Transcript: Episode 5 - Waterworlds | Dec 16, 2020

Aerial views show images of different mountain ranges and the high-altitude railways that cross them.

The narrator says FROM THE WORLD'S
MOST MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAINS.

By a steep mountain ridge, a train conductor says THIS IS THE
DEVIL'S NOSE.
I'VE SEEN IT MANY TIMES
AND IT STILL BLOWS MY MIND.

The narrator says TO ITS WILDEST WATERS.

A bearded man stands by a rocky shore and says AS FAR AS WATER
ENVIRONMENTS GO, IT'S HARD
TO GET TOUGHER THAN THIS.

The narrator says RAILWAYS HAVE SET OUT TO
CONQUER THEM ALL.

An engineer says TO DO 2500 BLASTS UNDER GRAND
CENTRAL REQUIRED A LOT OF
COORDINATION TO MAKE SURE THAT
WE DIDN'T DISTURB ANYTHING
ABOVE.

The narrator says DRIVEN BY THE BOLDEST
ENGINEERS, FOR WHOM NO OBSTACLE
IS TOO GREAT.

Another engineer says THEY TOLD ME, "BRUNO, YOU'RE
CRAZY.
THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE."

The narrator says IN THIS EPISODE, RAILWAYS OF
THE WATER WORLD.
THEIR UNIQUE CHALLENGES...

A clip shows images of a railway that runs across the ocean.

An engineer on a motor boat says THE MAJORITY OF THE
SURROUNDING AREA IS SWAMP AND
BAYOU.
YOU REALLY CAN'T EVEN SEE LAND
ON THE OTHER SIDE.

The narrator says AND THE INGENIOUS
SOLUTIONS...

A clip shows a railway runs over a waterfall.

A man on a boat says SO, THIS IS IT.
THAT'S THE SOLUTION THE
ENGINEERS FOUND.
IT'S AN INCREDIBLE EFFORT TO DO
THAT.

Another engineer in an underground railway says UNDOUBTEDLY, THIS IS THE MOST
CHALLENGING ENGINEERING
PROJECT EVER TO HAVE BEEN
REALIZED.

The narrator says THAT MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE
POSSIBLE.

The name of the show appears against black and white drawings of vintage and modern trains. It reads "Impossible railways."

The narrator says IT'S DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE LIFE
BEFORE THE RAILWAYS, WHEN VAST
EXPANSES OF HOSTILE TERRAIN LAY
UNDISCOVERED.
SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY,
ENGINEERS HAVE TAKEN ON SOME OF
THE PLANET'S HARSHEST
LANDSCAPES, BUILDING RAILWAYS
TO CROSS COUNTRIES AND CONNECT
REMOTE COMMUNITIES.
BUT THERE'S ONE ENVIRONMENT
THAT PRESENTS AN ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGE.
ENGINEERS HAVE FOUGHT THEIR
TOUGHEST BATTLES TO OVERCOME
OUR WATER WORLDS.

The man by the waterfall says JUST HAVE A LOOK AROUND.
INCREDIBLE TERRAIN HERE.
SO MANY CHALLENGES.

In an underground railway, an engineer says THE ATMOSPHERE IS REALLY
MOIST AND REALLY SALTY.
THE CORROSION IN CERTAIN AREAS
IS ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE.

A man with glasses says THE DIFFERENCE OF LEVEL,
ABOUT 70 METRES.
IT NEEDED SOME VERY SPECIAL
ENGINEERING PROCESS TO SOLVE THE
PROBLEM.

The narrator says AND AT THE END OF THE 19TH
CENTURY, IT WAS ONE GIANT
STRETCH OF WATER IN AMERICA
THAT WOULD PROVE PROFOUNDLY
CHALLENGING FOR ENGINEERS.
TAKING A RAILWAY ACROSS WATER
IS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE.

An animation shows a train reaching the shore.

The conductor says HMM.

The narrator says ESPECIALLY WHEN THE DISTANCE
FROM A TO B IS VAST.
BUILDING A BRIDGE IS THE
OBVIOUS SOLUTION FOR TRAINS.
BUT THAT COULD LEAVE EVERYONE
ELSE GOING ABOUT THEIR
BUSINESS TREADING WATER.

The animation shows the construction of a bridge blocking the passage for ships.

The narrator says LOUISIANA, IN THE SOUTHERN
UNITED STATES.
IT'S A REGION THAT'S
CHARACTERIZED BY ITS WET AND
SWAMPY GEOGRAPHY.
IN THE LATE 1800S, ENGINEERS
WERE CHALLENGED TO BUILD A
RAILWAY THAT COULD CONNECT NEW
YORK AND SAN FRANCISCO WITH THE
TRADING PORT OF NEW ORLEANS.
HOWEVER, AN IMPOSING BODY OF
WATER STOOD IN THEIR WAY:
LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN.

Pat Weldon is in his forties, with short red hair and a goatee. He wears jeans, sunglasses, a blue shirt, a life vest, and a hat.

He says TODAY IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND
THE SEAS ARE FLAT CALM, BUT I'VE
BEEN OUT HERE WITH, YOU KNOW,
WINDS OVER 50 MILES PER HOUR AND
SEAS, YOU KNOW, IN EXCESS OF
EIGHT FEET.

The narrator says RAILROAD ENGINEER PAT WELDON
HAS EXPERIENCED THE CHALLENGE
OF THE LAKE FIRSTHAND.

Pat says THE MAJORITY OF THE
SURROUNDING AREA IS SWAMP AND
BAYOU.
YOU KNOW, YOU LOOK ACROSS LAKE
PONTCHARTRAIN AND YOU REALLY
CAN'T EVEN SEE LAND ON THE OTHER
SIDE.

The narrator says TO CONQUER THIS FORMIDABLE
BODY OF WATER BY TRAIN REQUIRES
A WORK OF ENGINEERING ON AN
EQUALLY GRAND SCALE.
THE LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN TRESTLE.
STRETCHING 5.8 MILES LONG, THIS
SUPER-SIZED CONCRETE BALLAST
DECK BRIDGE IS THE LONGEST
RAILWAY CROSSING OVER WATER ON
THE PLANET.
ORIGINALLY BUILT ENTIRELY FROM
WOOD, THIS RECORD-BREAKING
STRUCTURE WAS COMPLETED 134
YEARS AGO.
STILL STANDING STRONG AGAINST
THE ELEMENTS TODAY.
PAT IS MAKING HIS WAY OUT ON
THE WATER TO CARRY OUT SOME
CRITICAL REPAIRS, WHILE HIS
TEAM ARE RIDING THE RAILS IN A
SPECIALLY ADAPTED TRUCK.

On the truck, the driver says ALL RIGHT.
HERE WE GO.
MR. DAVE, YOU READY?

The passenger says ALL CLEAR.

The narrator says OVERCOMING THE MASSIVE
DISTANCE ACROSS THE SWAMPY
LAKE, THE TRESTLE GRANTS THE
RAILWAY DIRECT ACCESS INTO NEW
ORLEANS.

On the boat, Pat says WHEN YOU GRASP
THE CONCEPT THAT WE'RE COVERING
OVER FIVE-AND-A-HALF MILES OF
LAKE WITH A BRIDGE, IT'S JUST AN
INCREDIBLE FEAT.

The narrator says AND MAINTAINING THIS LINK IS
VITAL.

The truck driver says WE'LL START ON THE JOINTS
FIRST AND GET THAT KNOCKED OUT.

The narrator says WHILE SPLITTING THE LAKE
FROM SHORE TO SHORE SOLVED THE
CHALLENGE FOR THE RAILWAY, IT
CREATES ANOTHER PROBLEM FOR
BOATS.

Pat says YOUR VERTICAL CLEARANCE
FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE BRIDGE
IS VERY LOW.
MOST BOATS, EVEN MODERATE SIZE,
IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR THEM
TO PASS UNDERNEATH THE BALLAST
DECK.

The driver says UNLOADING STATION HERE.

The narrator says TO ALLOW BOTH WATER AND
TRAIN TRAFFIC TO TRAVEL THE
LAKE WITHOUT ISSUE, THE
NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD
TURNED TO AN INGENIOUS
ENGINEERING SOLUTION.

Pat says SO, THE WAY THAT WE DO
THAT HERE AT LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN
IS OUR NORTH DRAWBRIDGE, OUR
BASCULE BRIDGE.

The narrator says SPANNING 219 FEET, THIS
REMARKABLE PIECE OF RAILWAY
INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE KEY TO
THE PONTCHARTRAIN TRESTLE'S
SUCCESS.
THE BRAINCHILD OF AMERICAN
ENGINEER WILLIAM DONALD
SCHERZER, THE ROLLING BASCULE
IS RENOWNED FOR ITS ROBUST,
LOW-MAINTENANCE DESIGN, IDEAL
FOR OPERATING IN THE WATERY
WILDS OF THE LAKE.

Pat says THIS IS A TOUGH PLACE TO
GET INTO.
TO MAKE REPAIRS IS A DIFFICULT
THING TO DO.
THERE'S NO OTHER PLACE ON
NORFOLK SOUTHERN, OR ANY OTHER
RAILROAD FOR THAT MATTER, THAT
REALLY COMPARES.

The narrator says TO GET TODAY'S TRACK
MAINTENANCE WORK DONE, THE
BASCULE'S IMPRESSIVE
ENGINEERING NEEDS TO KICK INTO
GEAR.

Pat says WE HAVE MACHINERY AT THE TOP
OF THE BRIDGE THAT IS POWERED BY
TWO ELECTRIC DRIVE MOTORS.
THERE ARE TWO PINIONS AND THOSE
PINIONS ROTATE ACROSS A RACK
SYSTEM.
SO, ESSENTIALLY, WHAT HAPPENS
IS IT APPLIES FORCE TO OPEN THE
BRIDGE.

The narrator says BY HARNESSING THE 750-TONNE
MASS OF THE COUNTERWEIGHT TO
ASSIST THE MOTORS IN LIFTING
THE SPAN, THE BRIDGE ROLLS BACK
LIKE A GIANT ROCKING HORSE.

Pat says THIS ROLLING ACTION ALLOWS
FOR A MUCH SMOOTHER TRANSFER OF
LOAD WHILE THE BRIDGE OPERATES.

The narrator says WITH RAILWAY OPERATIONS NOW
AT A STANDSTILL, THE TEAM HAVE
TO WORK FAST.

Pat says HOW'S IT LOOK, JEFF?

Jeff says "We had 2 PM. Looking good."

Pat says GOOD DEAL.
SOUNDS GOOD.

The narrator says FACILITATING THE CROSSING OF
UP TO 15 FREIGHT TRAINS A DAY,
THE BRIDGE'S HEAVY USE RESULTS
IN WEAR AND TEAR TO SOME OF
ITS KEY COMPONENTS.

Pat says THESE MITRE RAILS ACT
AS RUNNING RAILS FOR OUR
TRAIN TRAFFIC.
THEY ALSO ALLOW THE DRAWBRIDGE
TO OPERATE UP AND DOWN, AND FOR
THOSE RAILS TO BREAK WHEN THE
DRAWBRIDGE IS OPERATED TO THE
RAISED POSITION.
THE DAMAGE THAT OCCURS TO THE
RAIL IS FROM IMPACT LOADING
FROM THE TRAINS.
TYPICALLY SPEAKING, ANY JOINT
THAT YOU HAVE ON THE TRACK IS
GOING TO SEE A LOT MORE IMPACT
LOADING THAN, YOU KNOW, A
STANDARD PIECE OF WELDED RAIL.

The narrator says MITRE RAILS ARE COMPOSED OF
TWO INTERCONNECTING PIECES OF
TRACK.
WHEN THE SPAN OPENS, THE LIFT
RAIL SCISSORS AWAY FROM THE
STATIONARY RAIL.
AND WHEN THE BRIDGE CLOSES,
THE TWO REALIGN WITH MILLIMETRE
PRECISION.

Pat says ANYTIME THAT WE HAVE A
MAJOR CRACK OR A DEFECT IN THE
RAIL, IT EITHER HAS TO BE
REPAIRED OR IT HAS TO BE
SLOW-ORDERED.
AND A SLOW ORDER IS BASICALLY A
SPEED RESTRICTION THAT REQUIRES
US TO REDUCE THE OPERATING SPEED
OF THE TRAIN.

The narrator says BUT RIGHT NOW, THE LINE IS
OUT OF ACTION WHILE WORK IS
UNDERWAY, SO GETTING THE
REPAIRS DONE QUICKLY IS
CRUCIAL.

Pat says WE'VE GOT APPROXIMATELY 30
MORE MINUTES UNTIL WE'RE
EXPECTED TO CLEAR THE TRACK
AND LET OUR FREIGHT RUN.

The narrator says TODAY'S REPAIRS ARE CRITICAL
BUT STRAIGHTFORWARD; BUT THIS
BRIDGE HAS HAD TO WITHSTAND
MORE THAN SIMPLE WEAR AND TEAR
IN ITS LIFETIME.
THE EXPOSED LOCATION LEAVES IT
VULNERABLE TO THE VERY WORST
WEATHER THAT NATURE CAN MUSTER.

Pat says THIS RAIL LINE IS A
VITAL LINK TO OUR GATEWAY IN NEW
ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.
IF A STORM WAS TO DAMAGE OR
DESTROY ANY PORTION OF THIS
BRIDGE, IT WOULD HAVE A SERIOUS
IMPACT ON OUR OPERATIONS.

The narrator says IT'S A NIGHTMARE SCENARIO
THAT THE RAILWAY EXPERIENCED
IN 2005, AS THE SOUTHEASTERN
UNITED STATES WAS RAVAGED BY
ONE OF THE WORST STORMS IN
AMERICAN HISTORY: HURRICANE
KATRINA.

Clips show images of the devastation after hurricane Katrina.

Pat says THE PONTCHARTRAIN
RAILWAY BRIDGE ACTUALLY LOST 4.7
MILES OF ITS TRACK AND BALLAST
SECTION.
THAT TRACK WAS WASHED OFF THE
BRIDGE DECK AND INTO THE BOTTOM
OF THE LAKE.

The narrator says DESPITE THE UNPRECEDENTED
DESTRUCTION WROUGHT BY KATRINA,
THE RAILWAY'S MAINTENANCE TEAMS
FOUGHT BACK.

Pat says WE USED A TOTAL OF NINE
BARGE-MOUNTED CRANES.
WE HAD A TEAM OF DIVERS THAT
WORKED WITH THE CRANES TO ATTACH
RIGGING TO THE TRACK, AND THEN
PULL IT UP AND BACK ONTO THE
BRIDGE DECK.
SIXTEEN DAYS AFTER THE LANDFALL
OF ONE OF THE WORST HURRICANES
IN MODERN HISTORY, NORFOLK
SOUTHERN WAS ABLE TO RESTORE
RAIL SERVICE INTO NEW ORLEANS.
THE AMOUNT OF DETERMINATION WAS
NOTHING SHORT OF REMARKABLE.

The narrator says SINCE RESTORING
SERVICE ACROSS THE LAKE IN THE
WAKE OF KATRINA...

Over the radio, Pat says CAN WE GET THIS BRIDGE
INTO THE UPRIGHT POSITION?
YOU GUYS ARE PLANNING ON TAKING
IT BACK DOWN?
OVER?

A man over the radio says YES, SIR.
THAT'S CORRECT.
I TOLD THEM TO BRING IT RIGHT
BACK DOWN.

Pat says OKAY.
UNDERSTOOD.

The narrator says THE PONTCHARTRAIN
TRESTLE CONTINUED TO ACT AS A
VITAL LINK INTO NEW ORLEANS,
AND TODAY'S REPAIRS ARE KEEPING
THIS RAILWAY ON TRACK.

Pat says THIS IS A NORTHBOUND TRAIN,
198.
(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING)

The narrator says EVERY DAY, THIS
RECORD-BREAKING BRIDGE
CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE RAILROAD
TO CONQUER THIS VAST BODY OF
WATER AND ACHIEVE THE SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE.

Pat says THIS IS AN AMAZING
ENGINEERING FEAT, THE
CONSTRUCTION OF THIS BRIDGE.
AND TO BE ABLE TO BE PART OF
THAT AND HAVE SOME HAND IN
MAINTAINING THE SAFE OPERATION
OF THE RAILROAD IS VERY
GRATIFYING.

The narrator says WHILE RAILWAY ENGINEERS
STRIVE TO OVERCOME OUR WATER
WORLDS, SOME OF THE BRAVEST
ACHIEVEMENTS HAVE BEEN REALIZED
UNDERWATER...

An engineer says THE CHANNEL TUNNEL IS THE
BIGGEST FEAT YOU'LL EVER SEE IN
MY LIFETIME.
IT JUST DON'T GET ANY BIGGER
THAN THIS.

The narrator says IN THE QUEST TO BUILD
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.

(music plays)

The narrator says RAILWAYS ARE
CONQUERING THEIR NEMESIS:
WATER.
A NOTORIOUSLY DESTRUCTIVE
ENVIRONMENT TESTING ENGINEERS
AROUND THE WORLD.
BUT SOME SOLUTIONS ULTIMATELY
BECOME RECORD-BREAKING ONES.
TRAINS ARE IDEAL FOR TRAVELLING
LONG DISTANCES.
(WHISTLING JAUNTILY)
CROSSING BETWEEN COUNTRIES CAN
BE A BREEZE.
BUT WHEN WATER BLOCKS YOUR
ROUTE...

In animation, a train conductor reaches a shore and says UH-OH...

The narrator says AND IT'S BUSY OUT THERE...
(TRAIN WHISTLE BLARING)

The narrator says SOMETIMES IT'S EASIER TO
TAKE THE PLUNGE.

The animated train dives in the water.

(music plays)

The narrator says THE ENGLISH CHANNEL.
STRETCHING AS WIDE AS 241
KILOMETRES ACROSS, IT'S THE
DIVIDING LINE THAT SEPARATES
GREAT BRITAIN FROM CONTINENTAL
EUROPE.
PACKED WITH GIANT SHIPS, AND
FREQUENTLY STRUCK BY WILD
WEATHER, CROSSING THIS
FORMIDABLE BODY OF WATER CAN
PRESENT A DAUNTING CHALLENGE.
BUT IN THE 1980S, RAILWAY
ENGINEERS FROM BRITAIN AND
FRANCE JOINED FORCES IN AN
ATTEMPT TO CONQUER THE CHANNEL
BY RAIL.

Dave is in his sixties, balding and with a gray beard. He wears black trousers and a black zip-up jacket.

Dave says HERE WE ARE, JUST TO
THE EAST OF DOVER.
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, FRANCE IN
THE DISTANCE.
THIS WOULD HAVE SEEMED A
VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TASK AT THE
TIME TO CREATE A FIXED LINK
BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

The narrator says CIVIL ENGINEER DAVE JOHNSON
HAS BEEN CLOSELY INVOLVED WITH
THE AMBITIOUS PROJECT SINCE ITS
INCEPTION.

Dave says ONE OF THE OPTIONS WAS TO
HAVE A BRIDGE GOING ACROSS.
THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT FIVE
KILOMETRE LONG SPANS, WHICH IS
MASSIVE.

The narrator says BUT THE IDEA OF BRIDGING
THE THIRTY-PLUS KILOMETRE
DISTANCE BETWEEN FOLKESTONE AND
CALAIS WAS FATALLY FLAWED.

Dave says WE HAVE THE BUSIEST STRETCH
OF WATER FOR SHIPPING IN THE
WORLD, SO THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN
A RISK DURING THE CONSTRUCTION,
AND AFTERWARDS, THAT AT SOME
TIME THERE COULD HAVE BEEN A
COLLISION BETWEEN A SHIP AND THE
BRIDGE SUPPORTS.

The narrator says IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THEIR
AMBITION, AND AVOID THE DANGERS
OF THE CONGESTED SHIPPING
LANES, ENGINEERS REACHED A
RECORD-BREAKING SOLUTION...
THE CHANNEL TUNNEL.
A RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION OF
EPIC PROPORTIONS.
CARRYING BOTH PASSENGERS AND
FREIGHT BETWEEN BRITAIN AND
FRANCE UNDER THE SEA.
WITH THE OPTION TO BOARD FROM
LONDON... AND TERMINALS AT
FOLKESTONE FOR VEHICLES TO
DRIVE ON...
THE CHANNEL TUNNEL HAS TURNED
WHAT WAS A 90 MINUTE
WEATHER-DEPENDENT FERRY TRIP,
INTO A SIMPLE, 35 MINUTE RIDE
ON THE RAILS.

Dave says IT'S EASY TO TAKE THESE
THINGS FOR GRANTED, BUT EVERY
TIME I USE IT, YOU CAN'T HELP
WONDERING WHAT AN AMAZING BIT OF
INFRASTRUCTURE WE HAVE HERE.

The narrator says THIS RAIL NETWORK TODAY
CARRIES 22 MILLION PASSENGERS A
YEAR.
MAKING WHAT WAS ONCE THOUGHT TO
BE AN IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY,
POSSIBLE.

A conductor says HERE WE GO, COMING OUT IN
FRANCE NOW, THERE WE ARE.

The narrator says BUT REALISING THIS LONG-HELD
DREAM OF CONNECTING THE TWO
COUNTRIES TOOK A TEAM OF 13,000
PEOPLE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS TO
CONSTRUCT.

Dave says MASSIVE LOGISTICS
INVOLVED.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THREE
TUNNELS 50 KILOMETRES IN LENGTH,
OF WHICH 38 KILOMETRES, ROUGHLY,
LIES UNDERNEATH THE SEA.

The narrator says THIS HUGE TUNNELLING PROCESS
TOOK PLACE UP TO 75 METRES
BELOW THE SEABED, WORKING
OFFSHORE FROM BOTH COUNTRIES.

Dave says LARGE TUNNELLING BORING
MACHINES, WHICH HAVE A LARGE
ROTATING HEAD WITH SHARP CUTTING
TEETH TO GET THROUGH THE GROUND,
SLOWLY STARTED TO WORK TOWARDS
ONE ANOTHER ACROSS THE CHANNEL.
AND EVENTUALLY ON THE FIRST OF
DECEMBER 1990, THE TWO SERVICE
TUNNELS MET IN THE MIDDLE TO
GREAT CELEBRATION.

The narrator says FOUR YEARS LATER, HAVING
LAID OVER 200 KILOMETRES OF
TRACK, AND INSTALLED POWER TO
THE LINES, THE CHANNEL TUNNEL
OPENED IN 1994, CROWNING IT THE
LONGEST UNDERSEA RAILWAY TUNNEL
ON THE PLANET.
CONQUERING THIS MOST
CHALLENGING OF ENVIRONMENTS WAS
AN INCREDIBLE FEAT, BUT
ENGINEERS STILL HAVE TO FIGHT
THE WATER WORLD EVERY SINGLE
DAY.
JOHN KHEEFE IS ONE OF THE TEAM
INVOLVED IN THIS MEGA PROJECT.

John is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears glasses, black jeans, a black sweater and a safety vest.

He says IN ENGINEERING TERMS, IT
COMPARES TO THINGS LIKE THE
PANAMA CANAL, THE SUEZ CANAL,
THE HOOVER DAM, IT'S OF THE
ORDER OF MAGNITUDE THAT IT'S
BEEN RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE MODERN
WORLD.
UNDOUBTEDLY THIS IS THE MOST
CHALLENGING ENGINEERING PROJECT
EVER TO HAVE BEEN REALISED.

The narrator says AROUND 400 TRAINS PASS
THROUGH THE TUNNEL EACH DAY.
AN OPERATION THAT IS MONITORED
BEHIND THE SCENES AT CHANNEL
TUNNEL HQ.

John says THIS IS A BIT OF AN
EXCLUSIVE AREA.
IT'S A BIT OF A-- BIT OF A
SECRET.
THIS ROOM IS OUR RAILWAY CONTROL
CENTRE.
IT'S THE HEART OF THE WHOLE OF
THE CHANNEL TUNNEL.
WE BASICALLY RUN EVERYTHING FROM
HERE.
THAT INCLUDES ALL OF THE
TIMETABLING FOR THE RAILWAY
MOVEMENTS.

The narrator says A TIMETABLE THAT THE
MAINTENANCE TEAMS CRUCIALLY
HAVE TO WORK AROUND.

John says EVERY WEEK, TWO NIGHTS
OF MAINTENANCE ARE SCHEDULED ON
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT.
WE'LL TAKE A SECTION OF THE
TUNNEL OUT OF SERVICE AND THE
RAILWAY SYSTEM CONTINUES TO
OPERATE AROUND THEM.

The narrator says TASKED WITH CARRYING OUT
THIS WEEKEND'S VITAL WORK IS
LEAD ENGINEER MARK CORNWALL.

Mark is in his late forties, clean*shaven and with shirt gray hair. He wears a safety suit, a hard hat and goggles.

Mark says NOW WE GOT ABOUT 15
KILOMETRES TO THE LOCATION WHERE
OUR TRAIN IS TO START WORK.

The narrator says RUNNING AN ELECTRICALLY
POWERED RAILWAY IN A DAMP
UNDERSEA ENVIRONMENT PRESENTS
CONSTANTLY EVOLVING CHALLENGES.

Mark says NO ONE HAS EVER MAINTAINED
ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE, WE'VE
COME UP AGAINST LOTS OF
DIFFERENT COMPLICATIONS.
THE ATMOSPHERE IN CERTAIN AREAS
IS REALLY MOIST AND REALLY SALTY
BECAUSE OF-- YOU GET A LOT OF
SEEPAGE FROM THE SEA BED.
CORROSION IN CERTAIN AREAS IS
ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE.
AND WE HAVE A MASSIVE PROGRAM
IN PLACE OF CHANGING OUT THREE
KILOMETRES OF THE TUNNEL.

The narrator says TONIGHT MARK'S TEAM ARE
CARRYING OUT A ROUTINE
INSPECTION OF THE CONTACT WIRES
THAT RUN ALONG THE TOP OF THE
TUNNEL.

Mark says HOW FAR BACK DOES IT
START BACK THERE?

A worker says RIGHT BY THE (UNCLEAR)
PASSAGE.

Mark says YEAH, OKAY.

The worker says YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

Mark says WELL, I EXPECT THE WHOLE
TUNNEL BE DONE BY THE END OF THE
NIGHT.

Mark points at the contact wires at the tunnel ceiling and says THE TRAIN IS POWERED BY THE
CONTACT WIRE, WITH THE
PANTOGRAPH ON THE TRAIN PICKED
UP THE POWER THROUGH THE CONTACT
WIRE.
AS YOU CAN SEE, THE CONTACT WIRE
SLOWLY BUT SURELY WEARS AT THE
BOTTOM.
EVERY LOCATION HAS TO BE CHECKED
AND DOUBLE CHECKED.
BECAUSE THE LAST THING YOU WANT
IS IT NOT TO BE RIGHT FIRST
THING IN THE MORNING, BECAUSE IF
IT'S WRONG IN THE MORNING AND
THE TRAIN COMES ALONG AND BRINGS
THE WIRE DOWN, WE COULD BE
BACK HERE FOR ANOTHER 20 HOURS.

The narrator says BUT THERE'S A MORE PRESSING
ELEMENT TO THE JOB...
UPGRADING A VITAL COMPONENT IN
THE SYSTEM THAT DELIVERS POWER
TO THE TRAINS.

Mark says WHAT WE ARE DOING TONIGHT
IS WE ARE CHANGING OUT THESE
REGISTRATION POTS AND FEEDER
POTS, WE ARE CHANGING THEM
FROM PORCELAIN TO SYNTHETIC.
SO, LET'S MAKE A START.

The narrator says INSTALLING THE NEW SYNTHETIC
INSULATORS WILL REDUCE THE RISK
OF THE DAMP ENVIRONMENT CAUSING
A POWER FAILURE THAT COULD
BRING THE RAILWAY TO A HALT.

Mark says ON THIS SHIFT TONIGHT, WE
ARE GOING TO TRY AND CHANGE OUT
MOST PROBABLY 30 INSULATORS.
WHEN WE LEAVE HERE, THE TRAINS
MUST BE ABLE TO RUN FIRST THING
IN THE MORNING.
AS YOU CAN SEE, IT'S A LONG
PROCEDURE JUST TO DO ONE
LOCATION.

The narrator says BUT SIX HOURS LATER, IT'S
JOB DONE.
AND THE TUNNEL CAN BE PUT BACK
INTO OPERATION ONCE AGAIN.
WORKING IN THIS UNIQUE
ATMOSPHERE IS ALL PART OF AN
ONGOING, INVISIBLE BATTLE TO
KEEP THIS RECORD-BREAKING
RAILWAY ON TRACK.

Mark says I LOVE MY JOB, I'VE BEEN
HERE 26 YEARS NOW, AND THIS WILL
BE WHERE I RETIRE, I HOPE.

The narrator says MAKING ITS EPIC JOURNEY
UNDER THE SEA...

John says THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS I'M
QUITE PROUD OF; THE SHEER SCALE
OF IT, IT'S THE LONGEST UNDERSEA
TUNNEL IN THE WORLD.

The narrator says AND ACHIEVING THE SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE EVERY DAY.

Mark says THE CHANNEL TUNNEL IS THE
BIGGEST FEAT YOU'LL EVER SEE IN
MY LIFETIME, IT JUST DON'T GET
ANY BIGGER THAN THIS.
IN 20 YEARS OR 50 YEARS OR 100
YEARS, THERE WILL BE SOMETHING
BIGGER AND BETTER, BUT FOR NOW,
THIS IS IT.

The narrator says WHEN IT COMES TO THE
CHALLENGES POSED BY OUR WATER
WORLDS...

A man with glasses says ENGINEERS HAVE TO BE
CREATIVE, AND SO WE CAN MIX
TECHNOLOGIES, WHY NOT?

The narrator says SOMETIMES THE MOST UNUSUAL
PROBLEMS REQUIRE AN IMPOSSIBLE
RAILWAY.

(music plays)

The narrator says WATER, A RAILWAY'S
MOST FORMIDABLE OPPONENT.
ITS VOLATILE FORCE INSPIRES
GREAT FEATS OF ENGINEERING TO
KEEP TRAINS ON TRACK.
BUT NAVIGATING THROUGH SOME
WATERY LOCATIONS REQUIRES A
POWERFUL SOLUTION.
THE PANAMA CANAL IS ONE OF
THE PLANET'S MOST SIGNIFICANT
TRADE ROUTES.
STRETCHING FOR 82 KILOMETRES,
IT CUTS THROUGH THE HEART OF
THE COUNTRY, CONNECTING THE
ATLANTIC OCEAN IN THE NORTH
WITH THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN THE
SOUTH.
AND SAVING 8000 NAUTICAL MILES
PER JOURNEY FOR SHIPS THAT
PASS THROUGH IT, INSTEAD OF THE
ALTERNATIVE AND RISKY ROUTE
AROUND CAPE HORN.

Emilio is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears jeans and a white shirt.

Emilio says "The locks, they are necessary for international commerce of the vessels. They save time and money."

The narrator says SENIOR LOCK MASTER EMILIO
LIAO-LEE IS AT THE MIRAFLORES
LOCKS AT THE PACIFIC ENTRANCE
TO THE CANAL, THE UNLIKELY
SETTING FOR A FEAT OF RAILWAY
ENGINEERING.

Emilio says "The challenge that we have for huge vessels, we have a limit for the Panamax vessel."

The narrator says THERE IS AN UNBELIEVABLY
TINY 60 CENTIMETRE GAP BETWEEN
THE WALLS OF THE LOCKS AND THE
SIDES OF THE LARGEST
VESSELS.
AND ANY DAMAGE TO THE LOCKS
COULD HAVE A CATASTROPHIC
EFFECT ON WORLD TRADE.

Emilio says "We need to lockage the vessel without any incidents."

The narrator says IN THE EARLY 1900S, THE TASK
OF SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF
GUIDING SHIPS THROUGH FELL TO
THE CANAL PROJECT'S ELECTRICAL
AND MECHANICAL ENGINEER EDWARD
SCHILDHAUER.
SCHILDHAUER WOULD NEED TO
DESIGN A SYSTEM THAT WOULD HAVE
ENOUGH POWER TO CONTROL THE
ENORMOUS WEIGHT OF THE FULLY
LOADED SHIPS AS THEY CHANGE
ELEVATIONS.
THE SOLUTION, INCREDIBLY, WAS
A RAILWAY, AND A UNIQUE
LOCOMOTIVE KNOWN AS THE PANAMA
MULE.
WEIGHING 43 TONNES EACH, THESE
LOCO'S WORK IN PAIRS TO KEEP
THE VESSELS CENTRALLY ALIGNED.
IT WAS A SOLUTION THAT WAS SO
COMPREHENSIVE THAT IT'S STILL
IN USE TODAY.

Emilio says "The mules have two electric engines for traction and two for windlasses to keep the vessels on the centre."

The narrator says RUNNING ALONG RACK-RAILS
PARALLEL TO THE CANAL, A GEAR
ON THE LOCOMOTIVE MESHES WITH
THE RAIL, GIVING THEM ENOUGH
TRACTION TO SURMOUNT GRADIENTS
RISING TO AS MUCH AS 44 percent.

Emilio says "Today we are going to lockage a vessel on the west and we are going to send the vessel from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean."

The narrator says CRITICAL FOR THE SUCCESS OF
EVERY LOCKAGE IS CAREFUL
COORDINATION BETWEEN A TEAM OF
PEOPLE ON LAND, ON WATER AND
THE DRIVERS OF THE LOCOMOTIVES.
MULE DRIVER ROBERTO AUGUSTO
THOMPSON IS ASSISTING THE
LOCKAGE TODAY.

Roberto is in his forties, bald and clean-shaven. He glasses, black trousers, a blue shirt and a white cap.

He says "Firstly, the boat communicates with the lock master, then with the boat, it gets closer to the wall."

The narrator says A SMALL ROWING BOAT THEN PASSES
THE CABLES TO BE ATTACHED TO
THE SHIP, AND THEN BACK TO
LAND, WHERE THE RAILWAY STEPS
IN TO TAKE ITS FUNDAMENTAL
ROLE.

Roberto says "And thus, the crossing begins."

The narrator says ONCE THE GATES HAVE CLOSED,
WATER RUSHES IN TO ELEVATE THE
SHIP.
DURING THE LOCKAGE, SHIPS
TRANSIT UNDER THEIR OWN POWER,
BUT FOR THE NEXT EIGHT MINUTES,
THE MULES HAVE TO ASCEND THE
RAILS AND MOVE IN UNISON WITH
THE VESSEL, TO MAINTAIN ENOUGH
LATERAL TENSION IN THE ROPES TO
KEEP IT CENTRED.
EACH LOCOMOTIVE HAS TWO 290
HORSEPOWER TRACTION UNITS AND
IS POWERED BY ELECTRICITY FED
THROUGH THE TRACKS.

Robert says "We have an electric panel that controls every electrical implement that the locomotive has and this is the main switch that I have to use to turn on the locomotive. This is the voltmeter that indicates the power the motors are using. This is the lever to move the boat forwards, backwards, and to stop it."

The narrator says FOR LARGE SHIPS, UP TO EIGHT
MULES WORK TOGETHER, EACH WITH
A DRIVER SITTING IN A CENTRAL
CABIN KEEPING TIGHT CONTROL.
BUT POWER WASN'T THE ONLY
CHALLENGE TO OVERCOME.
MANOEUVRING THESE MASSIVE SHIPS
LEFT THE MULES AT RISK OF BEING
DRAGGED OFF THE TRACKS.

Roberto says "Now we have the rack-track, because it is important in helping the movement and locomotive force and also comes with a safety wheel that couples here in order to prevent the boat from lifting the locomotive and pulling it into the water. This mule system is important for the Panama Canal because it allows us to move boats more effectively, with safety."

The narrator says THIS ARMY OF ONE HUNDRED UNIQUE
LOCOMOTIVES WORKS CONTINUOUSLY
THROUGHOUT THE DAY, WITH THE
HELP OF A TURNTABLE, MOVING
WITH THE CHANGING DIRECTION OF
SHIPS IN AND OUT OF THE
PACIFIC.
MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR 14,500
SHIPS TO PASS THROUGH THE
PANAMA CANAL EACH YEAR, ALL
THANKS TO SCHILDHAUER'S
INGENIOUS RAILWAY.

Emilio says "I'm very proud for the members of the Panama Canal because this is one of the best systems in the world."

The narrator says OVERCOMING HEIGHTS IN A
WATER WORLD REQUIRES LOCKS,
BUT SOMETIMES A MORE RADICAL
RAILWAY SOLUTION IS NECESSARY.
IT WAS ONE SUCH CHALLENGE
FACING ENGINEERS HERE, IN THE
FAMOUSLY FLAT LANDSCAPE OF
CENTRAL BELGIUM.
IN THE 1960S, THERE WAS A
NEED TO SPEED UP THE VITAL
FLOW OF TRADE ALONG A SECTION
OF THE CHARLEROI TO BRUSSELS
CANAL.
A PROBLEM WATERWAYS EXPERT YVON
LOYAERTS KNOWS WELL.

Yvon is in his sixties, clean-shaven and with short wavy white hair. He wears glasses, black trousers, and a blue shirt.

Yvon says IT'S TIME CONSUMING, ABOUT
TWO AND A HALF DAYS FOR THE
WHOLE TRIP FROM HERE TO ABOUT 20
KILOMETRES FURTHER.
THERE WERE GOODS TRANSPORTED,
STEEL PRODUCTS, COAL PRODUCTS,
BUILDING MATERIALS, ALL KIND OF
PRODUCTS THAT NEED, ANYWAY, FOR
ECONOMY EFFICIENCY TO HAVE TRIPS
AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE.

The narrator says SLOWING DOWN THE CARGO
WAS A STEEPLY SLOPING SECTION
OF THE CANAL...
A CUMBERSOME TWO KILOMETRE
STRETCH OF 14 LOCKS THAT TOOK
A DAY TO MOVE THROUGH.

Yvon says THE DIFFERENCE OF
LEVEL, ABOUT 70 METRES, IN FACT
IT NEEDED SOME VERY SPECIAL
ENGINEERING PROCESS TO SOLVE
THE PROBLEM.

The narrator says INCREDIBLY, IT WAS A RADICAL
FEAT OF RAILWAY ENGINEERING
THAT PROVIDED THE ANSWER.

Yvon says ENGINEERS HAVE TO BE
CREATIVE, AND SO WE CAN MIX
TECHNOLOGIES, WHY NOT?

The narrator says WHAT THEY DREAMT UP WAS THE
MONUMENTAL RONQUIERES INCLINED
PLANE.
THE WORLD'S LONGEST SLOPING
LOCK.
ALMOST ONE AND A HALF
KILOMETRES LONG AND 68 METRES
HIGH, BOATS TAKE TO THE RAILS
ABOARD A PAIR OF HUGE
WATER-FILLED TANKS, CONQUERING
THE INCLINE AND REDUCING WHAT
WAS A SEVEN HOUR TRIP TO JUST
FORTY MINUTES.

Arnauld is in his thirties, clean-shaven and with short receding light brown hair. He wears gray trousers, a blue shirt and a navy blue zip-up jacket.

He says THE PURPOSE OF THIS
CONSTRUCTION WAS MAINLY TO
HELP US GAINING SOME TIME IN
TERMS OF USING THE LOCKS, AS
BEFORE WE HAD MANY LOCKS TO
USE, IT MADE THE TRAFFIC SO
SLOW.

The narrator says TODAY, GUIDE ARNAULD KATELS
IS RIDING THE REVOLUTIONARY
SLOPING LOCK, AS IT HELPS YET
ANOTHER VESSEL PASS THROUGH THE
INCLINE.

Arnauld says SO AT THIS MOMENT, WE ARE
BRINGING A MERCHANT SHIP FROM
THE UPSTREAM TO THE DOWNSTREAM,
DOWN A SLOPE OF 5 percent.

(WOMAN SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

The narrator says THE SYSTEM WORKS IN A SIMILAR
WAY TO TOY BOATS IN A BATH TUB.
ONLY ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE.

Arnauld says DURING A NORMAL WEEK FROM
MONDAY TO FRIDAY, WE
HAVE BETWEEN TEN AND TWENTY
BOATS A DAY.
THE FACT THAT WE CAN CARRY SUCH
BOATS, 1,350 TONNES OF, UMM,
MERCHANDISE, IT ALLOWS US TO
SPARE 70,000 LORRIES FROM THE
ROADS.

The narrator says EACH GIANT TANK, OR CAISSON,
CONTAINS 3000 CUBIC
METRES OF WATER...

Arnauld says IN A CAISSON, THAT'S
91 METRES LONG ON A 12 METRES
LARGE.

The narrator says AND THEIR MOVEMENT IS DRIVEN
BY A RAIL-MOUNTED COUNTERWEIGHT
SYSTEM.

Arnauld says WE HAVE TWO RAILWAYS, ONE
FOR THE CAISSON ITSELF AND ONE
FOR THE COUNTERWEIGHTS UNDER
THE CAISSON.

The narrator says THIS INGENIOUS INCLINED
PLANE CAN TRANSPORT EACH TANK,
PLUS THE FULLY LOADED BARGES,
OVER A WORLD-BEATING DISTANCE.

Arnauld says THERE ARE OTHER SLOPING
LOCKS IN THE WORLD, BUT A
SLOPING LOCK OF 1.4 KILOMETRES,
IT'S THE FIRST INCLINED PLANE
OF THIS SIZE.

The narrator says YET THE MECHANISM BEHIND
THIS MODE OF TRANSPORT IS
BRILLIANTLY SIMPLE.
FIRST, THE BARGE ENTERS THE
TANK THROUGH A LOCK GATE THAT
SHUTS BEHIND IT, TRAPPING WATER
INSIDE.
AN ELECTRIC MOTOR THEN HAULS A
CABLE, MOVING THE TANK IN ONE
DIRECTION AND A COUNTERWEIGHT
IN THE OTHER.
AT THE END OF THE INCLINE, A
SECOND LOCK GATE OPENS AND THE
BARGE CONTINUES ON ITS JOURNEY.
YVON IS WATCHING THE WHOLE
IMPRESSIVE OPERATION UNFOLD
FROM A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE.

Yvon says THE TANK IS NOW GOING DOWN.
YOU SEE ALL THE RUNNING WHEELS
ROLLING ON THE TRACK, AND OF
COURSE, NATURALLY, WHEN THE TANK
IS GOING DOWN, IS RUNNING DOWN,
THE COUNTERWEIGHT WILL GO UP.

The narrator says AS THE 5,200 TONNE WEIGHT
CLIMBS THE SLOPE, THE GIANT
TANK OF WATER CARRYING THE
BARGE DESCENDS AT A SPEED OF
1.2 METRES PER SECOND.

Yvon says IT'S IN FACT THE SYSTEM AS
FOR A CABLE CAR, THE ONLY
DIFFERENCE IS IT'S JUST A LITTLE
BIT BIGGER, OF COURSE.
IT'S A LARGE DIFFERENCE, IN
FACT!

The narrator says DRIVEN BY SIX ELECTRIC
MOTORS, TWO WINCHES HAUL THE
EIGHT MASSIVE CABLES ATTACHED
TO EACH TANK AND ITS
COUNTERWEIGHT OVER THE 68 METRE
HEIGHT DIFFERENCE.

Yvon says THERE ARE TWO SYSTEMS IN
PARALLEL, EACH SYSTEM IS 16
CABLES, MORE OR LESS ONE AND A
HALF KILOMETRES IN LENGTH, THUS
IT MEANS A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN
50 KILOMETRES LENGTH ALTOGETHER
CABLES.

The narrator says WHEN IT WAS CONCEIVED, MANY
THOUGHT CONSTRUCTING THE EPIC
RONQUIERES INCLINED PLANE WOULD
BE IMPOSSIBLE.
BUT WHEN IT OPENED IN 1968
AFTER SIX YEARS OF
CONSTRUCTION, THIS RAILWAY
TRANSFORMED BELGIUM'S CANALS.

Yvon says WE HAD TO DEFINE SOME VERY
NEW SOLUTIONS TO MAKE IT WORK,
AND LUCKILY, THEY WERE GOOD
SOLUTIONS, BECAUSE 50 YEARS
AFTERWARDS, IT STILL WORKS AND
IS STILL IN USE AND IN A VERY
EFFICIENT MANNER.

The narrator says AND THANKS TO THIS
INCREDIBLE PIECE OF
ENGINEERING, TODAY YET ANOTHER
BOATLOAD OF CARGO HAS SAVED
HOURS ON ITS JOURNEY.

Arnauld says THE BOAT THAT'S GOING OUT OF
THE CAISSON RIGHT NOW IS GOING
TO BRUSSELS.
IT TOOK US 40 MINUTES TO GO FROM
THE UPSTREAM TO THE DOWNSTREAM,
AND BEFORE IT WAS ABOUT SEVEN
HOURS TO GO FROM THERE.
IT'S AN AMAZING PIECE OF
ENGINEERING.

(music plays)

The narrator says SOME OF OUR MOST SPECTACULAR
WATER WORLDS INSPIRE PIONEERING
SOLUTIONS.

A man in a red jacket says SO LOOKING AT THAT HILL, WE
CAN SEE A CHALLENGE BEHIND IT,
THE CARS HAVE TO CONQUER THAT
STEEP HILL.

The narrator says IN ORDER TO CREATE MORE
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.

(music plays)

The narrator says WATER.
ONE OF NATURE'S FIERCEST
ELEMENTS.
AN ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE OBSTACLE
STANDING IN THE FACE OF SOME OF
THE WORLD'S MOST AWE-INSPIRING
TRAIN JOURNEYS.
BUT SOMETIMES WATER CAN HELP
INSPIRE SOME INGENIOUS
SOLUTIONS.
ENGINEERS HAVE DREAMT UP MANY
WAYS FOR TRAINS TO CONQUER
WATER.

The animation shows a train crossing a bridge and going through a tunnel under the river bed.

The narrator says BUT WHILE CROSSING IT CAN BE
PLAIN SAILING...
FINDING THE POWER TO REACH IT
IS AN ALTOGETHER STEEPER
PROPOSITION.

The animation shows the train unable to climb up a hill to cross a waterfall.

(music plays)

The narrator says SWITZERLAND IN THE LATE 1800S,
A COUNTRY FACING AN EXPLOSION
IN TOURISM, THANKS TO ITS SNOWY
PEAKS, PICTURESQUE VISTAS, AND
PRISTINE LAKES.

(SHIP'S WHISTLE BLOWING)

On a boat, Mark says THAT'S THE SOUND OF
SWITZERLAND.

Mark is in his forties, clean-shaven and with short brown hair. He wears a white shirt and a red jacket.

The narrator says LOCAL MARK VON
WEISSENFLUH IS EN ROUTE TO ONE
ALPINE SETTING THAT VISITORS
DESPERATELY WANTED TO REACH...

Mark says TOURISTS FROM ALL OVER THE
WORLD CAME TO VISIT THE AREA OF
THE BRIEZE OVERLANDS AND THE
LAKE OF BRIENZ.
AND OF COURSE, THEY ALSO WANTED
TO SEE THE GIESSBACH CASCADES.
14 CASCADES GOING DOWNHILL TO
THE LAKE.

The narrator says THANKS TO ITS REMOTE, ALMOST
ISLAND-LIKE LOCATION, THE ONLY
WAY TO ACCESS THIS BEAUTY SPOT
WAS BY BOAT.

Mark says JUST HAVE A LOOK
AROUND, SO MANY CHALLENGES TO
GET OVER HERE.

The narrator says BUT ARRIVING AT SHORE LEVEL,
VISITORS STILL FACED AN ARDUOUS
HIKE THROUGH DENSE FOREST TO
REACH THE GIESSBACH FALLS.
IT WAS A JOURNEY THAT MANY
WELL-HEELED CITY DWELLERS JUST
WEREN'T PREPARED TO MAKE.
IN AN EFFORT TO ENTICE THE
WEALTHY, AN OPULENT HOTEL WAS
BUILT, BUT DESPITE ITS
PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE FALLS,
IT WAS CLEAR A SOLUTION WOULD
STILL BE NEEDED TO TRANSPORT
GUESTS FROM THE SHORE.
ONE THAT WOULD NOT ONLY NEED TO
SCALE THE 100 METRE INCLINE,
BUT OVERCOME THE POWERFUL
WATERFALLS.

Mark says SO THIS IS IT, THAT'S THE
SOLUTION THE ENGINEERS DID FIND.
THEY CREATED THE GIESSBACH
FUNICULAR.

The narrator says THIS HISTORIC FUNICULAR
OPENED IN 1879, TURNING WHAT
WAS ONCE AN IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY
INTO AN AWE-INSPIRING 345 METRE
LONG RIDE BY RAIL.

On the funicular, Mark says THIS IS ONE OF MY MOST
SPECTACULAR JOURNEYS UP HERE.
EVERY TIME YOU DRIVE UP THIS
HILL, IT'S LIKE BEING 140 YEARS
THROWN BACK IN TIME AND IT'S
JUST VERY IMPRESSIVE.

The narrator says WHERE A STEAM LOCOMOTIVE OF
THE TIME LOST TRACTION ON
GRADIENTS BEYOND 5 percent, THIS
TRAVERSES A MIGHTY 28 percent
GRADIENT, OVERCOMING THE
FAST-FLOWING FALLS IN THE
PROCESS.
BUT TO WORK AROUND THIS WATERY
LANDSCAPE POSED AN ENORMOUS
CHALLENGE, NOT LEAST HOW TO
POWER THE FUNICULAR.
TASKED WITH THE JOB WAS
SWISS ENGINEER CARL ROMAN ABT.
IN A FUNICULAR SYSTEM, ONE CAR
GOES UP WHILE ANOTHER GOES
DOWN, THE WEIGHT OF THE TWO
CARRIAGES COUNTERBALANCING EACH
OTHER.
BUT ADDITIONAL POWER IS NEEDED
TO EXCEED THE COUNTERBALANCE
AND CREATE MOTION.
ABT DIDN'T LOOK FAR TO FIND
THAT SOURCE.
INSPIRED BY THE WATERY
ENVIRONMENT, HE USED THE
CONTINUOUS CASCADES TO HIS
ADVANTAGE.

Mark stands next to a model made by two buckets on each end of a strip sitting on a tripod.

He says SO THIS REPRESENTS ONE OF
THE TWO WAGONS.
AND THIS ONE IS THE ROPE
CONNECTED, OF COURSE, DIRECTLY
WITH THE SECOND WAGON.
THIS, THE UPPER BUCKET, WHICH
REPRESENTS THE TOP CABIN,
DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH WEIGHT TO
PULL THE LOWER BUCKET UP; THAT
MEANS WE HAVE TO ADD EXTRA
ENERGY AND WEIGHT TO MAKE THIS
WAGON HEAVIER THAN THE BOTTOM
ONE.
AND THE WAY THEY DID THAT
HERE AT GIESSBACH IS THEY USED
THE WATER FROM THE WATERFALL.
SO THE MORE WEIGHT THE WATER
BRINGS IN...

As he pours water in one of the buckets, the bucket goes down thus pulling up the empty one.

Mark says THERE WE GO, SEE?
AND THAT'S THE SYSTEM, THAT'S
THE PRINCIPLE.
THE UPPER CABIN PULLS WITH THE
WEIGHT OF THE WATER THE LOWER
CABIN, AS EASY AS THAT AGAIN.
THE WATER FLOWED OVER TO THE
TANK, WHICH WAS UNDERNEATH THE
CABIN, SO THE CAR WAS FILLED
WITH WATER AND THE EXTRA POWER
HAS BEEN HERE TO GENERATE THE
PULLING UP OF THE SECOND WAGON
DOWN BY THE LAKE AND GET THE
PASSENGERS UP.
VERY EASY, VERY SIMPLE.

The narrator says HAVING FOUND A SOLUTION TO
POWER HIS FUNICULAR, ABT NOW
FACED THE TASK OF BUILDING THE
TRACK THAT WOULD CARRY IT.
EARLY DESIGNS FEATURED TWO
TRACKS SIDE BY SIDE, BUT SPACE
AND BUDGET WOULD IMPOSE
IMPOSSIBLE RESTRICTIONS HERE.

Mark says SO LOOKING AT THAT HILL, WE
CAN SEE A CHALLENGE BEHIND IT.
THE CARS HAVE TO CONQUER THAT
STEEP HILL AND THERE WAS ONLY
BUDGET FOR ONE TRACK.
BUT THE CABLE CAR, OF COURSE, IT
HAS TWO CARS, SO HOW TO DO THAT?
THEY HAD TO BE A GENIUS OF AN
ENGINEER TO COME UP WITH AN
IDEA, TO CREATE THIS SOLUTION
WITH ONE TRACK AND TWO CARS.

The narrator says ABT'S SPACE AND COST-SAVING
SOLUTION WAS TO DESIGN A SINGLE
TRACK FUNICULAR WITH AN
INGENIOUS PASSING LOOP,
ALLOWING TWO TRAINS TO TRAVEL
UP AND DOWN THE MOUNTAIN
SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Mark says SO IT'S CALLED THE ABT
SWITCH.
THE CARS CAN CROSS HALFWAY UP
THE HILL AND WE HAVE JUST ONE
TRACK ALL THE WAY UP THE HILL
FROM THE BOTTOM.

The narrator says TRADITIONAL TRAIN WHEELS
HAVE A FLANGE ON THE INSIDE, TO
KEEP THEM ON THE RAILS.
ABT DESIGNED HIS WHEELS SO THAT
BOTH EDGES WERE FLANGED ON ONE
SIDE OF THE CARRIAGE, AND ON
THE OTHER SIDE, THE WHEELS ARE
SIMPLY ROUNDED.
THE FLANGED SIDE FOLLOWS AN
UNINTERRUPTED GUIDANCE RAIL; AS
THE CARRIAGE APPROACHES THE ABT
SWITCH, THE RAIL DIVERTS IT TO
THE OUTER EDGE, ALLOWING THE
TWO CARRIAGES TO PASS EACH
OTHER.

Mark says AND THAT'S THE FIRST TIME IN
THE WORLD IT HAS BEEN REALISED
ON A FUNICULAR.
SO WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND AND YOU
SEE THAT INCREDIBLE TERRAIN
HERE, IT WAS JUST LOGICAL TO
CREATE THAT SOLUTION WITH ONLY
ONE TRACK.

The narrator says ABT'S SINGLE-TRACK SOLUTION
WAS GROUND-BREAKING, FINALLY
SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF HOW TO
TRANSPORT PEOPLE UP AND THROUGH
THIS WATERY WILDERNESS.
AND WHILE THE ABT SWITCH HAS
GONE ON TO BECOME A FUNDAMENTAL
PART OF TODAY'S CUTTING EDGE
FUNICULARS, THIS HISTORIC
LANDMARK HAS STOOD THE TEST OF
TIME.

Mark says JUST IMAGINE IN 1879 WHEN
THEY, FOR THE FIRST TIME, DROVE
UP THAT HILL IN THIS
SPECTACULAR, COMFORTABLE
TRANSPORTATION, IT'S SO UNIQUE
AND SO-- SO TOUCHING.
WE CAN DO THAT ALL DAY!
(LAUGHING)

(music plays)

The narrator says SINCE RAILWAYS BEGAN, WATER
HAS GIVEN THEM A MIGHTY
CHALLENGE.
INSPIRING SOLUTIONS THAT CROSS
GREAT DIVIDES...

Pat says THIS IS AN AMAZING
ENGINEERING FEAT, TO BE ABLE TO
BE A PART OF THAT IS VERY-- VERY
GRATIFYING.

The narrator says RAISING ENGINEERING TO A
HIGHER LEVEL.

Mark says IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PIECE
OF ENGINEERING, SO... THIS IS
ALMOST ART.

The narrator says TO CREATE IMPOSSIBLE
RAILWAYS.

John says THIS CHANNEL TUNNEL IS THE
FIRST TIME WE'VE HAD A
CONNECTION BETWEEN EUROPE AND
THE UK SINCE THE ICE AGE; IT IS
OF WORLD-WIDE IMPORTANCE.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrated by Matthew Skilton.

Producer-directors, Tom Weller and Tom Weston.

Executive producer, Neil Edwards.

Series producer, Sharon Ryan.

Distributed by Two Four Rights.

Produced in association with Yesterday.

Copyright 2018, TwoFour.

Watch: Episode 5 - Waterworlds