FOR Channel 5

7x60 mins


Bill Nighy narrates this visually-stunning documentary series, telling the stories of seven epic train journeys through the characters who travel, work and live along the rail routes.

Winding through the UK and Europe, to Scotland, South Africa, Mexico, Finland, Sri Lanka, France and New Zealand, each film will showcase its own beautiful and distinctive landscapes – from snow-capped peaks, rich forests and coastal routes to chocolate-box villages and fairy-tale castles. As well as highlighting the various challenges along the way – from weather conditions or migrating animals on the tracks to passengers the train staff contend with, we'll also delve into the history behind these railways.

Aeroplanes may get you there quicker but nothing compares to travelling new lands by scenic train where it’s all about the journey, not the final destination. These scenic routes are not just to be admired for their beauty. Cutting through mountains, teetering above precipices, trundling over bridges and viaducts and pushing through snowfall, they are remarkable feats of engineering. They inspire awe but also fulfil vital functions – connecting remote villages with major cities, hauling freight cross-country, boosting tourism and bridging national boundaries. The stories of how and why they were built, the logistical challenges they face, the people and goods they carry, and the places they stop at, are as fascinating as the remarkable landscapes through which they travel.

Series Producer Claire Fisher. Executive Producer Tom Porter