Another journey we did was along the length of the Trans-Caucasus Railway, from Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, on the shores of the Caspian, to the port of Batumi on the Black Sea.

He shaved off his trademark moustache and his hair. It’s the middle of winter, with snow and ice constantly threatening to derail his journey, as he crosses Austria and Switzerland on ever higher and higher railways to find out how and why these extraordinary lines were built. It’s all rock, really well built, and all they could use was scooped egg white to hold it together. 02. TV presenter and traveller Chris Tarrant on his ‘favourite’ journeys on extreme railways around the world, including Patagonia, Congo and Azerbaijan, Chris Tarrant in Patagonia (Extreme Railway Journeys / Channel 5). Chris embarks on a rail trip across Vietnam, exploring its French colonial history along the way, as he sets off along the Reunification Line from Ho Chi Minh in the south - to Hanoi in the north. The Georgian people were just wonderful, so kind and welcoming, with mountains of food, huge meals with giant kebabs, and very good local wine. The lavatories absolutely stank. That was really cool: something built 140 years ago with egg white holding it together is still in place and can deal with high speed modern trains. Wandering about in the middle of the night in the Congo is pretty stupid, but we only had a small crew and we were getting a bit frightened, because there were strange noises on the train, so we got off and walked.

My Dad’s brother fought the Japanese in the war, in Burma, and he absolutely hated them, so I was bought up, not being particularly keen on the Japanese and I have to admit I did go there with a certain amount of prejudice. And every single train was exactly on time, not to the minute, but to the 30 seconds. Follow Chris Tarrant in this documentary series as he sets off on the world's most extreme train rides. 06. We were exhausted but the people at the hotel had stayed up, all the lights were on, and there was a huge amount of food and booze waiting for us.

It was fantastic. But in Japan, they have this lavender coming through the air con. I was talking to a guy on the Old Patagonian Express. When I got there, they could not have been more helpful, more kind, more polite or just more organised, and their trains are incontestably the best in the world. 29 October 2015 29 Oct 2015. Travelling on an extraordinary range of different trains and types of track, he’s on a mission to find out how Spanish railways evolved from some of the most backward in Europe to the most advanced and innovative in the World, through one and a half centuries of stormy history, including the Civil War and four dark decades of the Franco dictatorship. Select all. For some reason, I thought Buenos Aires was going to be quite a dangerous city. We started in Pointe-Noire and we were on our way, eventually, to Brazzaville, which is the capital, and the train broke down at two o'clock in the morning, in the pitch black, because all the lights went off in the train. He heads to Dublin to visit the jail made famous by the Easter Rising, before ending in Belfast, where he ponders what the future may hold for the railways and for Ireland. Chris Tarrant embarks on a journey across Ukraine, where he meets a soldier from the ongoing civil war and visits Chernobyl. We were on that sadly for just a few hours, then had to get off at 2am. If you’re planning to take an overnight train in Vietnam or are simply curious about long distance train travel in Asia, you’ll find this list of ‘things to know before you go’ useful. The idea was to follow the famous Red Line through Africa built by the colonialist Cecil Rhodes. 7 Things To Know Before Travelling by Overnight Train in Vietnam. Can you imagine how many chickens were involved? Chris travels through Turkey, reflecting on the achievements of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the founder of the republic who oversaw the modernisation of the country and its railways. Chris Tarrant filming in Congo (Extreme Railway Journeys / Channel 5), One of the toughest journeys has got to be the very first one we ever did, which was Congo. But Buenos Aires is beautiful. I was so impressed. Featured image: … The Train in Spain . I came back so impressed. I had coffee that wasn’t even shaking. It’s like Paris, with wonderful big wide avenues lined and trees everywhere, massive steaks, huge Malbec wine…  It’s one of my favourite places on Earth now, We travelled for more than 1000 miles and went right the way south, and did the Old Patagonian Express. All the shops have got massive steel bars on the front of their windows and doors, so they must have a massive crime problem. Mainly, we were made very welcome, but one bloke took objection to us and threw a bucket at my head. He moved to Paraguay and died in Paraguay.”. Trains run on time and they all get to their destination on time. They’re just fantastic. And then we went on to Mafeking, which is an absolute dump, and on to Botswana, which was beautiful. It’s a real breath of fresh air, a young thriving African nation. and never miss out again. Or will they conquer him? I interviewed a young lady engine driver on a big overnight freight train. We started in Cape Town on the Blue Train, which is one of the great trains of the world. Congo's Jungle Railway. We went into a tunnel that was built in 1880 that had no cement.

When do you ever get on a train in England and go “Oh, this one smells nice”? It started good, it ended good, but the middle bit was really crap. He came here in the middle of the night by submarine. The engineering is fantastic and the trains are fantastic. There were Lamborghinis and Bentleys everywhere. We travelled into Zimbabwe, which couldn’t have been more different. Chris travels across Ukraine, taking in some of the country's 13,000 miles of railways. The windows were caked with mud, so you couldn’t see much.

Chris travels the entire length of Vietnam's Reunification Line, from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Hanoi in the north. Chris Tarrant’s new travel series of Extreme Railway Journeys starts on Channel 5 at 9pm on October 31, kicking off with Ice Train to Nowhere.

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