In this five part series for BBC2, Michael Portillo marks the centenary of the First World War by discovering the central role the railways played in securing victory, repatriating the dead and wounded, and feeding the insatiable appetite for weaponry and supplies that the theatre of war demanded. This is a story of how a British invention that brought trade, travel and prosperity in peacetime became an engine of war.
Michael will track down the fascinating, emotional and sometimes tragic stories of the wartime railways that criss-crossed Britain and Europe. Railways then were widely considered the new arm in modern warfare as it was a time where motorised transport and roads were in their infancy.
Over the five episodes, Michael will travel to the key railway locations that would become synonymous with the victories, defeats, battles and campaigns of the First World War, showing how they were intrinsic to our success, often in surprising ways and how they resulted in the Europe we know today.
Produced by - FremantleMedia International
Running time - 150 minutes approx
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Region 2 PAL
Released - August 2014