Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys: The Train in Spain

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys: The Train in Spain

Series 5

ADVERTISEMENT

Review

The highlight of Chris Tarrant’s journey across Spain’s railways is a visit to the bizarre station at Canfranc in the Pyrenees. It’s a vast, beautiful 1920s building, but its marble booking halls and once elegant bars are deserted and derelict, “the greatest white elephant in the history of railways,” says Tarrant.

He explains how the place came to be defunct and like several elements of the show, it’s bound up with the decision by Spain to have a wider gauge of track than anywhere else in Europe. I grant you, only a special sort of person gets excited about gauge issues, but when you see the amazing device that can widen a train’s wheels while it’s moving, you may become one of them.

Summary

Chris embarks on a thousand-mile trip along Spain's complex rail system, beginning in Gibraltar by exploring the vast network of military tunnels that have helped keep it under British control for more than 200 years. In Catalunya, he learns the role played by the railways in some of the bloodiest battles of the Spanish Civil War, then visits the spot where Hitler and Franco met during the Second World War.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Chris Tarrant
Director Jeff Morgan
Executive Producer Hugh Whitworth
Executive Producer Melanie Darlaston
Series Producer Jennifer Perelli
Documentary