Next Episode of Great American Railroad Journeys is
Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic to ride the railroads of America, armed with Appleton's General Guide to the United States, published in 1879.
Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic to ride the railroads of America with a new travelling companion. Armed with Appleton's General Guide to the United States, published in 1879, Michael begins his Americanodyssey in New York City.
Starting at Grand Central Terminal, the 'gateway to the nation', he boards the Manhattan subway system, the busiest rail transit system in the US. His first stop is the Rockefeller Centre, where he gets a bird's eye view of Manhattan Island and learns how about the technology which enabled the city to build up.
Portillo heads to the Financial District, where, over a Lobster Newberg, he finds out how the dodgy political dealings of the era's famous industrialists earned them the nickname 'Robber Barons'. He observes their better side at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as he learns that philanthropy helped the city's burgeoning art scene, before finishing his journey midtown, among the bright lights of Broadway.
Michael Portillo continues his American journey in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where he narrowly avoids a scrap with an historic gang of New York and visits the grim tenement buildings where thousands of the city's immigrants lived and worked.
On the West Side, Michael discovers how a once lethal run of track has been transformed into a public park, raised above the city streets. Forsaking the rails for a ferry, Michael heads for Ellis Island, where some 12 million immigrants entered America. Michael is given a privileged tour of the gleaming new transport hub under construction close to the site of Ground Zero.
From Manhattan, Michael follows his Appleton's Guide east, travelling on the Long Island Railroad. He begins in Brooklyn, where he learns the incredible story behind the world's first steel suspension bridge.Divided by a common language, Michael struggles to order a pizza before continuing to Queens and the site of an ambitious engineering project that will transform New York City's rail network.
Moving east through Long Island, he visits one of the country's most decadent mansions, owned by an oil tycoon known as Mr Monopoly, where he gets into a flap dancing the Charleston, before ending his journey on Long Island's eastern most tip at New York's first lighthouse.
Michael follows America's mighty Hudson River north, riding on the United States' national rail carrier service, Amtrak. He learns from Amtrak's police chief about some of the nation's most infamous trainrobbers, then upriver at Tarrytown, he is spooked by the stories of one of America's greatest writers, Washington Irving, author of Sleepy Hollow.
On the east bank of the Hudson, he stops at Garrison, site of many guerrilla battles during the Wars of Independence, where he hears about the greatest turncoat in American history and learns about the many famous military leaders who trained at West Point.
Michael Portillo continues his railroad journey through New York State following his Appleton's Guide. Beginning in the city of Poughkeepsie, he visits a famous all-female university, alma mater of Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep. He discovers the tumultuous history of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge and follows the train line up to the Catskill Mountains, admiring its picturesque scenery from an altogether different type of line - a zip wire.
Back on safe ground, he discovers that the dramatic landscape inspired artists of the Hudson River School. Arriving in New York's state capital, Albany, he samples a drop of Albany Ale before rubbing shoulders with the State Senator.
Michael heads from Schenectady to Rochester.
Michael journie's from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.
Michael heads from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.
Michael goes from Lancaster to Gettysburg.
Following the journey from Wilmington to Havre De Grace.
Michael journeys from Baltimore to Fort Mchenry.
Michael explores the political capital city of America.
Michael heads from Georgetown to Mount Vernon.
Michael travels from Manassas to Richmond.
Michael travels from Petersburg to Jamestown.
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