PILOT PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS A BRAND NEW ADVENTURE SERIES: TOUGH TRAINS
Produced in high definition, Tough Trains is a dynamic series that takes viewers on some of the most epic and hard-core train journeys on the planet. Trips that should take hours often take days; and nights that should be spent in towns are spent aboard tough trains. Interminable delays, lack of timetables, incredible bribery-fuelled escapes, are all experiences from memorable rail journeys in some of the world’s most remote and exciting destinations.
We explore the history of train travel across Bolivia with Zay Harding, travelling from Brazil’s Pantanal to the Pacific coast of Chile. Since the 1860s, Bolivia has lost land to all its surrounding countries.
As a peace offering, both Chile and Brazil offered Bolivia access to the coast via railways. But with a failing railway system and rainy season causing landslides, our battle in this episode is with the Andean terrain, not the surrounding countries.
Russia’s trains travel along 85,500km of track, crossing 11 time zones. In the cold and often brutal Russian winters, these trains persist against the freezing weather, travelling into Siberia and beyond.
We travel from the capital city of Moscow and head north to Stalin’s cruellest and most ambitious project – the Rail-road of Death – before ending on the world’s most northern railway. With average temperatures around -20/-30 degrees and ice at every turn, there’s nothing easy about Russian trains.
The Vietnamese railway network has a chequered history. Today it crosses roads, zips through slums and is poorly maintained. Accidents are rife.
Each year the number of people dying in railway accidents accounts for about 2 per cent of all deaths in the country – that’s 100 times worse than in India!
India is famous for its extensive British built railway system, but riding a train here is anything but British. India’s 40,000 miles of railway track cut through some of the most densely populated cities, in the nation of 1.2 billion people.
At least 1,000 people die when they fall from crowded coaches, when trains collide or coaches derail. But this is festival season. Trains are overcrowded, even by India’s standards and timetables are met with distrust. We travel across northern India, crossing from Nepal and heading west to the border with Pakistan.