17 Comments:

  1. Maev....Sydney

    I am guessing there is not a Bradshaws Handbook/Guide to Australian trains and journeys….and like Dr Rudi said…Michael Portillo’s adventures are not just about the trains….But…I disagree that that just because Dr Rudi has no interest in trains…there should not be any….I personally …love trains and anything to do with them…why?…not sure really…just do… 🙂

  2. Thanks David. A thoughtful article. A local version would be good, as other viewers have noted it covers more than just trains ?. Social & political history and geographical content. Love it!

  3. Scott McGregor (some might also remember him from Better Homes) did a few Railway Series for channel 10 about 15 years ago – just get him back to do an update?

    • Maev....Sydney

      Oh yes….and they were really good….he also had a train museum, of sorts…and carriages he had done up….that you could stay in….vacation or B&B if I remember………

  4. I ‘ve only recently been watching Railroad Australia on Discovery … and am absolutely loving it. Can’t wait for series 2. Some years ago, Channel 7 had a terrific doco on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express (hosted by David Suchet no less),

    While railways began in the 19th century, they remained the major form of land transport in most countries, including Australia, until well into the 20th century, up until airfares became affordable (late 70s/early 80s in Australia???). And trains are huge in Europe – witness the success of the TGV, ICE and Arrow high-speed trains. They apparently made some local air routes untenable (notably Paris to Lyon when the very first TGV began service between those 2 cities in 1982).

    Two Sundays ago, my wife and I had the wonderful experience of travelling on 2 heritage trains between Sydney and Melbourne, From Sydney to Seymour, we travelled in…

  5. Secret Squïrrel

    Those numbers belie the results of the recent Save Our SBS survey where the two most wanted primetime programs were foreign language films and series.

    That’s the problem with self-selected survey populations, especially when the existence of the survey is also promoted in such a restricted/targeted manner.

  6. Just to put it out there, how about a show on people’s model railways? You could make a series out of that i’m sure. I don’t know how many would watch, but my local hobby shop is never short of customers seeking new items to add to their model train sets and what kid isn’t fascinated by a train set…

      • Thanks Chuck 128, I did see James May’s Toy Stories and loved it. However I was referring to people who do it as a hobby and build their own model railway in their shed or house. I think it would be interesting to see what creations people have come up with and at what cost, i.e. financial and person.

  7. I am not in the least bit interested in trains. Rail transport as we know it was invented in the nineteenth century, and that’s where it belongs. A train trip has zero appeal.

    That said, I pretty much watch all of the Michael Portillo programs. I don’t regard them as documentaries (although the Great War series might qualify) – I think of them as light entertainment or a travel series or a history series. The bulk of any program is not about a train or the train journey; but about grand houses, dancing, singing, novelists and poets; cooking and camping and just about anything other than trains and train journeys.

    • I would agree that the train and train journey is merely the means to get you to a place to discuss its history, culture or whatever.

      I am not train fanatic, but I recently went to Europe and did a number of train trips. Boy was I jealous of the long distance and metro systems they had there. If only we had the same system here, what a difference it would make.

  8. If you’re after cultural and social history, and how trains have linked us across vast and inhospitable terrain… the Frankston line.

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