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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! 🚂

Great British Railway Journeys 
Yesterday, Weeknights at 7pm 

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 for a double bill on Yesterday at 7pm on weeknights.  

Steam Train Britain 
Yesterday, Mondays at 9pm 

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. Tune in on Mondays at 9pm on Yesterday.  

The Architecture the Railways Built 
Yesterday, Mondays at 10pm 

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 it right after Steam Train Britain at 10pm on Yesterday every Monday.  

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys 
Channel 5, Wednesdays at 7pm  

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 Wednesdays at 7pm over on Channel 5.   

All Aboard: East Coast Trains 
Together TV, starts Friday 9th October at 9pm 


Explore the hard work of East Coast rail employees behind the scenes in this railway documentary. Find out how staff members get along with each other day to day and the strange challenges which come with working for East Coast rail. Watch the first episode of the 10-episode series on Friday 9th October at 9pm, then on weeknights at 9pm from Monday 12th October on Together TV.  

World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys 
5Select, Saturdays at 9pm  

worlds most scenic railway journeys


Every week, Bill Nighy narrates epic train journeys across some of the world’s most beautiful and extreme terrains. From the mountains of Canada to Lapland’s Northern lights, Scotland’s highlands and Sri Lanka’s Victorian railways, view the world by train on Saturdays at 9pm over on 5Select. 

Inside Central Station 
Yesterday, Mondays at 8pm 

inside glasgow central station


Step behind the scene of Glasgow’s central station on Yesterday at 8pm on Mondays. With over 950 trains running a day for 32 million passengers a year, find out what it takes to keep Central station rolling.  

Around the World by Train
Channel 5, Mondays at 7:30pm

around the world by train tony robinson machu picchu


Follow Blackadder star and Time Team presenter Tony Robinson as he travels around the world by train, hopping on and off to find local adventures, history and culture. 

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.