Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways

Series 1 - Episode 1

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways
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Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

Television’s love affair with the train rolls on. But then, as Chris Tarrant announces, “It is one of the most iconic ways of getting around the planet.” (So would a bus be more or less iconic?) He visits the Republic of Congo to experience the fabulously rickety, bumpy, shambolic nature of a cross-country trip there.

His first train is five days late. It then gets stuck in the country’s longest tunnel in the middle of the night — stranded in pitch blackness. The passengers take this cheerfully and so does Tarrant, for the most part (“This is the longest night of my life,” he groans at one point) and it makes for a terrific programme.

About this programme

1/3. TV and radio presenter Chris Tarrant goes on three journeys by rail through some of the world's harshest terrain. He begins by heading to the Congo in central Africa to experience one of the greatest surviving railways of the colonial era, built by the French at a cost of tens of thousands of native lives and connecting the capital Brazzaville to the coast. Chris sets off on his scheduled two-day trip from the station at the port of Pointe-Noire, ending his journey six days - and a whole series of setbacks - later.

Cast and crew


Chris Tarrant


Rosalind Bain
Executive Producer
Nina Carbone
Executive Producer
Dale Templar
Executive Producer
Hugh Whitworth
Rosalind Bain