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Great British Railway Journeys
Balgove
tobyaw
Catching up with Great British Railway Journeys. We’re about halfway through this year’s series, with plenty more episodes recorded on the satellite box, ready to watch.

While watching the first series, in January last year, I wondered whether we were watching the television programme of the year. And this second series is just as good. Portillo has an infectious enthusiasm for the railways, for the history, and for the technology. A fine presenter.

I hope there will be another series next year.

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Growing up in Nottingham, we seldom took trains.

Still feels like a bit of an adventure — I like long journeys, and am looking forward to our holiday in Devon this summer (Leuchars to Totnes is about 9.5 hours on a single train).

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Growing up in Nottingham, we seldom took trains.

Huh? That seems like a non sequitur. When I was interviewed for a job with BR, it was Nottingham I had to go to.

Nottingham has a decent enough line to St Pancras. But anywhere else we might wish to go to regularly — Devon, the Borders — would have involved too many changes. With the hassle of train travel with a young family, and the relatively low cost of car travel, my primary mode of transport as a child was the back seat of a car. Usually with a boat pulled behind.

We’re very lucky having a local station in Leuchars that has direct trains to lots of interesting places. And two adults to cope with the paraphernalia associated with a single child.

Although as a lone traveller I'm generally supportive of using public transport, I'm surprised how often you prefer the train; it's always seemed to me that it must work out more expensive and awkward than car travel for a family travelling together, even with any concessions taken into account.

It varies. For many long journeys, with a Family Rail Card, and the low additional cost of return fares, it is often price-competitive with the fuel cost of driving.

I'm happy to drive home to Nottingham - about 6.5 hours - and the changes required make rail less appealing. But for travel to places where traffic is awkward, such as London or Glasgow, rail has distinct advantages.

And for long-distance travel (to Kate's parents in Kent, or for our holidays in Devon) then rail is often preferable, particularly as we wouldn't choose to drive that distance without breaking the journey.

I find the big hassle with family train journeys to be changes. At large, open stations they are ok, but controlling child and luggage in a crowd of people, with a time constraint, is rather stressful. And I feel weak and dizzy at the thought of negotiating the tube...

Trains are the one form of transport I really enjoy. I love the journey to and from Nairn twice a year.

I also enjoy this program. Only watched the occasional episode of this series, but have them all available to watch in HD.

Recently watched the Telford to Wrexham one and thought it odd that he didn't travel on the (very recently deceased) Wrexham and Shropshire Railway (one of the few open access rail companies, and the rail company with the highest customer satisfaction rates in the country).

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