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Great Australian Railway Journeys Adelaide to Perth: The Indian Pacific Series 01 E03

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Great Australian Railway Journeys Adelaide to Perth: The Indian Pacific Series 01 E03

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Michael Portillo embarks on a rail adventure aboard the transcontinental Indian Pacific Railway, which stretches from the southern port city of Adelaide, South Australia, 1,700 miles deep into the desert, to the gold rush town of Kalgoorlie, before finishing in Perth, Western Australia.

First, Michael explores McLaren Vale, where an enterprising early 19th century Briton with a murky past began to grow vines. Michael enjoys the fruits of his labours and hears his story from his great great great granddaughter.

Boarding the mighty Indian Pacific, Michael embraces the luxury of a previous age as he travels across Australia's notoriously remote and inhospitable Nullarbor Plain. He discovers the 100-year-old history behind the ambitious line and the tremendous feat of engineering it took to deliver it. In the ghost town of Cook, Michael helps to top up the train's water and is rewarded with dinner under the stars at Rawlinna. He strikes gold in one of the most lucrative goldfields in the world and strikes it lucky in the traditional Australian gambling game of 'Two Up'.

He pays a flying visit to the doctor to hear how patients in remote Western Australia are cared for, then takes to the skies to admire Perth, one of the world's most isolated cities, and its port of Fremantle. South of the city, in Pinjarra, he uncovers a dark chapter in the histories of both Britain and Australia – a child migration programme devised at the time of Michael’s Bradshaw's Guide.

Back in Perth, Michael hears how Edward VIII was caught up in a train accident near Bridgetown and is invited to an Aussie barbie.




Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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Great Australian Railway Journeys Canberra to Melbourne Series 01 E04

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Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo crosses the south east of Australia from the seat of government in Canberra to the multi-ethnic heart of its second largest city, Melbourne.

Floating above Canberra in a hot air balloon, Michael sees how Australia’s Bush Capital was planned in the early 20th century. He discovers the story behind the Ashes at the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground and cheers for England in the last 20 20 match of the season. Hard on the heels of the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly, Michael enjoys a special screening of the world’s first feature film, made in 1906, which tells of his exploits. At the beautiful former home of superstar soprano, Dame Nellie Melba, Michael discovers her origins and her global fame and listens to one of her best-known songs.

The Puffing Billy narrow gauge steam railway, built in 1900, takes Michael through the rainforest of the Dandenong mountains across a spectacular trestle bridge. Michael meets some of the 1,000 volunteers who keep the line in service.

Michael finishes at Birregurra, 80 miles west of Melbourne, on a 500-acre sheep farm, which was founded by British settlers from Devon during the 1840s. Here, he discovers the story of Australia told in a single family - and learns how to shear a sheep.


Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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The INDIAN PACIFIC: Australia's Greatest Train - Sydney to Perth | Full Trip Video

The Indian Pacific is one of the world's finest train journeys, carrying passengers on a three night, four day excursion, the full 4,352km across Australia between Sydney and Perth. This is a must-take trip for the rail enthusiast, being in the top five longest trains in the world, and traversing the world's longest straight piece of track (478km) on the Trans Australian Railway on the Nullarbor Plain. It's a luxury experience, encompassing several off-train stops and excursions at places of interest along the route.

On this trip, I was kindly hosted by Great Southern Rail, who operate this magnificent train. Tickets and journey information can be found at:

This video is not sponsored and all editorial and commentary is my own, and not approved by the hosting company.

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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Berlin to The Rhein S01E03

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Michael begins this journey in Berlin, the capital of Germany, which at the beginning of the 20th century was a powerhouse of science and technology. Led by his 1913 railway guide, he then heads west via the picturesque Harz Mountains to the industrial Ruhr Valley to learn how imperial Germany was war ready. He then travels south along the tourist trail of the castle-studded Rhein river and ends his journey in the Rheingau to taste the wines of its age-old vineyards.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Hungary to Austria S01E02

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Steered by his 1913 railway guide, on this journey Michael Portillo explores the once-great empire of Austria-Hungary, domain of the famous Habsburg monarchs. Starting in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, he travels via Bratislava in Slovakia to the beautiful and elegant city of Vienna, where he immerses himself in prewar decadence. From there, he travels to Salzburg, before heading to the magnificent scenery of the Salzkammergut region to visit the emperor's Austrian summer house at Bad Ischl, where in 1914 European history changed course forever.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Bangkok S01 E05 [HD]

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Michael Portillo is in the Thai capital, Bangkok, midway through his rail tour of Thailand. He learns how the late 19th-century King Rama V built a grand palace and introduced railways to his country. He discovers the fine terminus commissioned by the king and meets a historian and designer who shares family roots with the present royal dynasty. Michael learns that King Rama V’s love of steam engines was inspired by Queen Victoria.

At the colossal new station under construction in the city, Michael hears how its four levels and 24 platforms will transform Thailand’s transport infrastructure. He circles the Grand Palace by tuk tuk, then boards the 21st-century skytrain for a wonderful view of the city.

Michael dines on the water in a floating market, where purchases are made from boat to boat. Following in the footsteps of writers such as Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and John Le Carre, Michael checks into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, built just before his guide.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Bangkok to HuaHin S01 E06 [HD]

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Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Thailand by rail, steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s guide. He steps into the ring under the guidance of champion trainer Master Toddy to learn Muay Thai boxing. Can he perfect the cobra-inspired right hook?

Taking his courage in both hands, Michael confronts his dread of snakes to assist in a surgical operation on a deadly venomous king cobra. He discovers the lifesaving work of Bangkok’s Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, established at the time of his guide by the royal family after the death of a young princess.

Striking south to the resort of Hua Hin, Michael learns the history of the Southern Railway and hears how royal patronage kickstarted today’s Thai tourist industry. He meets the niece of the present king, Rama X, at the Palace of Love and Hope, created by their ancestor, King Rama VI, to hear about a colourful restoration project.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys London to Monte Carlo S01E01

Leaving London behind, armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo follows the most popular route of the Edwardian traveller through France.

His first stop is Paris, where he absorbs the atmosphere of La Belle Époque, before he travels south to the Cote D'Azur, where he samples the Edwardian highlife and learns why the area attracted the rich and artistic alike. He then ends his journey as he arrives at the gaming tables in glamorous Monte Carlo.

BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Turin to Venice S02E02

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Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo takes the train from the former political capital of Italy, Turin, to Casanova's capital of romance, Venice.

Along the way, he recreates the famous Italian Job on an historic Fiat test track and follows fashion in Milan before investigating the early 20th-century British love affair with Lake Como in a seaplane. In Verona, Michael discovers the 'House of the Capulets', bought to attract Edwardian tourists to the scene of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. He then heads over the rail bridge across the lagoon to Venice, where he finds a microcosm of pre-First World War Europe in the Venice Biennale art exhibition.

BBC's Great Asian Railway Journeys Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet S01E07 [HD]

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Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo boards the Unification Railway for a thousand-mile journey from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to the northern capital, Hanoi, and finishing in the beautiful emerald seas of Halong Bay.

Michael’s Bradshaw’s unlocks for him the traumatic 20th-century history of today’s Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a former French colony.

On this leg, Michael braves the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a motorbike, one of 8.5 million people to do so daily. He attempts the national sport, da cau, and samples the French-Vietnamese fusion food banh mi.
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BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys Amsterdam to Northern France S01E05

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Michael Portillo uses George Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide to explore the dazzling cities of the pre-war Low Countries before tasting the delicacies of Brussels. He then travels to the French sector of the Western Front, where from 1914 the trains carried a new cargo of artillery shells, with the Edwardian tourists of 1913 replaced by soldiers facing the horrors of the trenches. He will end his epic journey in the forest of Compiegne to hear how, after four years of conflict, the Armistice was finally signed in a railway carriage.

BBC's Great Canadian Railway Journeys Kamloops to Banff S01 EPISODE 09/15

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Clutching his 1899 Appleton's Guide, Michael Portillo boards one of the world's most famous trains, the Rocky Mountaineer, to cross the backbone of the North American continent from Kamloops to the spa resort of Banff. This magnificent journey takes him to the highest point of the 19th-century transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway line at Kicking Horse Pass, past Lake Louise and inside spiral tunnels blasted through the mountains.

Along the way, Michael hears of the harsh and dangerous conditions endured by the Chinese and European labourers who built the railway and the many deaths which resulted. He looks back at the historic driving of the Last Spike, which completed the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. After chatting with fellow passengers, Michael reports for duty in the luxury train's restaurant car. Reaching Banff, Michael follows his Appleton's guide to the luxurious Banff Spring Hotel, built by the railway company. At Sulphur Mountain close by, he explores an underground hot spring discovered by railway workers in 1883 and he learns how it prompted the creation of Canada's first national park. He finishes this leg of his tour of western Canada with a dip in the warm waters beneath and a hike on its summit.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Great Australian Railway Journeys Sydney to Broken Hill Series 01 E02

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Michael Portillo explores New South Wales, steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide. He strikes west into the Blue Mountains and travels 570 miles into the interior of the vast Australian continent to reach the mining city of Broken Hill.

Beginning in the waterside metropolis of Sydney, the NSW capital, Michael investigates the origins of the city as a penal colony, visiting the Hyde Park Barracks, where many of the first convicts were housed. Taking his courage in both hands, Michael climbs to the top of the Coathanger to admire the view of the harbour and tours the city’s iconic Opera House.

At Bondi Beach, he joins volunteers from the Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club, founded at the time of his guidebook, for rescue practice. In the Blue Mountains, Michael hears from indigenous guide Yamandirra about his people’s relationship to the land and is ceremonially 'welcomed to the country'.

At Katoomba, Michael is in for the ride of his life on the steepest railway in the world. How to follow this 125-second thrill? With an overnight journey on one of the world’s longest trains, the luxurious Indian Pacific Railway.

Arriving deep in the parched Outback at Broken Hill, Michael discovers the precious metal that put this isolated outpost on the international map, silver.


Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Great Australian Railway Journeys Series Newcastle to Brisbane Series 01 E06

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Michael Portillo is on the eastern coast of Australia travelling from the coal mines of Newcastle, New South Wales, to Queensland’s modern state capital, Brisbane. Along the way, he crosses the mighty Hawkesbury River to admire magnificent scenery, tends to an injured koala, gets some tips from an Aussie rugby legend and rides a solar-powered train.

In the world’s largest coal exporting port, Michael marvels at the skill of the loader as he transfers thousands of tonnes of coal from rail to ship. The North Coast Line takes Michael to the koala hospital at Port Macquarie, where he finds populations of these iconic marsupials are in rapid decline.

At Kempsey, Michael discovers a factory where, at the time of his Bradshaw’s, they began to make the quintessential Australian bush hat. Michael learns how the hats are produced and tries some for size.

In Woolgoolga, Michael joins a Sikh community to hear how they have integrated into Australian society. He learns how to meditate on the beach at Byron Bay and tastes traditional lamington cake in Brisbane before tackling training with the Queensland Reds.

Great Australian Railway Journeys from Kuranda to Townsville Series 01 E05

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From tropical rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef, Michael Portillo navigates his way by rail through Queensland, Australia, with the aid of his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide.

Inching his way across the Stony Creek Bridge on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, Michael marvels at the engineering expertise of the 1890s, when the line was built, and the magnificent scenery 300 metres below him.

Following in the footsteps of Edwardian tourists, Michael is introduced to the beautiful flora and fauna of the rainforest – and its deadly inhabitants.

The Spirit of Queensland service carries him south to the Tully sugar plantation, where he learns to harvest sugar cane and seizes the chance to drive the Sugar Cane Express. In the wonderfully preserved art deco town of Innisfail, Michael learns how resilient Queenslanders withstand the tropical storms which strike the region. More challenging wildlife awaits him in the hinterland, where he braves a crocodile safari.

At Mungalla cattle station, Michael joins the indigenous owner for a feast cooked underground. He hears how aboriginal people faced brutality at the hands of 19th-century settlers and how today at Mungalla they are taking their destiny into their own hands.

After a sing-along at the Billabong, Michael makes tracks for Townsville and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Pioneering photographs taken at the time of his Bradshaw’s brought the corals to the world’s attention and now two million people visit the reef annually. Michael discovers a citizens’ army is deploying robots to protect the world heritage site from a hungry predator.



Disclaimer:-

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing
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BBC's Great Canadian Railway Journeys Calgary S01 EPISODE 10/15

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Michael Portillo arrives in Calgary, in the Canadian province of Alberta, steered by his 1899 Appleton's guide. Sporting a bright red jacket, he saddles up with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hears about their origins and learns about their role today. He tastes life as a ranch hand at Bar U Ranch, where he discovers how the cattle business boomed after the arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1885. New markets led to fame worldwide, prompting a surprise royal visit from Britain in 1919 by Edward, Prince of Wales.

Riding the 'C' train, Michael heads downtown to the Calgary Petroleum Club to hear about the first oil strike in Western Canada and the prosperity the city has enjoyed since. It's festival time and Michael is introduced to a Calgary delicacy, the Prairie Oyster. The city's Ukrainian community is the second largest outside the Ukraine and keeps its culture alive. Michael rashly accepts an invitation to dance the Hopak.

BBC's Great Indian Railway Journeys Amritsar to Shimla S01E01

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Guided by his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, Michael Portillo travels across India. He embarks on a classic rail journey from Amritsar to Shimla. Along the way, he helps to feed the thousands at the world's largest free kitchen and travels the railway routes used by millions of migrants partition. He gives his trademark colourful wardrobe an Indian twist and reaches the foothills of the Himalayas, where the epic Kalka to Shimla hill railway carries him to the former summer seat of the British rulers of the Raj.

Published when the British Raj was at its height, Michael's guide leads him to some of the key locations in India's 20th-century story, from the massacre in Amritsar in 1919 to the bloody events of partition.

Beginning in the Sikh holy city, Michael is dazzled by the beauty of the Golden Temple and awed by the scale of its langar - the world's largest free kitchen.

His route then takes him through the Punjab, India's breadbasket. Michael samples traditional chapattis, has a colourful kurta made up in one of the Punjab's biggest cloth markets, and can't resist the foot-tapping rhythms of Punjabi bhangra dancing, made famous by Bollywood. Portillo's journey also reveals surprises. He uncovers a pioneering women's medical college in Ludhiana, before plunging into Chandigarh, designed by Le Corbusier as a modernist expression of India's post-independence future.

At Kalka, Michael glimpses the Himalayas for the first time and joins the 1906-built mountain railway for a stunning climb to Shimla. There, he relives the days when the creme de la creme of expatriate society went to socialise and rule - their exploits recorded by a young Rudyard Kipling

BBC's Great Indian Railway Journeys Jodhpur to Delhi S01E02

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Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel in hand, Michael embarks on a stunning rail journey from the Thar Desert in Rajasthan to the Indian capital, taking in desert landscapes and dazzling historic palaces.

From Jodhpur, Michael strikes out into the desert, taking a camel ride to a village where life has changed little in centuries, before embarking on the Jaipur-Agra-Delhi 'Golden Triangle' tour - India's must-do itinerary in 1913 as today. In Jaipur, Michael enjoys a gin and tonic in a lavish former palace before learning about the close ties between the rajahs of Jaipur and British royalty. He takes a polo masterclass from a maharaja and enjoys a shower with a difference, courtesy of an elephant.

Continuing east, Michael breaks his journey in drought-prone Bandikui, where he marvels at the extraordinary architecture of one of India's largest and deepest step wells. In Agra, Michael first glimpses the Taj Mahal from a luxurious hotel room with a view. Heading for a closer look, he learns how this romantic monument built by a Mughal emperor was restored by a British viceroy at the time of his Bradshaw's guide book. Having pre-ordered an on-train lunch using a mobile app, Michael joins the crowds in 'unreserved class' en route to Delhi, where he samples street food in Chandni Chowk before boarding the sparkling new metro towards New Delhi.

Journey's end is at New Delhi, built to house the rulers of the Raj after the capital moved from Calcutta in 1911 and designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens. But even as the crowds cheered King George V at the Delhi Durbar held the same year, anti-British sentiment was growing and soon after New Delhi was complete, India was granted independence.

BBC's Great Alaskan Railroad Journeys Anchorage to Wasilla S01E02

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Steered by his Appleton's Guidebook to Alaska, Michael Portillo is in Anchorage preparing to join the US Arctic Warriors for parachute training at joint forces base Elmendorf-Richardson. The historic role of the military in Alaska since its purchase from Russia in 1867 underlines to him the strategic importance of the 49th state in two World Wars and how that continues today.

A magical encounter with the cabbage fairies in Palmer teaches Michael a thing or two about growing vegetables close to the Arctic Circle. 19 hours of daylight and a quarter of an inch of new soil every year leads to 127-pound cabbages and the sweetest tomatoes he has ever tasted. Child's play, according to six-year-old gardener Daisy.

In an underground sod house built from driftwood and whalebone, Michael hears how the language and traditions of indigenous people in Alaska were suppressed by the United States. After a plate of smoked and dried fish with his indigenous host, he heads for the gym at the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, where athletes train to compete in extraordinary sports at the annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Michael's chosen event is the Eskimo stick pull. Keeping the Alaska Railroad running is not for the faint-hearted. Michael joins the maintenance team on a 30-foot snow-spreader, which keeps the tracks clear in winter.

Jack Webster - As Time Goes By

Jack Webster documentary As Time Goes By

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