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Full Steam Ahead: Victorian Railways
Full Steam Ahead: Victorian RailwaysA 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.

The riveting
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...”
Villages 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 goods.

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 and equipment.

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 seven hours.

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.

* From 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