British trains are, let’s be honest, terrible. Perhaps that’s why there are so many documentaries about how good trains used to be in the past, to help give us a faint glimmer of hope that one day we can return to a time when trains actually ran on time.
In this new three-part documentary, Chris Tarrant explores how the British railway system came about, starting out with George Stephenson’s Rocket, and seeing how the railways helped the country in so many ways, from powering the Industrial Revolution to giving us the chance to go on holidays.
OK, railway documentaries are nothing new, but if you want a bit of variety at least in terms of host, then Tarrant does make for a change in comparison to Michael Portillo on BBC Two.
The Railways That Built Britain is on Channel 5 at 9.00pm.