Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways
riveting six-part series from the
team responsible for the notable
Victorian Farm, Full Steam Ahead:
Victorian Railways takes the viewer
on a memorable trip down the line in
a classic locomotive with three
prominent historians who certainly
know their stuff...
WAITING IN THE STATION to whisk you on a journey into the past is an
evocative steam train complete with respected historians Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands
and the ever-fresh Ruth Goodman.
So begins the classic travel adventure, visiting many parts of the country and
gaining a new understanding of the workings of the magnificent period railway
as the three follow in the footsteps of the world's finest engineers.
Peter, Alex and Ruth explore the amazing ways in which life improved for the
entire population of Britain with the coming of the railways. It was an era
of extraordinary change that utterly transformed every aspect of British life;
from trade and transportation to health and recreation.
no longer had to be self-sufficient; instead benefiting from a huge range of
products from all over the country and life was changed forever: the way houses
were built, what people ate, their choice of furniture and their choice of household
Full Steam Ahead:
educational, its a
must-see for steam
fanatics and those who
are fascinated by
All aboard for the thrill of
your lives if you love
Revisiting the golden age of steam, the team looks at the history of the railway
from the very first steam engines that replaced the horse-drawn wagons that
were pulled along on a rail to haul coal, slate and stone from mines and quarries
down to the nearest town.
Once these wagons had been emptied, they were ready to go back up to the mines
and quarries the following day. But it was not until some bright spark came
up with the idea of hitching a ride on the wagons that the idea of a passenger
train was born.
From humble beginnings and uncomfortable converted goods wagons for passengers,
the Victorians led the way forward. They laid over 20,000 miles of tracks, creating
a national network with ever-improving carriages for people to ride in and taking
goods out to a steadily growing market.
Ruth, Peter and Alex set out on a steam train ride across the country, complete
with Victorian costumes, to experience the ups and downs of a period journey;
taking in beautiful countryside and learning historical facts on the way.
Getting down and dirty as they drive a train, work in the station, man the signal
box and are taught how to manage the workings of a 19th and early 20th Century
railway, the three intrepid travellers also encounter a Victorian card sharp
and learn all about etiquette on the early steam trains.
Included in their brief stops is another step into the past at Beamish, County
Durham, where we see the reconstruction of a pit village, a replica of the very
first Stockton and Darlington steam train originally built in the Georgian England
of 1815, and the team samples an authentic Victorian chippy with fish and chips
cooked using a coal fire.
With a nod of approval to the army of enthusiasts all over the country who keep
the age of steam alive, Ruth extols the virtues of the coming of the railway
an era of extraordinary change that was to transform every aspect
of British life with an astonishing feat of engineering that would have been
almost impossible without the ingenuity of the engineers and the back-breaking
work of the men who would not have had the advantages of today's technology
Before the advent of the railways, if you wanted to get to Edinburgh, for instance,
a walk would take you ten days. If you could afford to go by stagecoach it would
take three days, but the journey became significantly quicker by rail at just
The series reveals how the modern world was shaped by the railways; a glorious
evolution of rail transportation that left its mark on not only our lives but
also on the landscape and our culture. "The Internet," says Ruth, "had nothing
like the impact of the railways."
The riveting series Full Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways is a real blast
from the past, bringing the railways of yesterday back to life. Thoroughly absorbing,
informative and educational, it is a must for steam fanatics and those who are
fascinated by history and discovering just how great Britain really is with
this landmark engineering constructed by the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers.
If you love steam trains, jump aboard for the thrill of your life…
Full Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways is presented by Ruth Goodman, Peter
Ginn and Alex Langlands; Narrator is Philip Glenister; Original Music is by
Matthew Winch and Andy Hamilton; Producers are Emma Randle-Caprez and Georgina
Stewart; and the Series Director is Stuart Elliott.
the team that brought us Victorian Farm, the astonishing BBC Two Series
Full Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways is released on DVD in the UK, courtesy
of RLJ Entertainment's Acorn Label, on 5 September 2016. Running Time: 360 Minutes
| Catalogue Number: AV3328 | RRP: £19.99.
"The riveting series Full Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways Thoroughly
absorbing, informative and educational, it's a must-see for steam fanatics and
those who are fascinated by history... All aboard for the thrill of your lives
if you love steam trains" Maggie Woods
"A fascinating look at train history" Daily Mirror
"If you enjoyed the steamier sections of Peter Snow's Trainspotting Live,
you'll love this" The Guardian