in history, while tycoons including Samuel Morton Peto and George Hudson made fortunes as the stock markets boomed. However, the bubble burst in 1847 and shares plummeted, leaving thousands of people facing bankruptcy courts

Mega Shippers -:- In Oxford, 280 Minis must be loaded onto a train in just six hours. Bound for Southampton, they need to be loaded on ferries for export to China, Japan and the USA

Mega Shippers -:- Kieran struggles to get a 26-tonne train rolling for the first time in 60 years. Plus, Colin has 48 hours to load ten valuable racing yachts

Mighty Trains -:- The Frecciarossa 1000 and Italo Evo, two of the fastest trains in the world. These high-tech Italian locomotives are capable of negotiating treacherous landscapes

Nick Knowles' Railway Journeys -:- The presenter embarks on a railway journey across the extraordinary landscapes of Peru to magical Machu Picchu. Starting at Puno on Lake Titicaca, Nick's journey takes him to the highest point on this railway line (and the fourth highest train station in the world) at La Reya

Oli Wyn -:- The steam train crew prepares the tracks as the Vale of Rheidol's steam train makes plans to venture out on its first journey following the winter

Salvage Hunters -:- In Sussex, modern-day treasure hunter Drew Pritchard has some incredible luck when he is offered first pick of a shop packed full of French items. Then in Kent, he's invited behind the scenes of a historic railway

Seconds from Disaster -:- An investigation into the 1999 Paddington train crash that killed 31 people, asking who was to blame and whether the accident could have been avoided

Secrets of the Underground -:- A legendary train filled with stolen Nazi gold is said to be hidden in Poland. Rob and Stefan explore deep under the earth's surface to uncover the truth

The First Great Train Robbery (1978) -:- An accomplished gentleman crook and a master safecracker hatch a plan to rob a British Army payroll train carrying a fortune in gold bullion, destined for the troops fighting in the Crimea. British period thriller, based on director Michael Crichton's own novel, starring Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Michael Elphick and Wayne Sleep

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- Talented teams are tasked to build awe-inspiring miniature wonderlands against the clock, loaded with stunning scenery and spectacular animations, all to a different weekly theme and designed to impress expert judges Steve Flint and Kathy Millatt. Here, the first of eight gruelling, themed rounds sees 'The Restless Earth' brought to life. Three teams of enthusiasts set about manufacturing a deluge of volcanoes, earthquakes and other small-scale natural disasters. Presented by James Richardson and Tim Shaw

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- The fifth and concluding heat sees three more teams of the UK's most talented railway modellers compete for a place in the semi-finals, with judges Kathy Millat and Steve Flint challenge them to incorporate miniature aerial acrobatics, towering peaks and space travel into their miniature model railway builds

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- The three teams in the second semi-final are challenged to build a track based on a blockbuster movie in just three days. The Railmen of Kent recreate the wizarding world of Harry Potter, complete with broomsticks, giant spiders and enchanted cars. Wild card entry Muddle and Go Nowhere base their track on James Bond, while Who's Counting Rivets pay homage to Jurassic Park with a dinosaur-infested creation

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- Three more teams of the UK's most talented railway modellers compete for a place in the semi-finals. A combo dubbed Who's Counting Rivets hopes to impress the judges with a layout featuring gadgets galore, pyrotechnics and a multitude of mini-animations. Retired traditionalists the Three Millers plan to re-enact a dramatic railway scene from 1950s Holland, while the Titfield Thunderbolts attempt to stage an action adventure in the jungle involving a plane crash and a volcano. Presented by James Richardson and Tim Shaw

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- Three teams compete in the first semi-final, where they have to make designs inspired by myths, monsters, legends and fables - with two spots in the grand final up for grabs. James Richardson and Tim Shaw oversee proceedings, with the creations including the Loch Ness monster being transported by train for a rendezvous with Godzilla and King Kong, a theatrical interpretation of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, and a spooky child's bedroom with an enormous devil tree bursting through the floor

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- Three teams must create a landscape on the theme of the Best of British. Family team the Railmen of Kent recreate the 1951 Festival of Britain, including iconic trains and replicas of famous stations. The Loco Ladies draw inspiration from the countryside, complete with crocheted trees, while the Cambrian Coasters celebrate British food with a huge Yorkshire pudding and a cunning haggis delivery system. As usual presenters James Richardson and Tim Shaw are joined by expert judges Kathy Millat and Steve Flint

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- Three teams of modellers are given three days to create masterpieces based on the theme of best-selling book. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) is the inspiration for the Scarborough Flyers, sci-fi fans the Rail Riders choose HG Wells' classic War of the Worlds as their muse, while Team Phoenix's layout is inspired by various tomes by the queen of crime, Agatha Christie. As usual presenters James Richardson and Tim Shaw are joined by expert judges Kathy Millat and Steve Flint

The Great Train Robbery -:- First of a two-part drama by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall telling the story of the most infamous heist in British history, beginning with the planning and execution of the crime from the perspective of the perpetrators themselves. After a robbery at Heathrow Airport in 1962, Bruce Reynolds sets his sights on another target - the plan being to rob the overnight mail train from Glasgow to Euston. A team is assembled, schemes are laid out and rehearsals begin. But despite their meticulous planning, the operation is compromised by an attack on the train driver and a botched getaway. Before long, the gang have become the most wanted men in Britain. Luke Evans, Paul Anderson, Martin Compston, Jack Roth and Neil Maskell star

The Railway Children (1970) -:- Three Edwardian children are forced to leave their comfortable middle-class London home and move to the wilds of Yorkshire after their father is wrongfully imprisoned for treason. Family drama adapted from E Nesbit's story, starring Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett, Gary Warren, Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins, William Mervyn and Iain Cuthbertson

Train of Events (1949) -:- Four stories linked by a train crash. Tales include a troubled driver making his final run before a hoped-for promotion and a second-rate actor who murders his wife in a fit of jealousy. Comedy drama anthology, starring Jack Warner, Peter Finch, Susan Shaw, Joan Dowling, Lawrence Payne and John Clements


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©  Matthew Shaw 2022