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Top railway programmes on TV

For all you train spotters and railway enthusiasts out there, we’ve got your TV plans sorted. From steam trains to scenic railways, we’ve put together a list of the top railway programmes, train documentaries and the top train travel TV to watch right now. The best bit? They’re all free to watch on Freesat, so save this article to stay up to date with what railway themed telly will be hitting your screens. All aboard! 🚂

Mighty Trains 
Quest, Tuesdays at 9pm 

mighty trains


Follow Teddy Wilson for an all new season of Mighty Trains. From Canada to Norway, witness the journeys of trains through stunning scenery and deadly landscapes all over the world. Watch on Quest every Tuesday at 9pm.  

The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard 
5Select, Wednesdays at 10pm 

the yorkshire steam railway


This documentary series goes behind the scenes at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to give us a peek at the golden age of steam. Get to know the legion of staff and volunteers who keep this priceless heritage railway running. Watch it on 5Select every Wednesday at 10pm, or catch up on My5.  

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys
Yesterday and Channel 5

chris tarrant extreme railway journeys


Follow Chris Tarrant on trips by rail through some of the world’s most challenging terrains. From the Congo to Transylvania, war zones, mountains and jungles, discover this history of these unique journeys by rail. Now on its sixth season, you can jump aboard on Yesterday on Mondays at 8pm, Sundays at 10pm, or on Channel 5 on Thursdays at 7pm. 

The Railways That Built Britain with Chris Tarrant
5Select, Tuesdays at 9pm 

railways that built britain


Join Chris Tarrant again as he presents a three-part series exploring how the invention of the train has impacted the United Kingdom. From shaping modern Britain to supporting the war effort, learn more about how essential the railways really were to the Britain we know today. Watch on Tuesdays at 9pm on 5Select.  

Great British Railway Journeys
Watch on Yesterday or BBC Two

great british railway journeys michael portillo


Follow Michael Portillo in this documentary series as he travels the country on iconic and picturesque train journeys. He follows in the footsteps of famed cartographer George Bradshaw, who produced the first train timetable and travel guide of Britain’s railways back in 1840. Tune in on Yesterday at 7pm on weeknights, or BBC Two at 6:30pm on every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Great Australian Railway Journeys
BBC Two, Weeknights at 6:30pm  

great australian railway journeys michael portillo


Like Chris Tarrant, Michael Portillo is something of a train enthusiast. Join him again on weeknights at 6:30pm on BBC Two as he explores the length and breadth of Australia by train. From small towns to big cities, join Portillo as he discovers the history behind every station. Catch up with any episodes you’ve missed on BBC iPlayer.

The Architecture the Railways Built
Watch on UKTV Play

the architecture the railways built


This exciting new series explores some of the UK and Europe’s most stunning architecture lining the railway network. Transport historian and architecture enthusiast, Tim Dunn, guides you through capital cities and small rural stations to look at some of the more unique and radically designed station buildings across Europe. Watch on UKTV Play whenever you fancy it. 

Secrets of the Railways 

secrets of the railways


Uncover the mysterious stories and chilling tales which surround some of the world’s most fantastic railways. From Nazi gold on the Trans-Pyranees Railway to the rainforest railway, find out these railway’s hidden histories. Watch it whenever you’re in the mood on UKTV Play.

Trains that Changed the World 
Watch on demand on UKTV Play

trains that changed the world


Get a closer look at iconic trains throughout history. These engineering marvels helped make the modern world, unifying nations, opening up continents and changing how we trade, travel and even eat. Catch up with Trains that Changed the World on UKTV Play

Steam Train Britain 
Watch on demand on UKTV Play

steam train britain


Discover more about the Age of Steam and how it changed Britain. For 130 years, Britain relied on steam, with this technological breakthrough effecting everything from the food we eat to the jobs people could do. Now, train enthusiasts have re-opened old lines and brought steam engines back to life. Watch on Saturdays on Yesterday at 10am or on-demand on UKTV Play.  

The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys
5Select, Fridays at 8pm 

worlds most scenic railway journeys


Tune into 5Select at 8pm on Fridays to join Bill Nighy on some of the world’s most beautiful railway journeys. View the Northern Lights from Lapland, venture through Scotland’s highlands and explore Sri Lanka’s Victorian railways to see the world by train.  

The Railway 24/7
Channel 5, Wednesdays at 8pm

the railway 24/7


Next on the list is Railway 24/7, which you can watch every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 8pm. The documentary series take a fly-on-the-wall look behind the scenes of the TransPennine Express, the rail firm which links Leeds, Manchester and many other major cities. Find out what life is like for staff on the front lines of the railway.  

Walking Britain’s Lost Railways
Channel 5, Wednesdays at 7pm 

walking britains lost railways


Join Rob Bell as he walks along Britain’s former rail network. In the 1960s, 4,000 miles of Britain’s rail network fell out of use. Now, you can rediscover these forgotten lines and celebrate the new life which has overrun the old rails. Tune in on Wednesdays at 7pm on Channel 5, or watch all six episodes now on My5. 

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson
Watch on demand on My5

around the world by train


Travel the globe by train with Tony Robinson. Start at St Pancras and venture on to meet the last cowboys in France, explore Argentina, hop on the Trans-Siberian Express in Russia and learn about the history and culture you can discover by rail. Catch up with the latest season on My5.   

We update this page regularly, so keep checking back to find new railway TV available to watch for free. In the meantime, head over to Showcase to find our top TV picks for this week and take a peek at the TV guide to find out what’s on tonight.