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Episode 6

Episode 6 of 6

Series exploring the expansion of railways in the Victorian era. The team find out how more leisure time and cheap rail transport meant more freedom for working-class Victorians.

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.

In the final episode, the team find out how the combination of increased leisure time and affordable rail transport brought a new kind of freedom for working-class Victorians. Ruth travels along the beautiful south Devon coast from Paignton to Kingswear, where she helps get a paddle steamer prepared for a journey up the River Dart.

At Swanage, Peter finds out what it was like to work on the excursion trains and the impact mass tourism had on the area. Alex discovers how railways enabled geologists and amateur fossil-hunters to explore Britain's prehistoric past. In the heart of the capital, Ruth visits the landmark hotel built by the Midland Railway at St Pancras Station and finds out how the railways made London a tourist destination, before embarking on a Victorian shopping spree. The steam fair comes to town and Peter helps prepare the gallopers, while Alex takes to the road in a steam car and discovers just how fast they could go.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Feb 2021 02:30

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Role Contributor
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Presenter Alex Langlands
Presenter Peter Ginn
Production Company Lion Television
Participant Andy Croggon
Participant Matt Green
Participant Dan Wealden
Participant Richie Swinglehurst
Participant Paul MacDonald
Participant Simon Penn
Participant Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson
Participant Joby Carter
Participant Basil Craske
Participant Billy Johnson
Participant Hal Debes
Participant Guy Debes
Participant John Spencer
Director Chris Mitchell
Producer Chris Mitchell
Series Producer Stuart Elliott
Executive Producer Nick Catliff
Production Manager Claire Smith
Producer Emma Randle-Caprez
Producer Georgina Stewart
Production Coordinator Rachael Pagett
Sound Recordist Tim Hodge
Sound Recordist Bill Rudolph
Camera Operator Tom Pilbeam
Editor Dominic Hutton
Editor Steve Brown


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