RAILDATE 2023.06.16

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



South East



International Rail News




Other Transport Modes




Thank you to this week's contributors.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

My lengthy tour of Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Czechia is now over, and the supply of photos for the Weekly Poser has been refreshed.

In the above photo taken from a moving train, we do a complete circle upwards in preparation for crossing this famous bridge. Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

This tramway connects a very small historic town with its railway station. Where is it?

Answer: Naumburg, Germany. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Dave Goodyear, Colin Penfold, Richard Maund, Paul Hopper, and Peter Tisdale.

Naumburg is a pretty town south-west of Leipzig. There are two stations - one on the "main" line to Erfurt (now superseded by a high-speed line), the other on the Unstrutbahn - but neither are particularly central. The original tramway route was circular with a loop into the Altstadt (old town), and vestiges of tram tracks within the town walls can be found in the main square. There is a hope that the circular route can be reinstated eventually, adjacent to the cathedral. When I visited, only one vehicle could operate, leading to lengthy waits, but the depot has many more available. The tramway has recently been extended a further 400m around the town walls.

A very good Wikipedia page explains more, and has details of the trams. Google may offer to translate it for you from the original German.


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

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

999 Faoi Oiliúint -:- Peter begins his career as a fully-fledged member of the Dublin fire brigade, while Daire trains with Lough Neagh Search and Rescue in Co Antrim and Niamh faces her most challenging training assessment yet with the Galway fire service. In Irish

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

Accused -:- Two friends enlist in the Army and are posted to Afghanistan, where champion amateur boxer Peter struggles with the pressure and fails to return fire during an attack by the Taliban, endangering the lives of his comrades. Having witnessed the event, his lance corporal begins to systematically victimise him, and the bullying reaches extreme levels when the young man's sidekick Frankie is ordered to humiliate him, setting off a train of events that leads to the law courts. Mackenzie Crook stars in the second of Jimmy McGovern's legal dramas, with Ben Batt and Benjamin Smith

Agatha Christie's Poirot -:- The sleuth finds himself in interesting company as English socialites and American millionaires rub shoulders on board a train bound for the French Riviera. Passengers include oil magnate Rufus Van Aldin (Elliott Gould) and his daughter Ruth (Jaime Murray) - to whom he has given a magnificent ruby known as the Heart of Fire. With members of the aristocracy crammed into a confined space with their husbands, lovers and a renowned gemstone, murder cannot be far away. With Lindsay Duncan, Roger Lloyd Pack and James D'Arcy

Ambulance: Code Red -:- An HGV crashes into a railway bridge on the M6 motorway, and a 67-year-old is stabbed multiple times while in his own home, before escaping his attacker

American Titans -:- The battle between Cornelius Vanderbilt and his old friend Daniel Drew to run the Erie Railroad

Ancient Egypt by Train with Alice Roberts -:- Having seen the treasures of Tutankhamun in a Cairo Museum, Alice takes the train to Luxor to see his tomb and his mummified body in the Valley of the Kings. She also takes a walk along the Avenue of the Sphinxes and catches up with an old friend who's using satellite technology to find hundreds of previously undiscovered burial sites

Antiques Road Trip -:- Travelling to the final auction in Congleton, Cheshire, Charles Hanson discovers an impressive collection of railway memorabilia hidden on a school roof, while Catherine Southon uncovers the story behind the once-lost plans drawn by celebrated garden designer Capability Brown

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- Conductor Jay and engineer Mike are tasked with transporting fuel to a remote community. Can they overcome intense blizzards to deliver this vital cargo?

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- Conductor Jay and engineer Mike embark on a crucial cargo run from Hearst to Cochrane. Along the way, they must pick up a 2,500-tonne load of newsprint

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- Conductor JR and trainee Trevor must transport a massive load of timber from Calstock to Cochrane, navigating extreme weather to get the job done

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- The extreme conditions threaten to derail precious cargo. The dedicated and skilled team control the massive freight train, but they face plenty of disruption

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- The Polar Bear Express battles extreme weather to reach the town of Moosonee. Among its passengers is a blind American Cocker Spaniel named Maggie

Arctic Ice Railroad -:- The Polar Bear Express is often the only way to reach the frozen town of Moosonee. A group of explorers board this train for its hazardous journey

Bakugan Legends -:- As the Awesome Brawlers train for the Battle Judgement, they learn of a new Core - the Nova Core! Dan and Drago use its mysterious new powers against an unexpected opponent.

Britain's Most Luxurious Train Journeys -:- A guide to luxury train rides across Britain, beginning with the steam-hauled Saphos train on the Devonshire coast. Train manager Sandra and her hospitality team help a passenger surprise his wife of 40 years with a special anniversary present, while executive chef Nick creates a sumptuous five-course meal and learner steam train driver Ian clocks up more training hours passing alongside the red rock coast

Caught Red Handed -:- A series of crimes drives businesses off the rails in Devon, and a snooker club barman turns detective when two strangers come in and steal money meant for a charity

Ceol na Loidhne/Song of the Track -:- Ingrid Henderson celebrates a collection of more than 100 newly-discovered photographs of the West Highland Line, one of the most spectacular railway tracks in the world

Cranford -:- First in a two-part special. The story picks up in August 1844, two years after Miss Matty lost her beloved sister Deborah. Mr Buxton has returned to live quietly in Cranford following the death of his wife, although Miss Matty is concerned about his relationship with his son as neither seem to be coping with their bereavement. The local busybody is also worried about Peggy Bell, who lives in an isolated cottage looking after her inattentive mother and domineering brother, so she hatches a plot to bring these young residents together. However, the surprise arrival of Lady Ludlow's son Lord Septimus leads to a chain of unexpected events concerning the looming railway, and a tragedy at Matty's own house forces her to re-evaluate her opinions on the subject. Judi Dench and Jonathan Pryce star

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

Edwardian Farm -:- Spring sees the daffodil harvest, accompanied by a rush to get the flowers off to the train station so they can be delivered to towns and cities across the country within hours of being picked. Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn go to Dartmoor for the annual pony trek, and use the occasion to purchase one of the beasts for the farm. However, before their new pony is fit for work, he needs to be trained, and the farmers hire American horse whisperer Mike Branch for the job. Meanwhile, the arrival of new lambs is followed by a pleasant surprise for Ruth Goodman in the run-up to Mother's Day

Fault Lines -:- After a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, Fault Lines investigates how industry has weakened safety regulations to prioritize profits.

Flog It! -:- Paul Martin presents from Sandon Hall in Staffordshire, where antiques experts Christina Trevanion and Charles Hanson uncover a few gems including a silver ladle with a surprise in its bowl and a train set brought in by the son of William Moorcroft, the world-famous ceramicist. Plus, Paul finds out about the epic 18th-century voyage by the second Englishman to circumnavigate the globe

Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain -:- The former steeplejack investigates traditional craftsmanship in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, including glass-cutting, making rivets using the traditional hot forge method, and ornate carving. He also catches up with some old friends in the process of restoring a showman's engine and watches workers at the Midland Railway Centre as they repair damaged trains

Frontline Fightback -:- An incident in which a train driver suffered facial injuries after a brick was hurled at his cab, shattering the window. The train was travelling at 70mph, but the driver managed to bring it safely to a standstill, despite his injuries. Rav Wilding reports on how attacks like this have prompted one train company to start installing on-board technology, aimed at making journeys safer for passengers and staff

Gino's Italian Escape -:- Gino D'Acampo's latest leg begins in the Italian fashion capital of Milan, where he visits an elegant cocktail bar who were the first to introduce the idea of the aperitivo in the city. Its train station is one of the busiest in Europe and it's from here he travels on to the town of Treviglio, the home of Bianchi bikes - the first mass-manufactured bicycle in the world. Gino gets a tour of the factory before test riding one of their latest electric bikes alongside a group of local cyclists. Moving on, he visits the medieval town of Bergamo, where he meets ice-cream maker Niccolo, and visits a co-operative restaurant

Gino's Italian Escape -:- Gino's train journey takes him on a star-studded line-up of Tuscan cities. He begins in Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, and also home of the Vespa scooter, which gives the chef the ideal way to explore the city, before he hops back on the train toward the medieval city of Lucca, the birthplace of composer Puccini. Here, he meets master violin-maker Fabio and rustles up a vegetarian asparagus dish. His final stop is Florence, where he meets Cecilia, one of a network of local cooks keeping traditional recipes alive by opening up her kitchen to guests from all over the world

Girl Meets Farm -:- Molly Yeh celebrates her healthy baby with foods she couldn't eat while pregnant. She makes honey bagels with blueberry lox and a big salami railroad sandwich

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo arrives at a milestone on his American journey as he reaches the boundary between the northern and southern states, known as the Mason-Dixon line. Beginning in Wilmington, North Carolina, he uncovers the history of gunpowder production in Delaware, before heading to Baltimore, where he discovers how the first American steam engine owed a lot to British technology. On the city's east coast, Michael visits the star-shaped Fort McHenry, and learns how the Star-Spangled Banner national anthem was born

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo examines the history of the American rail network, using Appleton's General Guide to the United States and Canada of 1879 to plot his course. He begins on Manhattan Island and travels from Grand Central Terminal to the site of Ground Zero

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels through Philadelphia, and pays tribute to its fictional son, Rocky Balboa. He finishes the latest leg of his journey in Gettysburg, the most famous battlefield of the American Civil War, where President Abraham Lincoln made a momentous speech in 1863

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw's guide, Michael Portillo conducts important research in an historic tea room, built by an Edwardian immigrant to the city of York. In Leeds he discovers the city's textile heritage, and also investigates Bradford's musical heritage

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 -:- In East Yorkshire, Michael Portillo goes bird-watching on the cliffs of Flamborough Head before travelling to Filey in North Yorkshire, where he learns to decipher traditional knitting patterns. He then continues his journey to the Victorian seaside resort of Scarborough, and views a 4,000-year-old skeleton called Gristhorpe Man

Great British Railway Journeys -:- In picturesque Snowdonia, Michael Portillo braves the fastest zip line in the world - stretching 1,500 feet across a vast slate quarry as he begins the last leg of his journey to Caernarfon. En route, he also visits the home of British mountaineering, Pen y Gwryd, to hear how an Edwardian journalist and poet created a climbing community, which grew to include men who would conquer Everest in the 1950s

Great British Railway Journeys -:- In the final leg of his journey from Ayr to Skye, Michael Portillo discovers how the railways provided Second World War commandos with the means to travel to the isolated landscape of Lochailort, where they were able to train without attracting the attention of German spies. He also learns why langoustines have replaced herring as the best catch in the fishing port of Mallaig, and explores the history of Highland crofters

Great British Railway Journeys -:- In Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Michael Portillo visits the National Coal Mining Museum for England at Caphouse Colliery. In Leeds, he heads for the Chapeltown area to investigate the origins of the Leeds West Indian carnival in 1967 and tries his hand on the steel drums

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo arrives in Newport, Gwent, where he learns about the heroism of a young boy who was awarded the Albert Medal, before visiting a cinema dating from 1912 in Clevedon

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo completes his rail journey through 1930s Britain, beginning in Norfolk at the headquarters of an international horse welfare organisation. In Peterborough, he visits a tidal defence barrier that helped save the city from flooding, while in Lincolnshire crosses the point at which the Mallard broke the speed record for a steam-powered locomotive in 1938. After a spell in the coastal town of Skegness, Michael's journey ends at RAF Coningsby where he sees some iconic Second World War aircraft, before witnessing a dazzling display featuring the RAF's latest combat aircraft

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey along the Great Eastern Line, which ventures from the edge of England to the heart of London. In this leg, he examines the Victorians' fascination with the Suffolk village of Dunwich, Britain's answer to Atlantis, and discovers how nearby Felixstowe became home to the UK's biggest container port

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey following George Bradshaw's footsteps, as the third leg of his trip from Preston to Kirkcaldy sees him embarking on a two-day tour of the Lake District. He begins in Windermere, where he travels by steamboat to the north of the lake, and continues to Claife viewing station, where he learns about the water pollution caused by increasing levels of tourism. He spends the night in Grasmere, and the following day reaches Kendal, where he buys local delicacies and meets a farmer who explains the impact of railways on farming practices

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey from Ayr to Skye and investigates the parallel 'roads' etched in the side of Glen Roy - one of the geological mysteries of the 19th century. He also finds out how the Victorians put a weather observatory on the top of Ben Nevis, and crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct by steam train

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey inspired by George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. He searches for the last liquorice grower in Pontefract, finds out how the railways transformed Hull into one of the largest white-fish ports in the world, and goes fishing for sea bass in Bridlington

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey, travelling on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey steam railway, finding out about Roman discoveries in York, and taking to the air in the Network Rail helicopter

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 continues his post-war exploration of northwest England in Bradford, Shipley and Hebden Bridge. In Bradford's Centenary Square, he encounters local literary giant, JB Priestley. At Shipley station, Michael discovers a nature reserve in the middle of the car park. Finally the Calder Valley Line delivers the presenter to the photogenic station at Hebden Bridge

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 the first leg of a journey from East Yorkshire to Caernarfon, beginning by travelling from the city of Hull to the North Yorkshire market town of Malton

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 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 embarks on the second leg of his journey from Preston to Kirkcaldy, returning to the historic Settle-Carlisle line he helped save from dereliction when he was Minister of State for Transport in the 1980s. Here, engineer Tony Feshini describes what life was like for the people who originally built Ribblehead Viaduct, before Michael visits Dent, Cumbria, home to the highest railway station in England

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores the Britain of his youth, starting at Preston's Fulwood Barracks and heading to Bury Bolton Street Station in Greater Manchester

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores the east of England en route to Lincolnshire, discovering how the Crossrail project is helping to conserve birds and taking a gelato cart to Southend

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 more about the country's railways, beginning with the Great Eastern Line, which runs along the edge of England and into central London. On his travels, the former politician discovers the grave-robbing history of Great Yarmouth and tries his hand at working a Victorian swing bridge in Reedham, Norfolk. He also takes to the air to reveal how a rail guidebook helped aviators during the Second World War

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's journey through eastern England takes him to the Snape Maltings music and arts venue, the Norfolk seaside resort of Great Yarmouth and the city of Norwich

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's railway journey reaches Greater Manchester, where he celebrates new beginnings for the nation in the years after the Second World War. At Trafford General Hospital, he investigates the birth of the National Health Service. A retired physiotherapist recalls her part in the historic event of July 5, 1948. Coronation Star tells Michael about the first episode of the soap, broadcast live in 1960. And at the city's Science and Industry Museum, the presenter encounters a replica of the Baby, which was created in 1948 - the first machine in the world to run a stored program and the forerunner of all modern computers

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo's railway journey through 1930s Britain from Canterbury to Skegness reaches Witham in Essex, where he visits the factory of the world's oldest supplier of metal-framed windows, which became popular in the Thirties. Crossing into Suffolk, he alights at Ipswich and discovers the story of a group of child refugees whose history is intertwined with that of Michael's family

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels between Liverpool and Wales. Along the way he discovers a childhood favourite - a miniature tank engine with three carriages in dark red - made by Frank Hornby, and learns the story of a Welsh countess who lived in Gwrych Castle. In Snowdonia, he also rides the waves with a Welsh surfing champion

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels between Taunton and Newton Abbot. Along the way he joins in with a fertility dance in Stogumber, visits a celebrated garden at Hestercombe to discover the fruits of an unusual partnership, and enjoys a trip aboard the longest heritage line in England

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels by tram to the former cotton town of Oldham on the edge of the Peak District. Here he visits Oldham Coliseum, the town's Victorian repertory theatre, and hears about the lifting of censorship by the Lord Chamberlain's Office in the late 1960s. He then goes hiking before a visit to Sheffield, where he attends a knife-making workshop. He ends this part of his journey admiring the striking post-war sculptures of Barbara Hepworth at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield

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 the length and breadth of the country 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 in Liverpool by learning to speak Scouse, before researching the first railway fatality and exploring the origins of the Eccles cake

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels to the steel city of Sheffield where he discovers an early 20th century steam engine which produced armour plates for a Royal Navy warship. Then, Michael heads south into Nottinghamshire and to the former pit village of Eastwood, before arriving in Nantwich, where he takes a dip in the briny

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo visits the sites of Victorian freak shows, rides one of the world's first electric railways in Southend and encounters the preserved head of a medieval politician as he continues his journey along the route of the Great Eastern Line

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the first leg of his second journey, Michael Portillo heads to Kirkcaldy in Fife, finding out along the way how the mill town of Preston in Lancashire gave birth to the Temperance Movement. In Blackpool, he enjoys a performance in the Tower Ballroom and discovers the railways had a direct impact on the town's birth as a resort. After a stroll along the pier with local comedian Joey Blower, Michael visits Morecambe Bay

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the trail of an historic achievement made at the dawn of the Edwardian era, Michael Portillo investigates the first radio signal to be sent across the Atlantic. Then, in Plymouth, he uncovers what happened to surviving crew members of the most famous ocean liner in history, the Titanic. Later, at Fowey, the former politician rediscovers a lost literary figure known as Q, who immortalised the town in his novels

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 Coastal Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo begins this leg of his journey at Liverpool's historic waterfront, where he visits the International Slavery Museum at Royal Albert Dock, before heading underground to discover one of the most important and secret rooms of the Second World War, the Royal Navy's Western Approaches Headquarters. His next stop is Crosby on the Merseyside coastline in Sefton, before making his way north to Blackpool, the last stop on this leg of his journey

Great Coastal Railway Journeys -:- The final leg of this South Coast adventure begins in Fishbourne, the location of one of the most significant Roman sites in Britain. Heading into East Sussex, Michael Portillo visits Brighton, and for the final stop he celebrates the burgeoning winemaking industry of the South Downs

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 -:- Armed with his trusty 1913 Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide, Michael Portillo travels east through the Balkans along the most exotic section of the route taken by the Orient Express. His journey begins in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, and includes stops in the ancient city of Plovdiv, the region of Rumelia, and former capital of the Ottoman Empire Edirne. Arriving in Istanbul, Michael takes a trip on the Bosphorus - a much-coveted stretch of water - finds out about Turkish delight and travels along the Marmaray metro line, which connects European and Asian Istanbul via a tunnel beneath the Bosphorus

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 follows in the footsteps of Edwardian travellers to trace a route recommended in his Bradshaw's guide from the heart of France to the Mediterranean coast. His journey begins in Lyon, where he learns how the city got its gastronomic reputation, and takes instruction from a leading chef on making an omelette. In Avignon, he samples a glass of the region's famous wine Chateauneuf-du-Pape, before his journey ends at the Mediterranean port of Marseille, where he joins a pilot boat as it leads a supertanker to its berth

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 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 uses his 1913 copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide as he travels through Spain and Portugal. He begins in the city of La Coruna, where he examines the Celtic roots of the Galician people and tries to master the bagpipes, before meeting walkers from all over the world on the pilgrims' trail to Santiago de Compostela. Heading across the border to Porto, Michael finds out about the origins of Britain's long alliance with the Portuguese, and finishes his journey in the capital Lisbon

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo uses his 1913 copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide to explore Poland. He begins in the capital Warsaw, where he takes to the floor to dance to one of Chopin's polonaises with high-school students rehearsing for their leavers' ball, before discovering how the former industrial city of Lodz supplied the vast Russian empire of the early 20th century. He then heads to Poznan and rides one of the few remaining steam-powered commuter trains, visits a factory in Wroclaw that manufactures car bodies for locomotives, and ends his journey in Krakow, where he takes a tour in an iconic vehicle of the communist era

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo uses his 1913 copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide to venture beyond Europe as he travels through the Holy Land. He begins in Israel, learning about the Baha'i faith and how it spread to Britain in the Edwardian era, hearing the story of the origins of Tel Aviv, and visiting the Christian, Jewish and Muslim quarters of the capital Jerusalem. Michael then crosses the separation barrier between Jerusalem and the West Bank in the company of his Palestinian guide and meets the embroiderers of the Arab Women's Union in Bethlehem, before finishing his journey in the Negev desert

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Steered by his 1913 Bradshaw railway guide, Michael Portillo takes the train down the spine of Italy as he travels from Rome to Sicily. He begins by weaving among the capital city's landmarks on the back of a 1950s Vespa, before boarding the train south to Naples, where he finds out about the first railway to be built in the country, and ventures into the crater of Mount Vesuvius. He takes a detour to the island of Capri, before finishing his journey in the ancient hilltop town of Taormina

How Do They Do It? -:- A look at how one of the fastest bikes in the world was created, how pilots train to perform death-defying acrobatics, and how oil and gas is brought up from the bottom of the sea

How It's Made -:- Developments in the manufacture of turntables, steam engines, playground equipment and non-stick pans

Howl (2015) -:- A train leaves London on a dark and stormy night, only to come to a sudden halt in the middle of a forest when it collides with something on the tracks. The passengers must band together to survive the night when they discover a strange creature is lurking in the woods and is on the hunt for human prey. Horror, starring Ed Speleers and Holly Weston

How the West Was Won (1962) -:- Three generations of a pioneering family experience many ordeals and adventures in their endeavour to build a new life for themselves on the American frontier in the 19th century. Over the years, the family experiences the key events of the nation's history, including the gold rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads. Western, starring James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, Lee J Cobb and Richard Widmark

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

Inside the Steam Train Museum -:- Return of the documentary following life at Norfolk's Bressingham Steam Museum. To celebrate 60 years since the collection began, the locals are preparing for its anniversary steam gala event, and encounter a few 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 -:- During the challenging times of the pandemic, Choshi Electric Railway in Chiba Prefecture turned a profit in 2021. See the unique ideas the company has developed to keep the company on track.

Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure -:- The actress embarks on her third travelogue, having previously traced the Nile from its source and sampled the varied rural, historical and urban cultures of Greece. This time, she sets out to travel 6,400 miles making use of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is considered the longest railway line in the world. Joanna's journey begins in Hong Kong, where she spent some of her childhood. She takes a bullet train to Beijing, where she meets a woman who claims to have known the last Chinese emperor's favourite concubine, and officially joins the Trans-Siberian track. From there, she travels to the Great Wall, and takes an overnight train into Mongolia via the Gobi desert

Kati Patang (1970) -:- Madhu flees an arranged marriage or another man. On discovering the man she loves is only after her money and that her uncle has been driven to suicide, she is left with nowhere to go. She meets a widowed friend, who is going to meet her late husband's family for the first time. When her friend is killed in a train crash, Madhu takes her place. Musical drama, with Asha Parekh and Rajesh Khanna

Kentucky Rifle (1956) -:- A wagon train carrying a shipment of rifles must make a perilous journey through hostile territory occupied by the Comanche Indians, who have their eyes on the guns. Western, starring Chill Wills and Lance Fuller

King of the Wild Stallions (1959) -:- Rancher Martha Morse faces losing her home to a cruel landowner, but her devoted stable hand has a plan to save the day by claiming the reward offered for capturing an infamous wild horse. However, nobody knows that Martha's unsuspecting son has already befriended the animal and is trying to train it. Western, starring Diane Brewster and George Montgomery

Last of the Summer Wine -:- Foggy takes Compo and Clegg on a nostalgic day out to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway to ride on a steam train - but the trio soon interfere in matters that should not concern them. Brian Wilde, Bill Owen and Peter Sallis star

Last Train from Gun Hill (1959) -:- A marshal discovers the man responsible for raping and killing his wife is actually the son of an old friend, setting the scene for a showdown. Western, starring Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Brian Hutton and Carolyn Jones

Midsomer Murders -:- When a woman is drowned in a bath and made to look like a bride, with a chilling lipstick message on the bathroom mirror, it triggers a spate of ghoulish wedding-themed murders in Great Worthy. The case takes Barnaby and Jones to a donkey sanctuary, a heritage steam railway and a pub run by an ex-policeman and former brothel madam as they try to identify the killer. Guest starring Pam Ferris (Rosemary & Thyme) and Kacey Ainsworth (formerly EastEnders' Little Mo)

Murder, She Said (1961) -:- Elderly sleuth Miss Marple is travelling by rail when she witnesses a murder on a passing train. The police dismiss her claims, so she launches a private investigation and goes to work as a servant in the stately home where she believes the body is hidden. Agatha Christie mystery, starring Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow and James Robertson Justice

Murdoch Mysteries -:- Murdoch, Brackenreid and Ogden escort serial killer James Gillies on a train to a prison in Kingston, Ontario, where he will be executed the next day. When a murder occurs, it transpires some of the passengers are in league with Gillies, and have planned an audacious escape attempt. Drama, starring Yannick Bisson as a principled detective investigating crime in 19th-century Canada

My Family -:- With Christmas approaching, the Harpers spend a day shopping and getting into the festive spirit, but their joy proves short-lived when their tube train suddenly grinds to a halt and they face the prospect of spending the holiday on the Underground. Christmas special of the sitcom from 2003, with a guest appearance by Richard Whiteley

Mystery Diners -:- The owner of Fillmore and Western Railway in California, is concerned about missing supplies, and rumours of unauthorised passengers during his train's dinner theatre service

My Strange Addiction -:- Featuring a woman who regularly eats detergent, and a man who is so obsessed with strongman competitions that he trains for up to six hours a day

Nate Is Late -:- Nate and Malika are offered a free ride on a ghost train which turns out to be a cover to train young monsters

Nate Is Late -:- Nate and Malika meet Jin, a ninja who offers to train them. In order to become a master, he needs to prove he has students. Curious to see a real secret dojo, the kids agree.

Ninjago: Dragons Rising -:- Computer-animated epic fantasy superhero sequel series. Lloyd frees Arin and Sora from the prison train and they escape with young dragon Riyu, who gives them a clue to find his home - when they return to the Ninja Cave to research Lloyd's maps, Sora repairs the Bounty and they travel to the land of Three Peaks to reunite Riyu with his clan. However, the Claws follow them and capture Riyu's matriarch, who grants Lloyd a mysterious new power to fight back...

Ninjago: Dragons Rising -:- Computer-animated epic fantasy superhero sequel series. Lloyd trains Arin and Sora by impersonating Master Wu, but his lessons won't stick, so Sora and Arin sneak out of the Monastery to go to the Crossroads Carnival and rescue Lobbo from Kreel - however, they uncover a much larger kidnapping plot while a villain named Dorama is using Whack Rats to create fireworks. Lloyd follows his students to the carnival... and a memorial to his missing teammates.

Noddy: Toyland Detective -:- The toys get stuck at the railway station when someone spreads glue all over the platform

Once Upon a Texas Train (1987) -:- Ageing outlaw Willie Nelson plunges straight back into a life of crime just hours after being released from prison - and uses the proceeds to reunite his equally long-in-the-tooth cohorts for an ambitious robbery. However, old enemy Richard Widmark is determined to stop the wrinkly renegades, leading them into a tense final showdown. Entertaining light-hearted Western, written and directed by cowboy movie veteran Burt Kennedy. Angie Dickinson, Stuart Whitman and Shaun Cassidy co-star

Railroad Alaska -:- A family faces down a threat to its food supply, a man makes a grueling five-hour hike in the wilderness and an ice storm threatens to derail a scheduled freight train

Railroad Alaska -:- Jim and Nancy rush to make repairs before the Alaskan winter chases them out of their home, and Dan decides to sell his cabin - but first he must find a buyer

Railroad Alaska -:- Offgrid, Josh and Annie urgently need to move their cabin away from a rapidly rising river, while on the railroad an avalanche threatens to derail a train

Rocky IV (1985) -:- The Italian Stallion agrees to help former champion Apollo Creed train for a match against a seemingly invincible boxer from the Soviet Union, only to see his friend die as a result of injuries sustained in the fight. Rocky vows to avenge him, and prepares to take on the Russian heavyweight in his own country. Drama sequel, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone. With Dolph Lundgren, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers and Brigitte Nielsen

Runaway Train (1985) -:- A hardened criminal and his accomplice escape from a high-security prison in Alaska and stow away on board a freight train, unaware it is driverless and speeding out of control. Action adventure, starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay and Kyle T Heffner. Based on a screenplay by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa

Salvage Hunters -:- In Sheffield, Drew Pritchard finds a stunning collection of antique cutler's stools. Later, he heads to Leeds where he finds some rare streetlights at a heritage railway and museum

Salvage Hunters: The Restorers -:- Metal worker Ted is challenged to repurpose a rusty railway signal light. Alex restores a headless carousel animal, while Craig fixes up a lounge chair.

Scrap Kings -:- A giant brick tower is toppled next to a railway line. Meanwhile, one of Britain's veteran scrap kings ploughs his profits into racing cars

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 Arsenal -:- Geoff Edgers shares tales of heroism, inspired by four unique items, including a golden statue related to the US Marine Corps, and a medal awarded following a daring train heist

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

Stargate SG-1 -:- The crew has an unexpected run-in with the legendary Jaffa of the Sodan, and a heated battle ensues. Mitchell is left wounded, but before he can recover he is abducted by different enemies who train him for a savage fight to the death

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

Steam Train Britain -:- Great Central Railway's Scott Manley takes a rainy busman's holiday working as a guard at Bury, while a team of volunteers in Wales try to keep the line clear of overgrown plants

Steam Train Britain -:- On the Welsh Highland Railway, a newly built Pullman carriage is on its way to Caernarfon Station and a Saddle Tank Loco is being completely restored on the East Lancashire Railway

Susan Calman's Grand Day Out -:- The presenter and her campervan Helen are heading back to an old favourite - Yorkshire. However, Susan finds that the dales and moors contain a few spots she hasn't explored - and a few surprises that are a joy to discover. Oakworth Station is one such place - home to a still functioning steam railway, it's the train station where the 1970s classic The Railway Children was filmed

Taskmaster -:- Greg Davies sets more tasks for comedians including Frank Skinner. He takes a boulder onto a train for a pleasant excursion. Then he, Roisin Conaty, Tim Key, Romesh Ranganathan and Josh Widdicombe try to make a Swedish man blush

The Art of Architecture -:- A look at Southern Cross railway station in Melbourne, designed by veteran architect Nicholas Grimshaw, who was also the man behind Waterloo International

The Big Bang Theory -:- Leonard and Amy are forced to take an unexpected road trip to Arizona to pick up Sheldon after his epic railway journey ends in chaos. Meanwhile, Howard finds Stuart's relationship with his mother strange, and Penny has an interview for a sales job at Bernadette's workplace. Comedy, starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco

The Big Bang Theory -:- Leonard and Penny ask Howard and Bernadette for advice when they argue about money. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Raj try to find out whether they could survive a dark matter research expedition in a salt mine by attempting to simulate the conditions in a steam tunnel beneath the university. Comedy, starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco

The Big Bang Theory -:- Sheldon and Amy take a train ride to the Napa Valley with Howard and Bernadette on Valentine's Day, while Leonard and Penny head to the vets when they volunteer to look after Raj's dog. Comedy, starring Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco

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 Epic Tales of Captain Underpants -:- Animated comedy featuring two trouble-making young friends who re-imagine their grumpy headmaster as a superhero looking to fight crime and save their city. The boys discover that the real reason that the school was sent to space is to reclaim an alien spacecraft so small that only a child can fit inside - George and Harold train with Melvin and Erica to make first contact, and hopefully not set off an intergalactic war, but then Melvin is captured by the evil Biglyans...

The First World War -:- The penultimate episode explores Germany's bid to end the conflict by launching a massive offensive on the Western Fron tin March 1918, masterminded by General Erich Ludendorff. Within days the British Fifth Army was in retreat, Paris was under shellfire and defeat seemed inevitable. However, the plan ran out of steam as supplies and strategic options dried up and German troops became war-weary, hungry and demoralised

The Flying Scotsman -:- During its lifetime, the Flying Scotsman has broken records, travelled the world, starred in a movie and even bankrupted its owners. Engineer Rob Bell presents the first of a two-part documentary charting the history of the world's most famous steam locomotive, looking at why has it inspired such affection among steam fans and still attracts huge crowds wherever it goes

The Great Model Railway Challenge -:- In an extended edition, four finalists have three days to create miniature railway layouts that must amaze, confound and delight, before the winner is announced. Judges Steve Flint and Kathy Millat cast an expert eye over designs that include an homage to Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland, an eco research centre, and an Austin Powers-themed layout

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 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 Lakes with Paul Rose -:- Remote Eskdale is the next destination in the explorer's trek through the Lake District, enjoying the landscapes and meeting its people. The corner of the western Lakes he focuses on is off the normal tourist track, yet boasts England's highest mountain. However, before making the tough climb to the summit of Scafell Pike, Paul meets the folk who run one of the country's most scenic railways, has a close encounter with a vulture, and gets to grips with the locals in a spot of Cumberland wrestling

The Royal -:- Dr Cheriton has the unenviable task of informing a patient she has little time to live, and the situation soon prompts a hasty wedding ceremony. Arriving at the scene of an accident at the railway station, Dr Ormerod is forced to make a drastic decision, but an oncoming train signals disaster. Medical drama, starring Julian Ovenden, Robert Daws, Bill Maynard and Amy Robbins

The Sound Collector -:- The Sound Collector tries to teach Mole a new trick - how to 'stay' when he blows a whistle. But when a steam train blows its whistle, the Sound Collector has to investigate right away. At the train station, the Sound Collector listens to all the wonderful sounds around him - the hiss of steam, the slamming of doors and the squealing of wheels - before the train chugs away into the distance.

The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953) -:- A spy for the Confederacy during the American Civil War decides to make a fresh start after the conflict, and takes a job working for a railroad freight company. However, his past catches up with him in the form of a former ally who is now the leader of a gang of bandits and is plotting a train robbery. Western, starring Randolph Scott and Claire Trevor

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard -:- A summer heatwave brings record numbers to the railway, though joy turns to despair for the staff when it looks like the railway will be prevented from running its iconic steam engines through a tinder-dry national park. Through a series of expensive preventative measures - including hiring in a couple of heritage diesel trains and having a makeshift fire truck follow every engine - boss Chris manages to keep the business running. The engine shed workers are also kept busy trying to get star locomotive Eric steaming again

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard -:- Preparations are under way for Yorkshire Day, including a special Yorkshire-themed Pullman service, with Gill and husband Paul getting hands-on sorting out the event. There is also another big occasion on the horizon and Tim is organising the wedding of head boilersmith Mark and his equally steam-mad fiancée Emma. Their love blossomed because of mutual passion for steam, and in particular the B1, so they want the engine to pull them on their wedding train, but issues with the engine means it might miss the big day

Three Young Texans (1954) -:- A young man gets mixed up in a train robbery while trying to help his father, only for a friend to demand a share of the loot. Western, starring Mitzi Gaynor and Keefe Brasselle

Top Gear -:- Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embark on a race from London's Wembley Stadium to Milan's San Siro, the home of Italian football giants AC and Inter. A price restriction leads Jeremy to grab the keys to a Shelby Mustang GT500, which costs the equivalent of £35,000 in America and packs a supercharged punch of more than 650bhp. James and Richard pin their hopes on the pan-European rail network in a bid to secure the prize of tickets to a top-flight football match, with nothing but a long journey home awaiting the losers. On the test track, Jeremy puts Toyota's GT86 coupe through its paces, and its promise of entertaining rear-wheel-drive handling should put a smile on his face. Plus, singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald gets to grips with the Reasonably Priced Car

Veerappan () -:- Teenager Veerappan trains under his smuggler uncle Sevi Gounder and becomes a notorious dacoit. When he learns about a covert operation to arrest him, he kills all the STF officers

Wagons West (1952) -:- Jeff Curtis, a travelling wagon-master agrees to lead a pioneer train from Joplin, Missouri to the Oregon territories. When the train begins to encounter trouble with well-armed Native tribes, Jeff is forced to consider the prospect that one of the convoy's members is selling weapons to the enemy, and suspicion falls on the mean-spirited nephew of the train's captain. Western, starring Rod Cameron

Walks Around Britain -:- Andrew White treks up The Great Orme in North Wales and beside a railway in West Yorkshire

Weatherman Walking -:- Derek Brockway follows the Heart of Wales Railway in Carmarthenshire and takes part in the World Bog Snorkelling Championships. He also takes part in a tug-of-war with young farmers and has afternoon tea under a railway viaduct. Matthew Bassett joins cyclists in Llandovery and wildlife expert Lizzie Daly goes in search of pied flycatchers in rare Atlantic oak woodland

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


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