Tough Trains: Series 1

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Travel Documentary hosted by Zay Harding, published by Travel Channel UK in 2014 - English narration

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Image: Tough-Trains-Series-1-Cover.jpg

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Tough Trains: Series 1 Train travel can be delightful as a tourist or tiresome as a commuter, but what is it like to experience life aboard trains that have the toughest jobs on the planet? Zay Harding rides with those who operate in conditions ranging from desert furnaces to frozen wastelands. Siberia’s ice trains are vital to the Russian economy as a means of exporting condensed gas from the region. In average temperatures of minus 20 degrees centigrade, even the snowplough trains work 24 hours a day to keep the lines open. On the other end of the scale, Bolivia is land-locked and without access to coastal ports. As compensation, both Chile and Brazil built railways to their coasts but they haven’t received proper investment since. Zay attempts the tortuous journey to the Pacific coast, requiring a 4,000m descent to sea level, which forces him to the floor with an oxygen mask. Keep the line open and keep the train moving – that’s the Tough Trains mantra.

[edit] Across Bolivia The Pantanal to the Pacific

Zay Harding travels along the railways from the Brazilian Pantanal to the Chilean coast. His journey starts near Corumba, a stretch of land that was once part of Bolivia. Zay travels on Bolivia's new network to the agricultural heartland of Santa Cruz. Once known as the 'death train', Zay is more than happy to discover that this passenger train no longer holds the same disastrous safety record. Rail travel through Bolivia should be simple: there are only two railway networks, with a total of 3685 km of track. In Potosi, Zay turns his hand to being a miner for a day. After finally making it to Uyuni, albeit by road again rather than rail, he visits the old silver mining town of Pulacayo and discovers the very first train of Bolivia's first railway line, carefully restored by the proud inhabitants of the town. Then, he embarks on his journey to La Paz, coming to the end of the line at Oruro.

[edit] Russia's Ice Trains

Zay Harding travels in winter to the far north of Siberia, deep inside the Arctic Circle, on the world's most northerly railway lines. Having to contend with average temperatures around minus 20 degrees Celsius, and frequent heavy snowfall, Siberia's Ice Trains are the toughest of tough trains. Starting his journey in the historic former capital of Siberia, Tobolsk, Zay travels around 1000 miles north of the well-known Trans-Siberian Railway to Russia's largest natural gas field at Novy Urengoy, on the edge of the Arctic Circle. He then travels on the snowplough trains that have to work 24 hours a day up here to keep the train lines open. Finally, Zay crosses the wilderness to reach Labytnangi and the nearby town of Obskaya, from where he ends his trip by catching the world's northernmost train line. At the end of the line, Zay celebrates reaching the furthest north it's possible to travel by train anywhere in the world...

[edit] Vietnam the Reunification Express

Starting his journey in the north of Vietnam, Zay Harding discovers that the railway has played a vital role in the recent history of the country. On his way to Hanoi, he meets Mr. Trinh, an ex-train driver who experienced the US bombing firsthand during the Vietnam War: major repairs were needed after each bombing and, nearly 40 years later, Vietnam's railways are still in need of serious upgrades. Jumping off the main north-south railway, or 'Reunification Express' train in Hue, Zay helps a construction team repair one of the tunnels en-route. After visiting the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and the national cemetery commemorating the people who gave their lives to reunify the country, Zay continues his journey south on this line all the way to Ho Chi Minh City, where he meets a General who was leading the final attack on the Presidential Palace, in what was then Saigon.

[edit] India's Independence Railroads

Zay Harding takes on an epic journey across one of the world's biggest railway networks. Built during the 19th century by the British to move troops and raw materials across the land, it ultimately played a role in the independence of the country a century later. The railway tracks are some of the oldest and longest in the world and train travel doesn't get any tougher than this in a country with a population of over 1.2 billion. These are India's 'Tough Trains'.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
  • Video Bitrate: 3181 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.778 (16:9)
  • Video Resolution: 1280 x 720
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC
  • Audio English
  • Audio Bitrate: 160 kb/s VBR 48 KHz
  • Audio Channels: Stereo 2
  • Run-Time: 48mins
  • Framerate: 25 FPS
  • Number of Parts: 4
  • Container Mp4
  • Part Size: average 1.05 GB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: Harry65

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