GREAT CONTINENTAL RAILWAY JOURNEYS: Series One
Airs Sundays, July 20 - August 10 & Sept. 7, 2014 at 7 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, July 18, 2014
In GREAT CONTINENTAL RAILWAY JOURNEYS, British broadcaster and journalist Michael Portillo travels on the great train routes of Europe as he retraces the journeys featured in George Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide. Creating a stunning vision of Europe as it was a century ago, GREAT CONTINENTAL RAILWAY JOURNEYS discovers how a way of life and a landscape were changed forever when Europe went to war.
Episode One: "London To Monte Carlo" airs Sunday, July 20 at 7 p.m. - Michael Portillo ventures onto the European rail network to retrace journeys featured in Bradshaw, 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.
Episode Two: "Hungary To Austria" airs Sunday, July 27 at 7 p.m. - Armed with his trusty copy of Bradshaw, Michael Portillo explores the former domain of the Habsburg monarchs, beginning in the Hungarian capital Budapest. He then travels to Austria via Bratislava in Slovakia, and in Vienna he immerses himself in pre-First World War decadence.
From there he heads to Salzburg, before going on to the Salzkammergut region to visit the emperor's Austrian summer residence at Bad Ischl, where in 1914 Franz Joseph I signed a declaration that changed the course of European history.
Episode Three: "Berlin To The Rhine" airs Sunday, August 3 at 7 p.m. - Michael Portillo travels through Germany, beginning his journey in Berlin — which at the beginning of the 20th Century was a powerhouse of science and technology. He learns how imperial Germany was ready for war. He then goes south along the tourist trail of the castle-studded Rhine River and ends in the Rheingau to taste the wines of its vineyards.
Episode Four: "Switzerland" airs Sunday, August 10 at 7 p.m. - Following in the footsteps of early 20th-century travelers, Michael Portillo explores Switzerland, which was a favorite with Edwardian tourists. He begins in Basle, travels east to visit the industrial regions of Zurich and learns about the engineering feats needed to thread the rail network through the Alps. He takes in the striking beauty of Lake Lucerne, before ending with an ascent by train to Europe's highest station at Jungfraujoch.
Episode Five: "Amsterdam To Northern France" airs Sunday, September 7 at 7 p.m. - Michael Portillo explores Holland and Belgium, before travelling to the French sector of the Western Front. He ends his journey in the Forest of Compiègne in northern France to hear how the First World War armistice was signed in a railway carriage.