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Episode 4

Episode 4 of 6

Series exploring the expansion of railways in the Victorian era. Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn help get the most famous locomotive in the world, the Flying Scotsman, into steam.

It is full steam ahead for historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn as they bring back to life the golden age of steam and explore how the Victorian railways created modern Britain.

At the National Railway Museum, Alex and Peter help get the most famous locomotive in the world, the Flying Scotsman, into steam. The team take a ride of a lifetime as the loco travels along its original route, connecting the two most important financial capitals of the empire - London and Edinburgh - and Alex finds out what it is like for catering staff with 250 hungry mouths to feed. Peter heads to the Great Central Railway to find out how the railways revolutionised the delivery of mail right across Britain and is put to task on the travelling post office, where time is of the essence.

The boys visit the Milton Keynes Museum to find out how the railways facilitated the first ever electrical communication service - instantaneous messaging over a hundred years before the arrival of emails. With the railways opening up many new and interesting titled jobs, Ruth finds out what the role of the wheel-tapper entailed and helps to tyre a wheel with a steel band at the South Devon Railway workshop. In Bristol, Alex discovers how the railways were responsible for bringing the nation into sync, as he visits a clock with not one but two minute hands! Meanwhile, Peter learns how the railways brought Britain current news, hot off the press, for the first time.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 14 Feb 2021 02:30



Role Contributor
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Presenter Alex Langlands
Presenter Peter Ginn
Production Company Lion Television
Participant Paul Harrison
Participant Brian Hallett
Participant Philip Payne
Participant David Turner
Participant Bill Griffiths
Participant Patrick Rowe
Participant Meg Arnot
Participant Noel Hartley
Participant Richard Elliott
Participant Keiran Flynn
Participant Tony Green
Series Producer Stuart Elliott
Director Stuart Elliott
Executive Producer Nick Catliff
Production Manager Claire Smith
Producer Georgina Stewart
Researcher Fjolla Iberhysaj
Production Coordinator Rachael Pagett
Sound Recordist Tim Hodge
Sound Recordist Bill Rudolph
Camera Operator Tom Pilbeam
Editor Dominic Hutton
Graphic Designer Eddie Gachegua
Producer Emma Randle-Caprez


Download a free Railways poster from The Open University

Download a free Railways poster from The Open University

Discover how the railways transformed the British Isles during the 19th Century.

Archive Collection: Steam Railways

Archive Collection: Steam Railways

Programmes from the BBC archives celebrating the beauty of steam locomotives