Michael Portillo’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ comes to the GWR

Alex Farran
July 10, 2023

• Michael travels from Broadway to Cheltenham behind Class 47 diesel No. 47105 • Series 14 of popular documentary series returns to BBC 2 and visits The Cotswolds • Latest 15-episode series being broadcast nightly from Monday to Friday at 18.30

Series 14 of Michael Portillo’s popular documentary series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ recently started on BBC 2 and is being broadcast over 15 episodes nightly from Monday to Friday at 18:30 - featuring idyllic scenery, railway history, fascinating locations and interesting people. This latest series is a must for visitors and enthusiasts of the GWR in The Cotswolds.

In this series, Michael is taking a personal journey by exploring the Britain of his youth. He is a ‘boomer’, born in the decade after the end of the Second World War and he recalls the optimism and excitement of rebuilding a nation exhausted by conflict. He relives the agony and ecstasy of British Rail, its modernisation and transition from steam to diesel and how Britain was shaped by the new society and culture emerging in post-war Britain. He explores the eras of Beeching and Barbara Castle and their influence on Britain’s transport infrastructure.

In one episode, he drops in on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in which he takes a trip from Broadway to Cheltenham behind resident Class 47 diesel no. 47105 and suggests that British Rail left an awful lot to be desired - epitomised perhaps by the ‘British Rail sandwich’.

The episode featuring the GWR is scheduled to be broadcast on Thursday 20th July at 18:30.

Michael Portillo: Series 14, Great British Railway Journeys, Monday - Friday, from 19th June episodes 1-5; 26th June episodes 6-10; 17th July episodes 11-15.  The episodes are also available on BBC iPlayer after they have been broadcast.

Photo - Michael Portillo at Broadway station (Picture: Jack Boskett).