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Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic to ride the railroads of America, armed with Appleton's General Guide to the United States, published in 1879.

Genres: Adventure
Station: BBC Two (GB)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 2016-02-01

Great American Railroad Journeys Air Dates


S01E13 - Georgetown to Mount Vernon Air Date: 17 February 2016 18:30 -

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Michael heads from Georgetown to Mount Vernon.


S01E14 - Manassas to Richmond Air Date: 18 February 2016 18:30 -

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Michael travels from Manassas to Richmond.


S01E15 - Petersburg to Jamestown Air Date: 19 February 2016 18:30 -

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Michael travels from Petersburg to Jamestown.


S02E01 - St Louis, Missouri Air Date: 23 January 2017 18:30 -

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Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic once more to ride the railroads of North America with his faithful Appleton's Guide to the United States and Canada. Amid breathtaking scenery, he encounters magnificent beasts, joins intrepid explorers and witnesses unique customs on an awesome 1,500-mile journey to recapture the excitement and promise of the 19th-century American Frontier.

In St Louis, Michael ascends America's monument to the Wild West, the astonishing Gateway Arch, the tallest free-standing monument in the United States, and makes a delightful discovery inside it. And on the banks of the Missouri River, he is invited aboard a magnificent replica of the original keel boat used for a historic expedition.


S02E02 - St Louis to Jefferson City, Missouri Air Date: 24 January 2017 18:30 -

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Michael continues his American rail journey west from St Louis to Jefferson City, Missouri, following the tracks of European settlers in the 19th century. He begins this leg at the birthplace of a rural icon in Washington, Missouri, where he attempts to craft a corn cob pipe.

In Hermann, Missouri, Michael tucks in to bratwurst as he discovers the descendants of German settlers in the town continue their traditions today. And in the Missouri state capital, Jefferson City, Michael finds an enormous fortified building that served as the gaol for the entire Wild West.


S02E03 - Sedalia to Kansas City, Missouri Air Date: 25 January 2017 18:30 -

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Following in the footsteps of European settlers, Michael Portillo rolls westwards across the United States. With true frontier spirit, he discovers the hidden pleasures of 19th-century railroad workers in Sedalia, known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the West, and discovers the birthplace of ragtime and its most famous composer, Scott Joplin.

Aboard a horse-drawn wagon in Independence, Michael confronts the brutal hardships faced by early pioneers on the wagon trail and discovers a living history museum town where the clock stopped in 1855. He ends this leg in the rail hub of Kansas City, Missouri, where freight trains can be a mile long.


S02E04 - Kansas City to St Joseph, Missouri Air Date: 26 January 2017 18:30 -

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On the next leg of his American adventure, Michael Portillo hits cowboy central in the former meat-packing capital of America - Kansas City, Missouri. In Paola, Kansas, Michael auctions livestock to the latter-day John Waynes of the state and then dines out on smoky spare ribs.

In the West Bottoms district, he explores the city's Irish heritage and discovers the first Irish business opened in America, still family- owned and run by the great granddaughter of the founder. In St Joseph, Missouri, Michael discovers the legendary Pony Express, not a train but a mail service, and investigates the treacherous death of the outlaw Jesse James.


S02E05 - Lawrence to Topeka, Kansas Air Date: 27 January 2017 18:30 -

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Michael Portillo continues his 1,500-mile journey through the American Wild West, armed with his 19th-century Appleton's Guide. In Lawrence, Kansas, Michael enjoys a prairie chicken dance with a student of the Haskell Indian Nations University and learns how Native American Indians were treated in the 19th century. Michael joins the Jayhawks basketball team in the famous Allen Field house stadium with energetic encouragement from their cheerleaders, before travelling through Tornado Alley to Topeka to meet one of the first storm chasers in America. Driving out on the Great Plains, Michael learns about the Tallgrass Prairie and comes face to face with a herd of wild buffalo.


S02E06 - Dodge City to Lamar, Colorado Air Date: 30 January 2017 18:30 -

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S02E07 - La Junta, Colorado, to Pueblo, New Mexico Air Date: 31 January 2017 18:30 -

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S02E08 - Canon City, Colorado, to Colorado Springs Air Date: 01 February 2017 18:30 -

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S02E09 - Santa Fe to Acoma, New Mexico Air Date: 02 February 2017 18:30 -

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S02E10 - Episode 10 Air Date: 03 February 2017 18:30 -

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Great American Railroad Journeys Actors

Michael Portillo(Presenter)



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Next Episode of Great American Railroad Journeys is

Season 2 / Episode 2 and airs on 24 January 2017 18:30

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