We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here

The Railways That Built Britain with Chris Tarrant

S1-E2 How the Railways Won the War

S1-E2 How the Railways Won the War

not currently available
Add this to your watchlist to find out when it is available via broadcast or catch-up.


In this episode, Tarrant focuses on the pivotal role the railways played in the First and Second World Wars. For example, when the Allies were rapidly running out of ammunition in 1915, the newly appointed Minister of Munitions, David Lloyd George, made peace with Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and recruited women to run the railways. They were even allowed to wear trousers as long as the public didn’t see them.

Locomotive sheds were turned into factories where “munitionettes” refilled spent shells that were freighted straight back to the frontline.


The broadcaster examines the role of the railways during the two global conflicts of the 20th century, keeping vital supply lines open and transporting troops to and from the front. In the First World War, railway works were converted into munitions factories and women were employed for these dangerous jobs and their heroic efforts helped win them the vote, while in the Second World War, they were vital in organising the evacuation of a million children and offered underground shelters from air raids.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Chris Tarrant
Director Tim Usborne
Executive Producer James Hayes
Producer Tim Usborne
Series Producer Ed Booth


Have Your Say What did you think of How the Railways Won the War?

view all comments (0)