A new TV series starts next week all about the railways, and specifically the buildings, stations, tunnels, bridges, the infrastructure that enables trains to go from here to there.
Presented by hyperactive railway historian, Tim Dunn, the TV series will roam from grand edifices in major cities to tiny rural stations serving small communities.
The series goes much further than stations though, visiting any structure that’s existence is owed to the railway: viaducts, signal boxes, tunnels, pedestrian passages, workshops, railway hotels: as well as less obvious buildings like homes, swimming pools and.. even Turkish baths.
Tim’s been able to get access to places people don’t usually get to see – including locations he’s always dreamed of visiting. As part of the filming, he wnt behind the scenes of the buildings, and along the way, he meets architects and people with passions for design and rail history.
- Tues 28 April, 8pm: Tim explores a disused tube station that played a crucial tactical role in WW2, visits Rotterdam to see the city’s splendid new station and learns how the wrought iron Bennerley Viaduct was built.
- Tues 5 May, 8pm: Tim visits the Ffestiniog in north Wales, to explore the architecture hidden along the line, and has special access to Amsterdam’s royal waiting room, and a secret tunnel beneath a London railway hotel.
- Tues 12 May, 8pm: Tim goes behind the scenes at London’s King’s Cross station, sees a funicular inside a cliff in Bristol, finds out about a station in Devon that’s never had a train and, in Germany, explores the highest brick viaduct in the world.
- Tues 19 May, 8pm: Tim visits the Ribblehead Viaduct and explores the stations and structures along the Settle to Carlisle line, the art deco splendour of Surbiton and the glacier-like structures of the Hungerbergbahn stations in Innsbruck.
- Tues 26 May, 8pm: Tim follows his family roots by exploring the architecture in Metroland to the north west of London. He also sees the ornate Great Malvern station and its secret “Worm” passage and he experiences the extraordinary Glacier Express in Switzerland.
- Tues 2 June, 8pm: Tim explores St Pancras station and its sister hotel, learns about the station built for Castle Howard and a new Swiss funicular that keeps a mountain village connected.
- Tues 9 June, 8pm: Tim rides up Mt Snowdon’s railway to visit the summit station, built to withstand extreme weather, explores the world’s largest mechanically operated signal box and finds out how a glass structure envelops Strasbourg’s 19thcentury station.
- Tues 16 June, 8pm: Tim looks inside the former HQ of London Underground, 55 Broadway, visits the rural Norfolk station that used to serve the monarch’s Sandringham Estate and sees the timber-framed Barmouth Bridge in north Wales
- Tues 23 June, 8pm: Tim visits the architecture of the Stockton & Darlington railway, the first passenger steam line in the world. He also finds out how Essex’s enormous Chappel Viaduct was built and explores the stations of Stockholm’s metro system.
- Tues 30 June, 8pm: Tim visits Swindon’s railway village, which became home to Great Western’s enormous works. He also looks at the 1990s station buildings on London’s Jubilee Line extension; and he explores the dark and secret past of Milan’s monumental station