Great British Railway Journeys

London Euston to Cheddington

Series 5 - Episode 6 London Euston to Cheddington



Michael Portillo stands in a carriage on London’s newest railway, the London Overground urban commuter line, reading aloud from his Bradshaw’s guide. Meanwhile his fellow travellers furiously pretend to read as they do their best to ignore him. Portillo isn’t a shy fella; he even declaims from the guide on the escalators at the busy Camden Town Tube station without getting mown down in the rush.

He’s on the Euston to Cheddington portion of his journey around Britain (which runs daily until Friday). He bewails the loss of the classically beautiful Euston station – destroyed to howls of outrage led by the poet Sir John Betjeman in the 1960s – and walks under the bridge at Cheddington where the Great Train Robbers hijacked a mail train and stole £2.6 million.


Michael Portillo embarks on the first leg of a journey to Leeds, beginning at London's Euston station. He finds out what happened to the once proud Euston Arch and heads to Camden to see how goods were transported by rail, road and canal. He reflects on the Harrow rail disaster of 1952 and visits a country estate in Tring, Hertfordshire, before alighting at Cheddington in Buckinghamshire, which is close to the scene of 1963's Great Train Robbery.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Producer Alison Kreps
Education Lifestyle