RAILDATE 2023.02.10

Your free weekly guide to what's happening, what's new and what's on.

To subscribe to the email, please send a blank email to: raildate+subscribe@groups.io

Raildate is a collaboration between the editor and a number of contributors. Please think about supplying links that you spot. The contact email address is: raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

The latest Raildate is always at https://latest.raildate.co.uk

There are sections on:

UK Rail News


East Midlands



North East

North West

Northern Ireland



South East





International Rail News







Other Transport Modes





Thank you to this week's contributors. We welcome Adrian Hirst as a new contributor.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

We go outside Europe this week. This static display is located at the eastern terminus of one of the world's longest narrow gauge lines, which closed in 1988. Can you pinpoint the city? Or at least the correct part of the country?

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

Last week's Back in time: Where is this?

I've been working with the RCTS photo archive this week. This print (3rd October 1949) - which I've cropped - shows some distinctive locos and early colour signals. Where is it? And can you guess any of the locos' identities?

Answer: Brighton, on the South Coast line platform. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Niall Fergusson, Peter Tisdale, Paul Hopper, Neil Kearns, Peter Davies, and Brian George.

The shed building in the background survived as the Central Engineering Depot at Brighton and was still in use by the local Permanent Way Section Manager until a few years ago. On the far right is the 1933 signal box, cantilevered out from the wall of Brighton Works.

The middle loco (No. 36001) is the only example that was steamed and entered trials of the six "Leader" class engines. The project to build a front-cabbed steam loco was wildly ambitious, and ultimately unsuccessful, and led to recriminations that so much was wasted at a time of deep post-War austerity. One problem was that it used as much oil in lubrication as a diesel used in fuel. This engine was scrapped in April 1951.

Mr Bullied had been much more successful with the remarkable Class Q1 0-6-0s, as shown to the left (No. 33040). The 40 wartime austerity engines of this powerful class had almost total route availability and made a major contribution to military operations.

DS1173 is an early Drewry diesel mechanical shunter built in 1948 by the Vulcan works for the Eastern Region. It was trialed, rejected, and moved to the Southern. It seems to be on holiday from Hither Green where it was allocated on this date. The shunter was ultimately successful, became the blueprint for Class 04, was renumbered D2341, and survived until 1968.

Drewry Car Company had an interesting business model. They were effectively designers and sales agents and built nothing themselves, relying on subcontracting for the build.


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

We even list the Parliamentary Select Committee sessions this week with Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the RMT, Frank Ward, Interim General Secretary of the TSSA, Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group and Tim Shoveller, Chief Negotiator at Network Rail.

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

Aces 'N' Eights (2008) -:- The people of a sleepy Texas frontier settlement are menaced by gunmen hired by a railroad company to drive them off their land. In the absence of a sheriff, the task of defending the townsfolk falls to two unlikely heroes - an elderly rancher and a retired gunslinger. Western, with Casper Van Dien, Ernest Borgnine, Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Kobner

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor embarks on a global journey, beginning in Paris, where he meets up with a friend who explains the finer points of French social etiquette. In Germany, Tony compares a gentle spin in a replica of the first automobile with an exhilarating blast in the latest Formula 1 car. Then it's over to Hungary, where capital Budapest is now very different from how it was under communist rule. Lastly, Tony heads towards Turkey, which straddles Asia, where he explores Istanbul's spice markets and visits the main train station where renovations have uncovered ruins dating back to 400BC

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor heads to Japan, taking the bullet train to Kyoto and meeting young people there who are rebelling against the traditional corporate lifestyle expectations of Japanese society. Tony then travels through the world's longest - and deepest - undersea rail tunnel, emerging in the thick snow of Hakodate.

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor heads to Thailand, where he emerges from the Chiang Mai train station to find himself amid a Buddhist ceremony in which the town's citizens offer gifts to monks from the local temple, with Tony joining the monks to grasp what their daily life entails. Crossing the border into Malaysia, he instantly sees echoes of British rule everywhere, before ending in Kuala Lumpur, where he discovers a city of wild contrasts

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

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor travels across Australia, begins his trip by boarding a sea plane to fly over Sydney before taking a sleeper train to a farm deep in the Outback where herding is done by helicopter. From there, Tony heads to the north of Queensland to learn about the uncertain future facing the world-famous Great Barrier Reef

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor travels across India and Burma, beginning in Delhi, where he visits one of the city's oldest markets, before taking a ride on the Himalayan Mountain Railway and being taught the proper way to imbibe at the Glenburn Tea Estate. He then crosses the Bay of Bengal into Burma, trying his hand at pottery and learning about toddy palm wine, finishing at the ancient city of Bagan

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The final stage of his journey takes the actor to America, where he rides the rails across the country, beginning in San Francisco before jumping aboard the famous California Zephyr bound for Denver, Colorado. Heading to Louisiana, Tony finds out from the mayor of New Orleans how the city has been rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina, and then concludes his trip in New York City

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris crosses Australia from south to north following the original ill-fated route of the 2,000 mile-long Adelaide to Darwin railway. After beginning his journey on a luxury modern train, he transfers to one of the line's surviving steam locomotives before hitting the Outback, where he quickly concludes that a 4x4 is a more practical means of travelling. He passes through ghost towns and explores abandoned railway relics before uncovering why most of the southern section of the line eventually had to be abandoned. At Alice Springs he hitches a ride on a freight train headed for Darwin and reaches his final destination after nearly 24 hours in the cramped cab

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris takes a trip through India on the Konkan railway, a line that opened in 1998 and runs down the west coast. He starts his journey at dawn in the country's financial capital Mumbai, where the Mandovi Express is the first of many trains he catches along the 472 miles of track running through the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. To keep the line straight, 92 tunnels and 2,000 bridges had to be built in one of the wettest areas of the subcontinent and Chris joins the monsoon team, which patrols daily to ensure that it is free from obstructions

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

Combat Trains -:- Documentary series exploring the role of trains in the major conflicts of the past 150 years. This instalment considers the Second World War of 1939 to 1944

Combat Trains -:- Documentary series exploring the role of trains in the major conflicts of the past 150 years. This instalment looks into how the efficiency of the rail networks on both sides helped cause the stalemate of the First World War

Combat Trains -:- Exploring how Lawrence of Arabia used guerilla warfare against the Ottoman Empire's railways. Plus, two secrets hidden under New York's Grand Central Terminal - President Roosevelt's personal train that brought him secretly into the city, and a M42 generator that it is claimed Nazi spies tried to destroy

Combat Trains -:- The astonishing accounts of four railway journeys that changed history, including the perilous expedition that made a young Winston Churchill world famous

Disasters Engineered -:- Experts examine the Clapham Junction rail crash in 1988 and the high-speed train crash in Ankara, Turkey, in 2018, and ask if these disasters could have been avoided

Gino's Italian Escape -:- Chef Gino D'Acampo discovers the secrets of real Italian food as he undertakes a culinary journey around his native Italy. Gino's travelling on Italy's railways, taking in spectacular landscapes on some of the most scenic train journeys in Europe

Gino's Italian Escape -:- Gino's next rail journey takes him on a trip of a lifetime, through the wonderful Tuscan countryside on a historic steam train - Treno Natura. Setting off from Siena, this tourist train arrives in the town of Asciano where Gino rustles up a traditional local dessert called panforte. Gino's final stop is a vineyard in the Chianti region where locals practice the ancient tradition of vinotherapy.

Gino's Italian Escape -:- Gino starts his epic journey in France. From the Alpine town Breil-Sur-Roya he can travel into Italy in style on a train journey that takes him right through the Alps. In Italy, he meets a local doctor who does his rounds on horseback, through vineyards and hazelnut groves, where Gino prepares a scrumptious chocolate cheesecake. He travels on to the beautiful city of Turin, where he gets a personal tour - Italian Job style - in the seat of a classic Fiat 500.

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Armed with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook, Michael Portillo embarks on another journey around the country to discover how the railways have affected people and communities, and the legacy they have left behind. He begins in Manchester, where he finds out how the world's first industrialised city produced a revolutionary political movement, and learns about the railway workers who founded one of the most successful football clubs of all time. Along the way, the presenter does the washing in Port Sunlight - a model village on the Wirral - and hears stories about the aptly named George Francis Train's time in Birkenhead, Merseyside

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 Dorset, Michael Portillo visits Brownsea Island, where Robert Baden Powell began the scout movement in the early 20th century. Joining a group of present scouts, the presenter learns to build a bivouac and finds out what it is about scouting that still appeals to boys - and girls - today. In the New Forest, Michael searches out some unsung heroes of the First World War - the ponies who became war horses - and hears their story from a commoner who runs a stable and riding school. Then in Bournemouth, the one-time MP investigates a very British institution - the beach hut

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 fourth leg of his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne in Middlesbrough, visiting one of the last iron foundries in the town and helping cast a carrot valve for a steam engine. His next stop is Darlington, Co Durham, where he meets the editor of the Northern Echo and finds out about the colourful history of WT Stead, one of his predecessors. Michael then heads to St Paul's monastery in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, to learn about eighth-century monk the Venerable Bede, known as 'the father of English history', before finishing in Hexham, Northumberland, where he visits a historic ginger beer emporium

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 concludes his journey from Newcastle to the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray. Along the way he learns the secrets of Stilton cheese, discovers how trains transformed the traditional British pursuit of fox-hunting and tries to make a pork pie

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey around north-west England by celebrating Victorian trade with the Preston Guild, and then heading to Rochdale to learn about a pioneering movement to improve the lives of working families. The presenter also follows in the tracks of many 19th-century industrial employees who made day trips to Hebden Bridge to walk in the Calder Valley

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey around north-west England in the elegant resort town of Southport, where the railways provided thousands of holidaymakers with the chance enjoy the fun of the fair. On his journey around some of the region's larger towns, the presenter uncovers the history of Victorian entrepreneurship in Wigan and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in Bolton, before heading to smaller Leyland to get behind the wheel of a 100-year-old commercial vehicle

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray, stopping at historic Durham Cathedral. He also explores one of the first locomotives in Darlington, and takes a gothic Dracula-inspired tour of Whitby. Finally, he boards a steam train to travel across the North Yorkshire Moors

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey through Kent. He starts in Canterbury, where he finds out how the city's cathedral was saved from the Second World War air raids, then goes whelk fishing in Whitstable and explores the origins of a seaside swim in Margate

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey up the west coast of Scotland and discovers how trains helped spread the reputation of Oban whisky. He also learns about the efforts to build a railway through the desolate Rannoch Moor and visits Corrour, a favourite shooting estate of the political elite in Victorian times

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo crosses into West Yorkshire to begin the next leg of his journey, visiting the Worth Valley and the home of the three Bronte sisters, who were early investors in the railway industry. He then heads to Oakworth to find out how its station and tracks were used in one of the most popular films ever made, and in Bradford discovers the ways in which 19th-century workers saved to buy a home. The presenter finishes in Halifax, where he learns how the railways contributed to the town's success

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on a journey from Ayr to Skye. He begins by visiting the home town of poet Robert Burns and finds out how to make haggis. He then discovers the way in which the railway transformed the game of golf in Prestwick, and uncovers the story of the great Victorian tartan hoax in Paisley

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 the first leg of a journey from the coalfields of South Wales to the southernmost tip of Cornwall, travelling from Whitland, Carmarthenshire, to Swansea

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the next leg of his journey from London Bridge to Hastings, exploring the lives of Victorian hop-pickers along the way. He also examines the history of Maidstone's paper industry, and discovers the role railways played in transforming cricket into a national sport

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the next leg of his journey, travelling from London Bridge through Kent and around the scenic south coast to Hastings. He begins by visiting the Royal Observatory to learn how Greenwich Mean Time standardised time on the railways, goes through the world's first underwater tunnel at Rotherhithe and explores the historic dockyards at Chatham

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the second leg of his journey along the west coast of Scotland from Ayr to Skye, stopping off to explore the Dumbarton shipyards that were responsible for the construction of the famous Cutty Sark. He also goes hunting for gold in the mountains, and visits Loch Lomond, one of Queen Victoria's favourite haunts

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo heads to Chichester, West Sussex, where he encounters an Edwardian motoring duo patronised by King Edward VII. After a grand tour of their factory, he is treated to some rest and relaxation in one of their finest vehicles. Arriving in the resort of Southsea, Hampshire, Michael heads for the King's Theatre, where he treads the boards in a community production of Lads in the Village. Crossing the Solent, the presenter boards the Island Line to travel along the pier in a 1930s London Underground carriage, then hops on to the Isle of Wight heritage line bound for Wootton

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo learns about a successful 19th-century recycling industry in the textile town of Batley in West Yorkshire. He also discovers how the railways boosted the county's rhubarb trade and meets the great-great-granddaughter of George Bradshaw

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo sets off from Newcastle on the final leg of his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne, finding out about the world's earliest swing bridge and its inventor William Armstrong. He also travels by boat from the port of Seahouses to examine the story of lighthouse keeper's daughter Grace Darling, who, along with her father, rescued nine people from tumultuous seas in 1838. On the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Michael explores the lime kilns and finds out how Christianity spread from here across northern England in the 7th century

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 takes a Turkish bath in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and explores the Victorian industrial village of Saltaire in West Yorkshire. He also meets alpacas, whose fleeces made a fortune in the age of George Bradshaw, as he journeys from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels along England's south coast from Hythe to Hastings. Along the way, he discovers a hardy breed of sheep on Romney Marsh, explores Kent's sparkling-wine industry and learns why the Victorians became obsessed with ferns

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Pontyclun to Ebbw Vale in Wales. Along the way, he visits the Royal Mint in Llantrisant and Cardiff Arms Park, scene of the first Welsh victory over the All Blacks back in 1905. In Cardiff Bay, Michael discovers the departure point for one of the Edwardian era's most famous expeditions - Scott's ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Sandwich to Folkestone, exploring a secret port that helped ferry troops and vital supplies to France in the First World War. He also visits Walmer Castle, once home to hero of Waterloo the Duke of Wellington, and discovers how the Victorians initiated the building of the Channel Tunnel

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo tunes into the music of the mills and collieries of Victorian England by joining a brass band in Honley, West Yorkshire, before stopping off in Holmfirth to learn about a tragedy that led to a tourist boom in the town. The presenter then crosses into Derbyshire to pay homage to railway engineer George Stephenson at his resting place in Chesterfield, before concluding his journey at Chatsworth House, which was one of the first stately homes to welcome visitors by rail

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo travels from the Swiss Alps to the shores of Lake Geneva. Along the way, he is caught up in a war zone with the Red Cross and rescued from an 'avalanche' by a St Bernard puppy. He takes to the skies in a vintage bi-plane to retrace the epic journey of the pioneering pilot who was first to fly over the Alps, and tries his hand at watchmaking, James Bond style

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo braves the freezing temperatures of the Baltic Sea and finds peace paddling a canoe on the Lakes of Finland. On his journey from the Latvian capital Riga to Tampere in Finland, he encounters medieval knights in Tallinn, grills sausages in Helsinki and samples cloudberry liqueur in a hot tub. He later arrives in Estonia, where in the setting of a ruined 13th-century cathedral he learns how the Baltic countries demonstrated their desire for independence from the Soviet Union with a 'singing revolution'

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo concludes his journey in the Netherlands, where he travels from Rotterdam to Utrecht, including a visit to the world's largest flower auction in Haarlem, a trip to Delft to learn how the city came to specialise in pottery and an exploration of the government buildings in The Hague

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo leaves Europe behind to take in the sights, smells and tastes of North Africa as he travels from the Mediterranean port of Tangier to the Berber city of Marrakech. At Asilah, the political commentator lends a hand with the construction of Morocco's new £3billion high-speed railway line to Casablanca, where he calls in to the most famous gin joint in the world

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo once again ventures onto the European rail network to retrace journeys featured in George Bradshaw's 1913 publication Continental Guide. He begins in Spain, where he visits the scene of an assassination attempt at a royal wedding in Madrid, before dancing with an unusual partner in Cordoba. He investigates the story behind Bizet's Carmen at a tobacco factory in Seville, learns about Winston Churchill's tense diplomatic mission to Algeciras and finishes with tales of British espionage in Gibraltar

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from the Italian Riviera to the Austrian Alps, starting in Genoa, where he learns how an Edwardian Briton introduced football to the port. He takes the train as it clings to the cliffs along the Riviera Di Levanti to reach the picturesque and remote villages of the Cinque Terre, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before ending his journey in the famous Brenner Pass, the scene of a ground-breaking engineering project to build one of the world's longest rail tunnels

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo ventures onto the European rail network to retrace journeys featured in Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide of 1913, beginning with London to Monte Carlo. His first stop is Paris, where he absorbs the atmosphere, before heading south to the Cote d'Azur and ending his journey at Monaco's gaming tables

How Do They Do It? -:- How do they make an almost invisible hearing aid that connects wirelessly to your phone? And, how do they build the carriages for London's new underground railway?

How Trains Changed the World -:- From the Channel Tunnel to carrying iron ore in the Australian Outback, experts discuss the history and the future of freight trains

James May: The Reassembler -:- In a festive special, James puts together a Hornby Flying Scotsman, his favourite childhood Christmas present, which he was given in 1972 and sent him on to a path of mechanical intrigue and reassembly. Laid out in all its 138 tiny component parts, James lovingly reassembles the train as well as his memories of Christmases and toys past

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 -:- Ichibata Electric Railway in Shimane Prefecture is a vital means of transportation in the region - see how they've been working with the local government and residents to recover from the pandemic.

Men Against the Sun (1952) -:- Work on a railway across a British colony in Africa is disrupted by a series of crises, not least attacks by man-eating lions. Period adventure, with John Bentley and Zena Marshall

Mighty Trains -:- Mountain train the Bernina Express battles against the elements in the Swiss Alps, working across heavy snowfall, massive ice build-up and falling rocks

Mighty Trains -:- South Africa's Rovos Rail, one of the most luxurious locomotives in the world. This family operated train manages to deal with extreme weather and problems such as stolen power lines

Paddington Station 24/7 -:- A broken down train causes major disruption during the morning rush hour and the locomotive of the famous Riviera sleeper train is pressed into service to shift it. Staff have to deal with a series of medical emergencies at the station, including a fall on an escalator, an epileptic seizure and a suspected cardiac arrest

Paddington Station 24/7 -:- Network Rail prepares for two days of disruption as Storm Eleanor closes in, while reports come in of a packed Paddington to Penzance train being struck and damaged by a falling tree in Hungerford. A routine track patrol in Oxford unearths a problem which, if left, could have significant implications on the busy commuter line

Paddington Station 24/7 -:- News of a major incident comes through to Swindon control room, with a fatality on the line at Slough station leading to a line closure to allow for the emergency services. In another incident, mobile operations manager George goes to meet the owner of a scrapyard, which has fallen victim to thieves who have stolen thousands of pounds' worth of goods and used the railway track to get away

Paddington Station 24/7 -:- Shift manager Simon's day takes a challenging turn when the station's safety is thrown into jeopardy by reports of a trespasser on the roof, while technicians have a window of just an hour to inspect half a mile of track known as the 'Throat', where six busy lines feed into 14 platforms. Great Western Railway's MD Mark Hopwood hosts a ceremony in which one of the operator's new electric trains is named after Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) -:- A stressed businessman just wants to make it home to spend Thanksgiving with his family. However, when his flight is forced to land miles from its destination, he finds himself sharing a disaster-strewn journey across America with an amiable but slobbish salesman. Comedy road movie, starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Kevin Bacon and Michael McKean

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 -:- A train struggles to reach the highest point on the railroad north to make a crucial delivery, while off the grid, things get steamy as JT and Marvin build a traditional bath

Railroad Alaska -:- Homesteaders living in the wilderness team up to track down an abandoned cabin that was washed down-stream and trapped in ice. Plus, a freight crew dodges intruders

Railroad Alaska -:- Tempers flare as a train encounters brake problems, and a derailment leaves maintenance teams stranded. Off grid, homesteaders manage to avert a fire, but are left without heat

Railroad Alaska -:- The documentary exploring the work of staff manning a 500-mile long Alaskan railroad returns as a rogue gunman threatens a military hardware delivery

Railroad Alaska -:- Veteran off-gridder Jim James attempts to reach the hospital by train after an accident, but a series of obstacles places him in jeopardy

Scotland's Scenic Railways -:- Featuring a ride on the stunning West Highland line, where an ingenious 19th-century invention is still protecting Scotland's railway from rockfall. Plus, a look at the profit to be made from collecting old railway memorabilia, the team tasked with cleaning Britain's largest station roof at Edinburgh Waverley, and follow artist Leo du Feu, who paints castles from trains

Select Committees -:- Commons Transport Committee session on rail strikes with evidence from Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the RMT, Frank Ward, Interim General Secretary of the TSSA, Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group and Tim Shoveller, Chief Negotiator at Network Rail, from Wednesday 11 January

Select Committees -:- Coverage of the Transport select committee session on the rail strikes with evidence from Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT; Frank Ward, interim general secretary of the TSSA; Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF; Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group; and Tim Shoveller, chief negotiator at Network Rail, from Wednesday 11 January.

Select Committees -:- The Transport select committee session on rail services and infrastructure with evidence from the Rail Minister, Huw Merriman, from Wednesday 18 January.

Send in the Dogs -:- The work of British Transport Police's canine units, which help monitor the safety of commuters on thousands of miles of railway and underground track. The programme follows a spaniel trained to search for drugs, as well as police dogs that help their human handlers control the crowds at football matches. Ken Stott narrates

The Architecture the Railways Built -:- Tim Dunn rides up Mount Snowdon's railway to visit the summit station, and discovers how a glass structure envelopes Strasbourg's 19th-century station

The Dales -:- Adrian Edmondson revisits the Wildman family's farm in Kirkby Malham for the opening of the charcuterie, and follows the Dales tradition of the Burning of the Bartle in West Witton, where an effigy of a sheep stealer is paraded through the streets and set alight. He also finds out about the fundraising plans of Wensleydale Railway general manager Nigel Park

The Dales -:- Wensleydale Railway general manager Nigel Park and his team of volunteers put on an event to raise money to open up the old line between Leeming Bar and Northallerton, which would connect the Dales to the East Coast mainline. Adrian Edmondson spends a day with vet Amy Swales on her rounds in the Swaledale area, while the Wensleydale Young Farmers are given a lesson in the art of auctioneering by expert Maurice Scott

The Girl on the Train (2016) -:- Having lost her job and her husband, alcoholic Rachel Watson spends time aimlessly travelling on a train. She gets drawn into a web of intrigue when she becomes fascinated by a woman's disappearance. Rachel thinks she has vital evidence in cracking the case, but gaps in her memory cloud her judgment, and before long her own life is endangered. Thriller based on Paula Hawkins' novel, starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux and Luke Evans

The Railway Children Return (2022) -:- In 1944, Salford siblings Lily, Pattie and Ted Watts are evacuated to the Yorkshire village of Oakworth. The children are placed with headmistress Annie Waterbury, whose husband is away at war, and her son Thomas. Eventually the youngsters stand up to injustice close to home when they encounter a soldier on the run. Sequel to beloved family drama The Railway Children, starring Beau Gadson, Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay

The Railway Killers -:- Documentary about a series of murders of women at railway stations in London in the early 1980s, told through dramatic reconstruction and testimony from police officers and victims' friends. The programme charts the pivotal moments during the police's painstaking investigation, culminating in the eventual conviction of John Duffy and his accomplice David Mulcahy

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard -:- The three-day autumn Steam Gala takes place on the North York Moors Railway, and the organisers try to bag an amazing locomotive as this year's 'celebrity guest'. The event is RAF-themed, so engine shed boss Piglet heads to the Nene Valley in Cambridgeshire to check out a 92 Squadron engine, known in its day as a 'spam cam' due to its memorable design. Meanwhile, Kieran and signalman Alistair are tasked with creating a heritage freight train that is a popular feature of the gala

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard -:- Under pressure to bring in extra revenue now that the somewhat challenging season is nearing its end, the North York Moors Railway team decides to put on a special 'curry train' night together with a massive bash for Halloween. Visitors and staff alike put in the effort to make it a night to remember, though proceedings are threatened when the lights in the carriages suddenly stop working. The Bishop of Wakefield comes to bless Eric Treacy, an engine that has been through a £500,000 overhaul taking over two years

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard -:- War Weekend takes place on the North York Moors Railway, celebrating the part played by the railways during the Second World War, with around 30,000 visitors expected to attend. As it turns out, the biggest battle of the weekend is with the weather, as a storm blights the final preparations. Further complications arise when a tree falls on the line, leading to a full track inspection before any trains are allowed to run. Despite the setbacks, can the team pull off one of their biggest, most important and lucrative events of the year?

Train Cruise -:- Travel from Hiroshima through the pastoral areas of the Chugoku mountains - the towns along the way are alive with myths and legends from ancient times that carry messages for future generations.

Transsiberian (2008) -:- American couple Roy and Jessie are heading from China to Moscow on the Transsiberian railway when they befriend fellow travellers Carlos and Abby. However, when Roy fails to board the train following a station stop, Jessie begins to suspect her new travelling companions are harbouring a deadly secret. Thriller, starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega and Ben Kingsley

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 -:- 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 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 -:- A trip through the Peak District at full steam, pulled by the Royal Scot, one of the finest locomotives ever built. On the way from Crewe to York, the train travels over Chat Moss on a line built by Robert Stephenson, which once served the famous Rocket. Bill Nighy narrates

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 -:- 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 Top 5 -:- Five of the world's most impressive trains are pitted against one another in a variety of key categories


We welcome links to publicly available online news items and videos from anywhere in the world.  Despite its name, Raildate covers all transport modes, including also bus, tram, air, and marine.  

Raildate may be freely distributed without permission as long as no changes whatsoever are made to the original document distributed by the Editor.

The main Raildate website https://raildate.co.uk includes a history of Raildate by the founding editor Howard Sprenger and archived editions from 1996 to the present.

Facebook members are encouraged to join the Raildate group.

©  Matthew Shaw 2023