Transcript: Ep. 2 - Into the Wild | Jul 31, 2018

Clips show images of railways crossing rivers and climbing up mountains.

A Male Narrator says FROM THE WORLD'S
WILDEST WATERS...

A man in safety gear says IT WAS INCREDIBLY DEEP
WATER, IT WAS DEEPER THAN THE
NORTH SEA, A LOT OF IT.

The Narrator says TO ITS MIGHTIEST
MOUNTAINS.

A male train conductor says YOU CAN SEE THE CLOUD
COMING IN, YOU CAN FEEL THE
TEMPERATURE DROP.

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

A man piloting a helicopter says THERE ARE SIX DIFFERENT
TYPES OF STRUCTURES IN PLACE TO
STOP THE LAND SLIPS DERAILING
TRAINS.

A male voice says WHAT A FEAT OF
ENGINEERING, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

The Narrator says DRIVEN BY DARING
ENGINEERS...
FOR WHOM NO OBSTACLE IS TOO
GREAT.

A balding man says FOR ME, IT IS A MASTERPIECE
OF ENGINEERING.
AND I LOVE IT.

A train crosses a magnificent aqueduct.

The Narrator says IN THIS EPISODE...
THE GREAT WILDERNESS LINES.
NATURE'S UNIQUE CHALLENGES.

A man wearing glasses says WE HAD TO CLEAR THE
SNOW 24-7, SO WE HAD TO ABANDON
THIS TRACK.

The Narrator says AND THE SOLUTIONS...

A man says WE HAD TO HAVE ELEPHANTS
TO HELP US.

Standing on a sort of cushion of branches, Doug says AND IT WORKS!
THE RAILWAY DID NOT SINK
ANYMORE.

The Narrator says THAT MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE
POSSIBLE.

A man stands at the top of a pit in a mountain.

Looking at the metal structure of a rail that joins two peaks, he says WHOO-HOO-HOO!
I TRULY LOVE THIS STRUCTURE.
IT'S MAGNIFICENT.

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

(imperial music plays)

The Narrator says BEFORE THE
INVENTION OF THE RAILWAYS, THE
WORLD WAS A VERY MUCH LARGER
PLACE.
SCORCHED DESERTS, DENSE
JUNGLES, AND VAST, IMPENETRABLE
FROZEN TUNDRA TRAPPED THE
PLANET'S POPULATIONS AND LEFT
TRAVEL AND TRADE TO ONLY THE
BRAVEST OF ADVENTURERS.

Clips show traditional and modern trains crossing various types of landscapes around the word.

The Narrator continues BUT TRAINS HAVE OPENED UP THESE
FINAL FRONTIERS, ENABLING US
ALL TO CROSS EVEN THE MOST
DEADLY OF WILDERNESSES.
PENETRATING PLACES ONCE THOUGHT
IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH.
BUT CONQUERING THE WORLD'S
WILDERNESSES POSES UNIQUELY
DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FOR EVEN
THE MOST PIONEERING OF RAILWAY
ENGINEERS.

As he drives a train, Karl says AS YOU CAN SEE HERE, THE
LANDSCAPE IS...
WE ARE ALONE HERE.

In a factory, a middle-aged man says WE GET SOMETIMES VERY
HIGH WINDS FROM THE SOUTH WEST,
AND THEY CAN BLOW UP TO 200
KILOMETRES AN HOUR.

Doug says AND YOU CAN JUST SEE HOW SOFT
THE GROUND IS UNDER FOOT.
THIS GROUND CAN HARDLY SUPPORT
MY WEIGHT.

The Narrator says AND IT'S ONE SUCH SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGE THAT FACED
THE INTREPID CALIFORNIAN
RAILROADERS IN THE EARLY 1900S.
AT THE TURN OF THE 20TH
CENTURY, THE THRIVING COASTAL
CITY OF SAN DIEGO WANTED TO RUN
A RAILROAD LINK TO THE EAST.

In animation, a train crosses a city into a desert. It faces strong wind gusts and rock falls.

He continues BUT IN ITS PATH WAS A DESERT
WILDERNESS...
FILLED WITH SO MANY LETHAL
OBSTRUCTIONS THAT EVERYONE SAID
IT SIMPLY COULDN'T BE DONE.
BUT ONE MAN THOUGHT OTHERWISE.
DEEP IN THE CALIFORNIAN
WILDERNESS, ENGINEER DAN
DICKRELL IS RIDING THE RAILS ON
BOARD A SPECIALLY ADAPTED
TRUCK.
FOLLOWING A ROUTE ONCE DUBBED
THE "IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD" TO
DISCOVER A TRULY EXTRAORDINARY
FEAT OF ENGINEERING.

A caption reads "Dan Dickrell. Mechanical Engineer."

Dan travels in a truck. He is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with short blond hair. He wears blue jeans and a polo-shirt.

Dan says RIGHT NOW WE'RE ABOUT 85
MILES OUTSIDE OF SAN DIEGO, AND
THE TERRAIN OUTSIDE IS AS WILD
AS IT GETS.
BUT WHERE WE'RE HEADED TO THIS
MORNING IS WELL WORTH THIS
DIFFICULT JOURNEY.

A black and white portrait of a man with a moustache appears.

The Narrator says IN 1906, SAN DIEGO
ENTREPRENEUR JOHN D. SPRECKELS,
DECIDED HE COULD DEFY THE ODDS
AND BUILD A RAILROAD TO
TRANSFORM THE CITY'S FORTUNES.
STRETCHING FROM THE COAST TO
THE CITY OF EL CENTRO IN SOUTH
EASTERN CALIFORNIA, IT WOULD
SPAN AN ASTONISHING 238
KILOMETRES, ACROSS AN
INHOSPITABLE LANDSCAPE.

An animated black and white map shows a line joining two cities in California.

Dan says CONDITIONS OUT HERE ARE
EXTREME, TEMPERATURES RANGING
FROM WELL OVER A HUNDRED DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT TO WELL BELOW
FREEZING.
THERE'S LANDSLIDES, EARTHQUAKES,
FLOODS, THE LIST GOES ON.

The Narrator says MANY THOUGHT THESE MASSIVE
WILDERNESS CHALLENGES WOULD
DEFEAT THE ENGINEERS, AND EVEN
FOR DAN AND THE MAINTENANCE
CREW IN A MODERN HIGH-RAIL
TRUCK, IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG TO
DISCOVER HOW THE IMPOSSIBLE
RAILROAD EARNED ITS REPUTATION.

Dan joins the maintenance crew to clear sand off the tracks.

Dan says WORKING MY WAY AHEAD OF YOU,
AND...

The Maintenance Man says JUST RIGHT THERE, AND IT...

Dan says JUST CLEAR IT, I GOT YOU.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO DO
THIS?

The Maintenance Man says IT DEPENDS ON THE WIND.

Dan says YEAH.

The Maintenance Man says A LOT OF TIMES WE'LL COME
HERE AND IT WILL BE BLOWING
FROM THERE ALL THE WAY TO THE
OTHER END.

Dan says THE FACT THAT WE'RE NOT
TOO FAR OUTSIDE OF CIVILIZATION
AND WE'RE ALREADY CLEARING
DEBRIS OFF THE TRACKS IS A
PRETTY GOOD INDICATION OF HOW
INTERESTING THINGS ARE GOING TO
GET HERE QUITE QUICKLY.

The Narrator says BUT DRIFTING SAND WAS ONLY
THE START OF THE CHALLENGES
FACING THE ENGINEERS OF THIS
DESERT RAILROAD.
AS THE TRACK RISES THROUGH THE
ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK,
THIS SCORCHED TERRAIN THROWS UP
YET MORE ISSUES.

Dan goes back to the adapted truck that drives along a train track.

A Male Driver says IT'S ALWAYS A BIG
PROBLEM HERE WITH FALLING ROCKS,
ROCK SLIDES, LANDSLIDES, THERE'S
A LOT OF INSTABILITY.
IT'S ALWAYS A CHALLENGE TO KEEP
THE LINE OPEN.

Dan says YOU THROW AROUND THE WORD
"IMPOSSIBLE," BUT THEN WHEN YOU
GET UP INTO THIS TERRAIN AND SEE
JUST HOW STEEP AND ROCKY, AND
EFFECTIVELY ALIEN IT ALL IS, IT
IS TRULY IMPOSSIBLE, AND THE
FACT THAT IT'S HERE THOUGH,
MEANT SOMEBODY GOT IT DONE.

The Narrator says AND DURING ITS 12 YEAR
CONSTRUCTION, THE IMPOSSIBLE
RAILROAD'S BIGGEST HURDLE OF
ALL WAS THE 18 KILOMETRE LONG
CARRIZO GORGE.

Dan gets down and says WE'VE REACHED THE END OF
THE LINE FOR OUR TRUCK.

The Narrator says A BRUTAL ENVIRONMENT THAT
STILL PLAYS HAVOC TODAY.

Dan says THERE'S ONE HUGE OBSTACLE IN
OUR WAY, THIS LANDSLIDE.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SCRAMBLE
OVER, CRAWL THROUGH THE TUNNEL,
AND EMERGE ON THE OTHER SIDE TO
GET WHERE WE WANT TO GO.

Dan and two men climb a rocky mountain.

Dan says THIS IS MY KIND OF FUN NOW.

(all laughing)

The Narrator says IN THE FACE OF THIS
UNFORGIVING LANDSCAPE, IT SEEMS
THE RAILWAY'S ENGINEERS WOULD
NEVER SUCCEED, BUT WHAT DAN IS
DESPERATE TO SEE IS THEIR
MONUMENTAL SOLUTION WHICH
FINALLY BEAT NATURE INTO
SUBMISSION.

Dan says WHOO-HOO-HOO!
THIS IS THE GOAT CANYON TRESTLE.
A PROPERLY BREATHTAKING
ENGINEERING MARVEL.
I TRULY LOVE THIS STRUCTURE.
ITS BEAUTY, ITS MAJESTY...
IT'S MAGNIFICENT.

The Narrator says OVER 55 METRES TALL AND
SPANNING NEARLY 200 METRES, THE
GOAT CANYON TRESTLE IS WIDELY
REGARDED AS THE WORLD'S LARGEST
CURVED WOODEN TRESTLE.
INCREDIBLY, IT WAS BUILT IN
LITTLE OVER 100 DAYS, FOLLOWING
YET ANOTHER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
RAILROAD'S NATURAL DISASTERS.
BEFORE ITS CONSTRUCTION, A
TRAIN PASSAGE THROUGH GOAT
CANYON WAS ALONG A PRECARIOUS
LEDGE, AND THROUGH A NEARBY
TUNNEL, BUT THIS ROUTE DIDN'T
LAST.

Dan walks along a track and says JUST AHEAD WE CAN SEE
TUNNEL 15.
WHEN A HUGE LANDSLIDE BROKE
LOOSE, IT PARTIALLY COLLAPSED
THE INTERIOR OF THE TUNNEL, BUT
ALSO DISLODGED THE PORTAL
ITSELF, SLIDING IT DOWN THE
MOUNTAIN, CAUSING IRREPARABLE
DAMAGE.

(xylophone music plays)

The Narrator says THE CLOSURE OF TUNNEL 15 WAS
POTENTIALLY FATAL FOR THE
PROJECT, BUT WITH SO MUCH MONEY
ALREADY INVESTED IN ITS
SUCCESS, A BOLD DECISION WAS
MADE.
BRIDGE GOAT CANYON TO REOPEN
THE LINE.
BUT TO BUILD, ENGINEERS HAD THE
CHALLENGE OF TRANSPORTING
MATERIALS TO THIS REMOTE,
CRAGGY LOCATION.
ANYTHING HEAVY WOULD BE
IMPRACTICAL.
SO THEY OPTED FOR WOOD.
THIS WAS A PERFECT LIGHTWEIGHT
SOLUTION.
BUT WITH DESERT TEMPERATURES
REACHING UP TO 50 DEGREES
CELSIUS, ANY CROSSING TRAIN
COULD SPARK YET ANOTHER
PROBLEM.

An animation shows the building process explained.

The Narrator says FIRE.

Dan says SO ENGINEERS CAME UP WITH A
VERY INNOVATIVE SOLUTION.
UP THERE, THERE'S A WATER TANK,
AND YOU CAN SEE THE PIPE THAT
COMES DOWN AND CONNECTS TO A
SERIES OF VALVES AND HOSES AT
VARIOUS LEVELS UNDERNEATH THE
TRESTLE.

The Narrator says MANUALLY OPERATED BY A
CARETAKER STATIONED AT THE
CANYON, THE GRAVITY-FED
SPRINKLER SYSTEM WOULD BE
ACTIVATED PRIOR TO A TRAIN
CROSSING THE GOAT CANYON
TRESTLE.

Dan crouches under the wooden bridge and points upwards. He is wearing a white safety helmet and a yellow safety vest.

Dan says SO HERE WE CAN SEE REMNANTS
OF THE OLD SPRINKLER SYSTEM.
WATER STORED IN THE TANK IS
GRAVITY FED DOWN THROUGH PIPES,
WHICH YOU CAN SEE EXTEND ALL THE
WAY BEHIND ME DOWN THE TRESTLE.
WHEN THE CARETAKER OPENS THE
MASTER VALVE, THE WATER IS
DISTRIBUTED THROUGH VALVES AND
SPRINKLER HEADS THAT DAMPENS THE
ENTIRE STRUCTURE, PREVENTING A
CATASTROPHIC FIRE.
IT'S BRILLIANT.

Old footage shows a train crossing the wooden bridge.

The Narrator says BUT THE DEMANDS OF CARRYING
TRAINS OVER 73 TONNES ACROSS
THE LENGTHY WOODEN TRESTLE
POSED YET MORE CONSTRUCTION
CHALLENGES.
NAILING THE TRESTLE'S TIMBERS
TOGETHER SIMPLY WASN'T AN
OPTION.

Dan says IMAGINE A TRAIN PASSING
OVERHEAD.
THE WEIGHT OF THE TRAIN, IT'S
HEAVY LOAD WOULD CAUSE A
SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF VIBRATION.
IF THE WOODEN STRUCTURE WAS
NAILED TOGETHER, IT WOULD BE
EXTREMELY RIGID, ULTIMATELY
SHAKING ITSELF APART AND
REMOVING THE NAILS ALMOST
ENTIRELY.

The Narrator says INSTEAD, ENGINEERS BOLTED
NEARLY 50 KILOMETRES WORTH OF
TIMBER TOGETHER, FORMING A
SEMI-RIGID STRUCTURE THAT
ALLOWED ANY VIBRATIONS TO PASS
SAFELY THROUGH THE TRESTLES
INTO THE GROUND BELOW.

Dan says IT MAY SEEM LIKE A SMALL
THING, BUT THE USE OF BOLTED
FASTENERS IS A BIG REASON WHY
THIS STRUCTURE IS STILL STANDING
TODAY.

An aerial view of the Goat Canyon Trestle appears.

The Narrator says THE GOAT CANYON TRESTLE
ALLOWED PASSENGERS AND FREIGHT
TO SAFELY CROSS THE CARRIZO
GORGE FOR DECADES.
IN AN EXTREME WILDERNESS, THIS
ENGINEERING MARVEL UNDOUBTEDLY
PLAYED ITS PART IN KEEPING THIS
AMBITIOUS LINE OPEN.
UNTIL, HAVING SURVIVED ALL
NATURE COULD THROW AT IT, IN
2008, THIS SECTION OF THE LINE
WAS FINALLY CLOSED.
BUT NOW, THERE ARE PLANS TO
REOPEN IT ONCE MORE.

Dan says TODAY, HOPE REMAINS THAT ONCE
AGAIN THIS RAIL LINE CAN CARRY
FREIGHT ACROSS THIS UNFORGIVING
LANDSCAPE, GIVING NEW LIFE TO
THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAY.
WHETHER THOSE PLANS SUCCEED OR
NOT, THE GOAT CANYON TRESTLE
REMAINS A MONUMENT TO HUMAN
EFFORT, ENDEAVOUR, AND
ENGINEERING.

The Narrator says BUT OTHER RAILWAYS
NEGOTIATING THE WILDS REQUIRE
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS.

Roland says HE WANTED TO BUILD THE
RAILWAY TO THE TOP OF THE
JUNGFRAU
7.3 KILOMETERS IN A TUNNEL,
YOY KNOW.

The Narrator says CREATED BY THE ENGINEERS OF THE
WORLD'S IMPOSSIBLE WILDERNESS
RAILWAYS.
THEY'RE THE
RAILWAYS THAT TACKLE THE GREAT
WILDERNESSES.
TRAINS TRAVERSING THE WORLD'S
TOUGHEST TERRAIN.
POSING ENGINEERS WITH SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE PROBLEMS.
REQUIRING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS.

Dan says WHOO-HOO-HOO!

The Narrator says TO COMPLETE THEIR REMARKABLE
JOURNEYS.
MANY WILDERNESS RAILWAYS CROSS
VAST FLAT TERRAIN, BUT WHEN
THEY HAVE TO GO UP...
IT'S A WHOLE NEW WORLD.
(goats bleating)
NOTHING GROWS, PRACTICALLY
NOTHING CAN SURVIVE.
SO GETTING A RAILWAY TO THE TOP
OF A MOUNTAIN IS A TALL ORDER.

(heavy wind gusting)

The Narrator says AT OVER 3,000 METRES, THE STEEP
CLIMBS UP THE SHEER CLIFFS OF
THE BERNESE HIGHLANDS IN THE
SWISS ALPS ARE ONLY ACCESSIBLE
TO MOUNTAINEERS.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS
LOFTY WILDERNESS TO APPRECIATE
IT'S THE LAST PLACE YOU'D
CHOOSE TO BUILD A RAILWAY.
HOWEVER, IN THE LATE 19TH
CENTURY, ONE INTREPID TRAIN
ENGINEER NOT ONLY TOOK ON THIS
UNFORGIVING TERRAIN, HE CHOSE
TO BUILD A RAILWAY UP THROUGH
THREE OF ITS MOST EXTREME AND
ICONIC MOUNTAINS.

An impressive snowed range of mountains appears.

Christopher says HERE WE ARE STANDING IN FRONT
OF THE FAMOUS THREE MOUNTAINS.
THE EIGER, ON THE LEFT, THE
MONCH, AND THE JUNGFRAU.
ALL THREE OF THEM ROUGHLY ABOUT
4,000 METRES HIGH.

The Narrator says THESE THREE MIGHTY SUMMITS
HAVE FASCINATED POETS AND
ARTISTS FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.
BUT AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY,
THE MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS ALSO
STARTED TO WORK THEIR MAGIC ON
THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

A black and white drawing shows a balding man wearing glasses.

He continues AS INTEREST GREW, ENTREPRENEUR
ADOLF GUYER-ZELLER WAS
DETERMINED TO BUILD A RAILWAY
TO BRING THESE MIGHTY MOUNTAINS
TO THE MASSES.

The caption changes to "Roland Fontanive. Tour Guide. Jungfrau Railway." Roland is in his sixties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a dark cap and a black, red and gray winter jacket.

Roland says PEOPLE WANT TO SEE
THE MOUNTAIN, AND ADOLF GUYER-
ZELLER, HE WAS THE MAN WHO HAD
THE IDEA TO BUILD THIS RAILWAY.
HE WANT TO BUILD THE RAILROAD TO
THE TOP OF THE JUNGFRAU.

A red train drives up a green hill.

The Narrator says HIS REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT IS
THE JUNGFRAU RAILWAY.
A RAILWAY THAT CLIMBS 1,400
METRES THROUGH A VICIOUS
WILDERNESS OF ROCK, ICE, AND
SNOW.
THE END OF THE LINE...
EUROPE'S HIGHEST STATION.
TRAIN CONTROLLER CHRISTOPHER
SUTEHALL KNOWS ALL TOO WELL THE
CHALLENGES OF BUILDING A
RAILWAY HERE.

The caption changes to "Christopher Sutehall. Train Controller. Jungfrau Railway." He is in his forties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears an orange safety vest over a winter jacket.

Christopher says THE WEATHER CAN
CHANGE WITHIN SECONDS, REALLY.
IT CAN BE FROM A SUMMER OF 25
DEGREES HERE...
TO A WINTER OF -25, WITH
EXTREME WEATHER, HIGH WINDS,
THUNDERSTORMS, SNOW STORMS, SNOW
DRIFTING.
TODAY, WE'RE LUCKY.

The Narrator says INSTEAD OF TAKING THE WEATHER
ON, GUYER-ZELLER'S AUDACIOUS
SOLUTION WAS TO AVOID IT ALL
TOGETHER.
HE DECIDED TO BUILD A TRAIN
THAT COULD CLIMB THE INSIDE OF
A MOUNTAIN.
FROM THE KLEINE SCHEIDEGG BASE
STATION AT 2,000 METRES, THE
INITIAL TWO KILOMETRE ROUTE IS
ABOVE GROUND.

An animation reconstructs the track.

He continues BUT INCREDIBLY, GUYER-ZELLER
THEN CHOSE TO DIG AND BLAST
SEVEN KILOMETRES OF TUNNELS
THROUGH THE MIGHTY EIGER,
MONCH, AND JUNGFRAU MOUNTAINS.

Roland says THIS WAS VERY
DIFFICULT AND VERY DANGEROUS,
YOU KNOW.
THERE WAS ABOUT 300 EMPLOYEES,
AND THIRTY PEOPLE DIED.

The Narrator says BUT AS TOUR GUIDE ROLAND
FONTANIVE IS ABOUT TO FIND OUT,
ALTHOUGH BUILDING A RAILWAY
INSIDE A MOUNTAIN AVOIDS THE
WEATHER, IT CREATES YET ANOTHER
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE PROBLEM.

Travelling in the train, Roland says NOW WE GO UP TO JUNGFRAUJOCH,
THE TOP OF EUROPE.
BY THE JUNGFRAU RAILWAYS.

The Narrator says GUYER-ZELLER WAS OPERATING IN
A GOLDEN AGE OF STEAM, BUT COAL
POWERED TRAINS AND LONG
UNDERGROUND JOURNEYS AREN'T A
GOOD MIX.

Roland says YOU CANNOT OPERATE A
STEAM TRAIN SEVEN KILOMETRES IN
A TUNNEL, YOU KNOW?
THEN IN THE TOP, EVERYBODY WILL
BE BLACK-- BLACK FACE.
THE ONLY OPTION WAS TO GO BY
ELECTRIC.

(piano music plays)
Clouds cover mountain peaks.

The Narrator says BUT WHEN YOU'RE SLAP-BANG IN
THE MIDDLE OF A WILDERNESS,
THREE-AND-A-HALF KILOMETRES
ABOVE SEA LEVEL, FINDING AN
ELECTRIC SUPPLY FOR YOUR TRAIN
SEEMS AN IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGE.
HOWEVER, GUYER-ZELLER TURNED
THE WILDERNESS TO HIS
ADVANTAGE, CREATING ANOTHER
EXTRAORDINARY SOLUTION.

Roland says HE NEEDED TO BUILD A
HYDROELECTRIC POWER STASH BEFORE
THEY COULD BUILD-- BUILD THE
RAILWAY.

The Narrator says GUYER-ZELLER BUILT HIS VERY
OWN HYDRO POWER PLANT, 15
KILOMETRES FROM THE RAILWAY,
PROVIDING A DEDICATED AND READY
SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY.

The caption changes to "Nils von Allmen. Director of Power Plant. Jungfrau Railway." Nils is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven with blond hair. He wears a checked shirt under a red and gray vest.

Nils stands in a power plant.

Nils says THE TECHNIQUE, IT'S MORE THAN
A HUNDRED YEARS OLD, SO WE HAVE
BRAND NEW GENERATORS, BUT IT'S
THE SAME SYSTEMS, LIKE AT THE
START, PRODUCING ELECTRICITY.

The Narrator says FED FROM A LOCAL RIVER,
THE POWER IS GENERATED BY
FUNNELLING ITS WATER DOWN A
WHOPPING 160 METRE DROP.

Nils says THIS ONE IS FROM AN OLD
GENERATOR, AND THE WATER FROM
THE RIVER IS FALLING LIKE THIS,
AND THEN THE WHEEL IS TURNING,
AND SO WITH THIS TYPE, WE ARE
PRODUCING ELECTRICITY.

The Narrator says OVER 4,000 LITRES OF WATER
PER SECOND FLOW THROUGH THESE
WHEELS, FEEDING ENERGY INTO THE
GENERATOR ABOVE.

Nils walks around the plant pointing at heavy machinery.

Nils says AS WE SAID, IN THE
UPPER PART IS THE GENERATOR, AND
HERE YOU CAN SEE THE HIGH
VOLTAGE CABLES, SO IN THESE
CABLES ARE 6,000 VOLTS.
SO WE CAN TOUCH THEM, AND IT
FEELS PRETTY WARM, SO THAT'S
ELECTRICITY WE FEEL AT THESE
CABLES.

Now, Christopher walks in a mechanics pit.

Christopher says GOING UP HILL, OF COURSE IT'S
JUST THE POWER OF THE MOTORS AND
THE ELECTRICITY GETTING THE
TRAIN UP TO THE TOP.
BUT COMING DOWN, THE MOTOR
ACTUALLY WORKS AS A GENERATOR,
AND IT'S ACTUALLY GENERATING
ELECTRICITY.
80 percent IS RESERVED FOR ITS BREAKING
POWER, BUT THE LAST 20 percent IS
ACTUALLY PUT BACK UP INTO THE
POWER CABLES.
SO IN THEORY, YOU COULD SAY FIVE
TRAINS DOWN, AND WE SEND UP ONE
TRAIN FOR FREE.

The Narrator says ELECTRIC MOTORS DRIVE A RACK
AND PINION SYSTEM THAT PULLS
AROUND 5,000 PASSENGERS A DAY
UP THE STEEP 35-MINUTE CLIMB.

Roland says NOW WE'RE COMING UP TO THE
TUNNEL.

The Narrator says NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER.

Roland says WHEN WE GO UP IN THE
WINTER, WE DIDN'T HAVE TO PUSH
THE SNOW AWAY.
IT'S ALWAYS FREE, YOU KNOW?
AND SO YOU CAN GO UP 365 DAYS OF
THE YEAR.
I THINK THAT THEIR ONLY CHOICE
WAS TO BUILD THE TUNNEL.

Old pictures of the building of the tunnel flash by.

The Narrator says DURING ITS CONSTRUCTION, THIS
HUGELY AMBITIOUS RAILWAY'S
COSTS DOUBLED, BUT THE
INDUSTRIOUS GUYER-ZELLER HAD
FORWARD-PLANNED FOR A
SHORTFALL.
PARTWAY UP HIS TUNNEL, HE
CREATED A STATION AND VIEWING
PLATFORM KNOWN AS EISMEER, OR
"SEA OF ICE."
AS HIS WORKERS CONTINUED TO DIG
TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN,
TRAINS WOULD BRING PAYING
GUESTS TO THIS MIDPOINT TO
MARVEL AT EISMEER'S BEAUTIFUL
VISTAS, RAISING VALUABLE
REVENUE.

Roland gets down and approaches a glass lookout inside the mountain.

Roland says WOW... GOOD.
IN THE BEGINNING,
THEY HAD SOME MOUNTAIN GUYS GO
HIKING WITH THE GUESTS, SO YOU
COULD GO OUT-- OUTSIDE.
I THINK IT'S A VERY NICE VIEW.
YOU CAN SEE THE ICE IN THE
CREVASSE, YOU SEE THE CREVASSE
OF THE GLACIER.

The Narrator says TODAY, THIS IS NO LONGER THE
END OF THE LINE FOR ROLAND AND
HIS FELLOW PASSENGERS.
THE IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAY HAS ONE
MORE MIGHTY CLIMB TO TACKLE.
ALL THIS WORK CAN CREATE WEAR
AND TEAR THAT COULD SEE THE
CRUCIAL RACK AND PINION FAIL.

Back at the pit, Christopher says HERE WE HAVE ONE OF OUR
DRIVERS LUBRICATING ONE OF THE
TRAINS.

The Narrator says TO ENSURE NOTHING IS DAMAGED,
ENGINEERS HAVE DEVELOPED A
SPECIAL OILING SYSTEM

Christopher says THESE TWO TANKS IS ABOUT TEN
LITRES OF OIL, AND THAT WILL BE
ENOUGH FOR ABOUT A THOUSAND
KILOMETRES OF THIS TRAIN TO GO
UP AND DOWN.

The Narrator says EVERY FIFTY SECONDS, THE RACK
AND COG ARE AUTOMATICALLY
SPRAYED WITH AN EIGHT-SECOND
BURST OF OIL.

Christopher says IT NOT ONLY LUBRICATES THE
RACK AND PINION, THE COG, BUT IT
ALSO LUBRICATES THE WHEELS, SO
THE TRACK WILL ALSO HAVE LESS
WEAR AND TEAR.
IT IS VERY ESSENTIAL THAT THESE
TRAINS ARE LUBRICATED, AND THIS
OIL SYSTEM WORKS, DUE TO
POSSIBILITY OF A DERAILMENT,
WHICH OF COURSE, NO TRAIN
COMPANY WANTS TO HAVE.

The Narrator says BRILLIANT ENGINEERING ENSURES
THE JUNGFRAU RAILWAY REACHES
THE END OF THE LINE, THREE-AND-
A-HALF KILOMETRES ABOVE SEA
LEVEL.
ITS PASSENGERS CONFRONTED WITH
A VIEWPOINT THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH, BUT
FOR THE TOUGHEST MOUNTAINEERS.

Roland says WOW...
RIGHT NOW, WE ARE AT 3,571
METRES.
NOW THE VIEW IS PERFECT...
WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE VIEW, MOST
PEOPLE, THEY START TO CRY.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
BEFORE, ONLY BY FOOT YOU CAN
COME UP HERE.
THIS WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR
PEOPLE.

The Narrator says IT'S A VIEW ADOLF GUYER-
ZELLER WOULD NEVER ENJOY.
HE MAY HAVE DIED BEFORE ITS
COMPLETION, BUT HIS IMPOSSIBLE
RAILWAY HAS CONQUERED THIS
GREAT WILDERNESS.

Christopher says TODAY, IF
SOMEONE SAID TO BUILD A TRAIN
THROUGH THESE MOUNTAINS, YOU
WOULD THINK THEY'RE CRAZY.
BUT THIS HAPPENED 105 YEARS AGO,
THEY COMPLETED IT.
IT HAPPENED.

The Narrator says THE MOUNTAINS MAY
POSE ENGINEERS MULTIPLE
PROBLEMS, BUT THE WORLD'S
RAILWAYS MUST CROSS MANY
DIVERSE LANDSCAPES.
AND ONE PRESENTS AN ALTOGETHER
DIFFERENT WILDERNESS CHALLENGE.
THE JUNGLE.

Phillip says I LOVE THE WAY
PEOPLE JUST JUMP IN FRONT OF THE
TRAIN FOR A QUICK PHOTO
OPPORTUNITY.

The Narrator says BRITISH TRAVELLERS, MATTHEW
BELL AND PHILLIP HOLMES, ARE
JOINING THE THOUSANDS OF
INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS EACH
YEAR THAT JOURNEY TO THE
KANCHANABURI REGION OF
THAILAND.

Matthew and Phillip try hats in a street market carrying backpacks. Phillip is in his late twenties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He wears a black sleeveless T-shirt and sunglasses. Matthew is in his early thirties, with blond hair and clean-shaven. He wears a yellow T-shirt and sunglasses.

Phillip says THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT GETTING
ON THE TRACKS, DO THEY?
THEY'RE NOT SHY ABOUT IT.

The Narrator says ALL OF THEM DRAWN TO A UNIQUE
WILDERNESS RAILWAY.

Matthew says THAT WOULDN'T HAPPEN ON THE
TUBE.
(laughing)
A CHILD STANDING ON THE TRACK.

(horn honking)
They get into a train.

The Narrator says AROUND THREE TRAINS A DAY
MAKE THE TWO HOUR JOURNEY FROM
KANCHANABURI STATION TO NAM
TOK, AND THE WATERFALLS OF THE
SAI YOK NOI NATIONAL PARK.
IT'S A POPULAR TRIP.

Phillip says COME ON IN.
CAN WE GO HERE?

A Woman says IT'S BROKEN.

Phillip says IT'S BROKEN?
AW, THANKS ANYWAYS.

The Narrator says BUT THIS IS A RAILWAY
PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT IMPOSSIBLE.
SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY, A
WILDERNESS RAILROAD HAD BEEN
CONSIDERED BETWEEN BURMA AND
THAILAND, BUT WAS THOUGHT TOO
DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS BECAUSE
OF THE MANY RIVERS AND HILLY,
DENSE JUNGLES.

An animated map of South Asia appears. A dotted red line divides Thailand and Burma.

He continues BUT THE MIDDLE OF THE 20TH
CENTURY BROUGHT A NEW WORLD
ORDER.

An old clip shows soldiers shooting in a battle and an explosion.

He continues IN 1942, THE ARMIES OF JAPAN
CAPTURED THE BRITISH COLONY OF
SINGAPORE, ENSLAVING TENS OF
THOUSANDS OF ALLIED TROOPS,
INCLUDING AN INJURED 23-YEAR-
OLD GUNNER, FERGUS ANCKORN.

The caption changes to "Fergus Anckorn. Former P. O. W." Fergus is in his early eighties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears glasses, dark blue suit, checked shirt, blue and red tie and military patches.

Sitting in a living room, Fergus says THE JAPANESE CAME
INTO THE HOSPITAL, THEY WERE
SMASHING DOWN THE CABINETS AND
TAKING OUT THE DRUGS.
THEN THEY WENT OUT WITH THE
WALKING WOUNDED, AND I SAID TO
THE MAN LYING ON THE STRETCHER
BESIDE ME "WHAT'S GOING ON, WHAT
ARE THEY DOING WITH THEM?"
AND HE SAID "THEY'RE TAKING THEM
OUT TO THE FRONT LAWN AND
KILLING THEM."

The Narrator says DESPITE HIS INJURIES,
FERGUS'S LIFE WAS SPARED.
HE, AND AROUND 60,000 OTHER
ALLIED PRISONERS OF WAR WERE
EVENTUALLY SENT TO BUILD WHAT
IS NOW A MAJOR TOURIST
ATTRACTION.
THE THAI-BURMA RAILWAY.
AND THE INFAMOUS BRIDGE OVER
THE RIVER KWAI.

Back in the train, Phillip says I MEAN, YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM,
RIGHT?

Matthew says YEAH, OF COURSE.
I-- I HEAR THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT
ISN'T EVEN-- DOESN'T EVEN COME
CLOSE TO THE TERRIBLE CONDITIONS
THAT THESE PEOPLE SUFFERED.

The Narrator says BY USING A WORKFORCE OF
PRISONERS OF WAR AND ASIAN
LABOURERS, THE JAPANESE
MILITARY HAD DECIDED THEY COULD
BUILD THIS IMPOSSIBLE JUNGLE
LINE, AND USE IT AS A SUPPLY
ROUTE FOR THEIR ARMIES.
IT WAS A DECISION THAT WOULD
EVENTUALLY SEE IT DUBBED THE
"DEATH RAILWAY."

A black and white portrait of young Fergus as a soldier appears.

Fergus says THE WORKING DAY, UP
AT DAWN, HANDFUL OF RICE TO EAT.
WORKING 18 HOURS, 30 DEGREES OF
SUN.
WITHIN TWO WEEKS, WE DIDN'T KNOW
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK.
IN THE JUNGLE, OF COURSE-- IT
WAS VIRGIN JUNGLE, NO ONE HAD
EVER BEEN THERE.
AND WE HAD NO CONTACT WITH
ANYBODY, AND I USED TO WONDER IF
THE WAR WAS OVER.
WHO WON?
ARE WE GOING TO DIE AS SLAVES?

A train drives along a cliff by a lake.

The Narrator says FOR THOSE BUILDING THIS
RAILWAY, THE INFAMOUS BRIDGE
WOULD NOT BE THE END OF THE
LINE.

Phillip leans over a window and says IT'S FAIRLY VERTIGO-INDUCING,
ACTUALLY.

The Narrator says IT WOULD TAKE ANOTHER EXTREME
SOLUTION, ONE OF THE MANY...

Doug says I'M NOT QUITE SURE WE'RE
GOING TO GET ACROSS THIS.
THE GROUND CAN HARDLY SUPPORT MY
WEIGHT, SO YOU CAN IMAGINE THE
CHALLENGE THERE WAS TO PUT A
RAILWAY OVER IT.

The Narrator says --USED BY BUILDERS OF THE
WORLD'S IMPOSSIBLE WILDERNESS
RAILWAYS.
WILDERNESS
RAILWAYS...
FEATS OF ENGINEERING.
TACKLING IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGES
THROWN UP BY THE PLANET'S MOST
INHOSPITABLE LANDSCAPES.

Roland says THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING VIEW
IN EUROPE.

The Narrator says BUT ONE WILDERNESS RAILWAY
HAD TO CONTEND WITH FAR MORE
THAN MOTHER NATURE.
DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR,
THE JAPANESE MILITARY BRUTALLY
USED THOUSANDS OF ASIAN
LABOURERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR
TO CONSTRUCT A 400 KILOMETRE-
LONG RAIL LINE THROUGH A DENSE
JUNGLE LANDSCAPE, CONNECTING
THAILAND AND BURMA.
ON THE CLIFFS BESIDE THE KWAI
NOI RIVER, GUNNER FERGUS
ANCKORN AND HIS FELLOW POWS
WOULD BE MADE TO BUILD ONE OF
THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY AND
ICONIC ENGINEERING FEATURES ON
THE LINE.
THE WANG PHO VIADUCT.

Fergus says WELL, THE WANG PHO
VIADUCT WAS AN IMMENSE AFFAIR.
IT WAS NEARLY A MILE, I THINK.
AND IT WAS AROUND THE SIDE OF A
MOUNTAIN, ABOUT A HUNDRED FEET
UP.
SO WE HAD TO BLAST THE MOUNTAIN
AWAY WITH-- WITH DYNAMITE.
VERY, VERY DANGEROUS.
IT WAS THE ONLY JOB I WAS ON
WHERE WE HAD TO HAVE ELEPHANTS
TO HELP US.

The Narrator says TODAY, HORDES OF TOURISTS,
INCLUDING BRITISH TRAVELLERS,
MATTHEW BELL AND PHILIP HOLMES,
MAKE THE PRECARIOUS JOURNEY, TO
EXPERIENCE THE SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAY.

Phillip says FAIRLY VERTIGO-INDUCING,
ACTUALLY.

The Narrator says CONSTRUCTED MAINLY BY HAND,
THE PRISONERS OF WAR BUILT A
TEAK AND CONCRETE TRESTLE THAT
CLINGS TO A LEDGE BETWEEN THE
CLIFFS AND THE RIVER BELOW.
BUT THIS WAS ENGINEERING THE
PRISONERS WERE HOPING WAS NOT
BUILT TO LAST.

Phillip says APPARENTLY THE
PRISONERS OF WAR TRIED TO
SABOTAGE THE BUILDING OF THE
BRIDGE BY COLLECTING TERMITES
AND PUTTING THEM INTO THE
WOODWORK FRAME OF THE ORIGINAL
BRIDGE.

Matthew says A LITTLE BIT OF A-- WHAT DO
YOU CALL-- A LONG-TERM PLAN.

Phillip says OH, YEAH, YEAH,
DEFINITELY.

Fergus says WE ASSEMBLED IT, AND ON EVERY
JOINT, WE PUT A HANDFUL OF
TERMITES.
IN EVERY JOINT.
HOPING THEY WOULD EAT THE BRIDGE
WHEN WE'D GONE.
I FOUND OUT LATER THAT THEY
DON'T LIKE TEAK... IT'S HARD,
THEY CAN'T DO IT, SO THEY'RE
STILL THERE.
(chuckling)

Matthew says COULD YOU IMAGINE BEING IN
THAT SITUATION, THOUGH?
YOU'D HAVE NO IDEA HOW LONG THE
WAR WAS GOING TO GO ON FOR.

Phillip says RIGHT, YOU'D
PROBABLY GOTTA DO SOMETHING TO
KEEP YOUR SPIRITS ALIVE.

The Narrator says IT HAS BEEN RECORDED THAT TWO
SHIFTS OF 1,000 MEN EACH WORKED
DAY AND NIGHT CONTINUOUSLY.
COMPLETING THE WANG PHO VIADUCT
IN JUST SEVENTEEN DAYS.

Matthew and Phillip keep chatting as they travel on the train.

Matthew says WELL, I GUESS, YOU KNOW...
THAT WAS THE JAPANESE PHILOSOPHY
ON LIFE, ESPECIALLY AROUND THAT
TIME, IS REALLY DIFFERENT.
THE JAPANESE WANTED THE JOB
DONE.
THEY WANTED TO WIN THE WAR.

The Narrator says DESPITE MASS MALNUTRITION,
DYSENTERY, AND MALARIA AMONGST
THE POWS AND THE THOUSANDS OF
ENSLAVED ASIAN WORKERS, THE
ENTIRE RAILWAY, WITH NEARLY 700
BRIDGES AND VIADUCTS, WAS
COMPLETED IN LESS THAN A YEAR.
BUT AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF
OVER 100,000 LIVES.

Phillip says IT'S JUST SO SAD.
IT'S JUST SO, SO TRAGIC.
HOW COULD YOU STAND UP AND BE
COUNTED?
IT'S JUST, LIKE, SO ANONYMOUS.
JUST ONE OF THE MANY NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO DIED, I THINK IT'S...
I JUST THINK IT'S TRAGIC.

The Narrator says AFTER THE WAR, MOST OF THE
WILDERNESS RAILWAY WAS SOON
RECLAIMED BY THE JUNGLE.
WHAT REMAINS IS A TRIBUTE TO
THE WORKERS LIKE FERGUS, WHO
SURVIVED THE SO-CALLED DEATH
RAILWAY, AND MANY THOUSANDS WHO
DIDN'T.

Fergus says I DON'T EVER REMEMBER
THINKING WE MADE A GOOD JOB OF
THAT.
YOU JUST DID WHAT YOU WERE TOLD.
I MEAN, WANG PHO VIADUCT,
IMAGINE BUILDING THAT BY HAND.
SO WE DID A GOOD JOB...
YOU KNOW WHAT BEATS ME?
HOW THE JAPANESE, WHO SPOKE NO
ENGLISH, AND THE ENGLISH, WHO
SPOKE NO JAPANESE, BUILT A THING
LIKE THAT VIADUCT.

The Narrator says WHETHER CROSSING JUNGLE,
DESERTS, OR MOUNTAINS, THE
CHALLENGES FACING A WILDERNESS
RAILWAY ARE OFTEN APPARENT.
BUT SOMETIMES, HIDDEN PROBLEMS
LIE BENEATH THE SURFACE.
FOR RAIL ENGINEERS, NATURE'S
OBSTACLES ARE NORMALLY PLAIN TO
SEE.
THEY CAN GO THROUGH THEM...
UNDER THEM...
OR OVER THEM.
BUT SOMETIMES, THE CHALLENGES
CAN TAKE YOU BY SURPRISE.

(gurgling noises)
The animated train sinks.

The Narrator says THE WEST HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
A BEAUTIFUL WILDERNESS ENJOYED
BY MILLIONS OF VISITORS EVERY
YEAR.
BUT IN THE LATE 1800S, THIS
WILD TERRAIN FILLED TRAIN
ENGINEERS WITH TREPIDATION.

The caption changes to "Doug Carmichael. Historian. Friends of the West Highland Lines." Doug is in his late sixties, clean-shaven with receding white hair. He wears a pale yellow shirt and a violet sweater.

Travelling in a train, Doug says BACK IN THE 1880S, WHEN
PEOPLE WERE BUILDING RAILWAYS
ALL OVER BRITAIN, SCOTLAND
DIDN'T HAVE THAT MANY RAILWAYS,
AND THE RICH FISHING GROUNDS OF
THE WEST COAST OF SCOTLAND MEANT
THAT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY
IMPERATIVE TO TRY AND GET A
RAILWAY BUILT DOWN TO GLASGOW.

The Narrator says LINKING THE RICH PICKINGS OF
THE ATLANTIC TO THE REST OF
BRITAIN WOULD REQUIRE AN
AUDACIOUS RAILWAY SOLUTION.
THE WEST HIGHLAND LINE.

A steam locomotive crosses a bridge.

The Narrator continues STRETCHING 198 KILOMETRES, FROM
GLASGOW TO THE HIGHLANDS' FORT
WILLIAM, THE WILDERNESS LINE
TRAVERSES DENSE FOREST AND
EXTREME MOUNTAINS.
LANDSCAPES TO CHALLENGE ANY
RAIL ENGINEER.
BUT WHAT MAKES THIS AN
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAY IS PERHAPS
THE ROUTE'S MOST INNOCUOUS
SCENERY.
RANNOCH MOOR.

Doug looks through the window and says I NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS
MOOR.
I NEVER GET TIRED OF THE VIEWS,
OF THE MOUNTAINS IN THE
BACKGROUND, THE SMALL
PLANTATIONS OF FIR TREES.

The Narrator says IT MAY BE FLAT, OPEN TERRAIN,
BUT THE 130 SQUARE KILOMETRE
MOOR PRESENTED A POTENTIALLY
DEVASTATING PROBLEM FOR THE
RAILWAY'S ENGINEERS.
AS HISTORIAN DOUG CARMICHAEL IS
ABOUT TO FIND OUT, WHEN HE
FOLLOWS IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS.

Now, Doug walks in a muddy moor.

Doug says I'M NOT QUITE SURE WE'RE
GOING TO GET ACROSS THIS.

The Narrator says RANNOCH MOOR IS ESSENTIALLY
ONE GIANT BOG.

Doug says YOU CAN JUST SEE HOW SOFT THE
GROUND IS UNDERFOOT HERE.
AT FACE VALUE, BUILDING A
RAILWAY THROUGH HERE LOOKED LIKE
AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK.
THIS GROUND CAN HARDLY SUPPORT
MY WEIGHT, SO YOU CAN IMAGINE
THE CHALLENGE THERE WAS FOR THE
ENGINEERS TO PUT A RAILWAY OVER
IT.

The Narrator says WITH AN UNSTABLE TRACK, THE
RAILWAY'S PLANS WERE SINKING
FAST.

A black and white portrait of a middle-aged man with a big moustache appears.

The Narrator says ENGINEER CHARLES FORMAN WAS
AMONGST THOSE WHO SOLVED THIS
VEXING WILDERNESS PROBLEM.

Doug says THE IDEA WAS, HE WOULD USE
THE RESOURCES AROUND HIM.
FIRST OF ALL, HE TOOK LARGE
QUANTITIES OF THIS BRUSH WOOD,
AND LAID IT ON THE BOGS.
THEN HE TOOK EVEN LARGER
QUANTITIES OF BRANCHES AND
TIMBER, AND THEY TOOK TURF FROM
ALL OVER THE MOOR AND LAID THAT
ON TOP OF THE BRUSH WOOD.

The Narrator says FORMAN THEN TOPPED HIS
NATURAL SANDWICH WITH
AGGREGATE.

Doug says WE GET ALL THE AGGREGATE OUT,
AND WE PUT IT ON.
AND FINALLY, I'M GOING TO PROVE
THAT IT WORKS.

Doug stands on the bed of branches and timer.

Doug says AND IT WORKS.
THE RAILWAY DID NOT SINK
ANYMORE.

The Narrator says CONSTRUCTED OVER FIVE YEARS
WITH A PEAK WORKFORCE OF 5,000,
SPANNING RANNOCH MOOR'S 37
KILOMETRE STRETCH WAS PERHAPS
THE WEST HIGHLAND'S MOST
HARD-WON ACHIEVEMENT.

Doug says I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST
HAVE BEEN LIKE, ALL THOSE YEARS
AGO, TO BUILD A RAILWAY THROUGH
AN ENVIRONMENT LIKE THIS.
QUITE AN INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT.

The Narrator says ONE AREA OF THE BOGGY MOOR,
HOWEVER, WOULD NEED MUCH MORE
THAN STICKS AND STONES.

Now, Dou stands in front of a viaduct.

Doug says THEY GOT TO HERE, AND THEY
FOUND THAT THERE WAS A
THOUSAND FOOT WIDE DEPRESSION,
SO THEY DECIDED THEY WOULD HAVE
TO BUILD A VIADUCT.
THEY HAD TO DIG DOWN THROUGH
YARDS AND YARDS UNTIL THEY
FINALLY HIT BOULDER CLAY, AND
THEY WERE ABLE TO ERECT THESE
TOWERS.
AND EVENTUALLY, A NINE-SPAN
VIADUCT TOOK SHAPE.

The Narrator says 208 METRES LONG, RANNOCH
VIADUCT IS THE SECOND LONGEST
SPAN ON THE WEST HIGHLAND LINE.
BEATEN ONLY BY ITS MOST FAMOUS
CROSSING, THE MAGICAL
GLENFINNAN VIADUCT, THAT HAS
CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF
TRAIN ENTHUSIASTS AND FILM
BUFFS ALIKE.

Doug says THE WEST HIGHLAND LINE
BREATHES LIFE INTO REMOTE
COMMUNITIES, AND MORE
IMPORTANTLY STILL, TOURISM CAME
TO THE WEST HIGHLANDS.

The Narrator says THANKS TO INSPIRED SOLUTIONS,
THIS IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAY HAS
OPENED UP SCOTLAND'S WILDEST
LANDS.
BUT FOR SOME RAILWAYS IN THE
WORLD'S MOST EXTREME
LOCATIONS...

Inge says IN A BAD WINTER, WE CAN
EXPECT FOUR-AND-A-HALF METRES OF
SNOW.
YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD PREPARED TO
STAY ALIVE HERE IN THE WINTER.

The Narrator says OVERCOMING NATURE CAN BE ALL
BUT IMPOSSIBLE.
WILDERNESS.
HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST
EXTREME RAILWAYS ON THE PLANET.
BUILT BY INNOVATORS TAKING ON
COLOSSAL CHALLENGES.
FROM UNCHARTED TERRITORY...
TO SUBSIDING SOIL.
ENGINEERS ARE AN INGENIOUS
BUNCH, BUT THERE IS ONE THING
THAT CAN OUTWIT THEM.
AS RAILWAYS CONTINUE TO REACH
FURTHER AND FURTHER INTO THE
WILDS, ENGINEERS HAVE LEARNED
TO ADAPT TO VIRTUALLY ANY
SITUATION.

The animated train drives around the globe. Then, it stops because of a heavy snowfall.

The Narrator continues BUT ONE THING IS OUT OF THEIR
HANDS-- THE WEATHER.
AND IN AN ISOLATED WILDERNESS...

The train says HELLO?!

The Narrator continues says THAT CAN BE A MASSIVE
PROBLEM.

The train says HELP!

(dramatic music plays)

The Narrator says NORWAY... HOME TO A VAST
FROZEN WILDERNESS, WHERE
WINTERS ARE SOME OF THE
HARSHEST ON THE PLANET.
WITH SOME AREAS ENGULFED BY
SNOW FOR UP TO FIVE MONTHS OF
THE YEAR, IT'S NO WONDER THIS
IS ONE OF EUROPE'S MOST
SPARSELY POPULATED REGIONS.
AS PROJECT MANAGER KARL MORTEN
UNDAL IS ALL TOO AWARE.

The caption changes to "Karl Morten Undal. Project Manager. Bane NOR." Karl is in his forties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a yellow safety jacket and matching hat.

Driving a train, Karl says AS YOU CAN SEE HERE, THE
LANDSCAPE IS-- WE ARE ALONE
HERE.
IT'S ABOUT 15 KILOMETRES TO THE
NEAREST STATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE
LIVING, SO WE ARE TOTALLY ALONE
OUT HERE.

The Narrator says THIS REMOTE NORWEGIAN
ENVIRONMENT RECEIVES HUGE
SNOWFALLS, CREATING DRIFTS
THREE METRES DEEP.
YET, UNBELIEVABLY, IT IS HOME
TO NORTHERN EUROPE'S HIGHEST
RAIL ROUTE.
THE BERGEN RAILWAY.

Karl says WE HAVE A RAILROAD
CROSSING THROUGH ONE OF THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL PARTS OF NORWAY.
I LOVE MY WORK.

(engine chugging)

The Narrator says DURING THE 1800S, THE ONLY
WAY TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THE MAJOR
CITIES OF OSLO AND BERGEN WAS A
WEEKLONG VOYAGE BY SHIP.
BUT IN 1909, THEY WERE
CONNECTED BY THIS AMBITIOUS
RAILWAY.
TRAVELING EAST TO WEST, THE
LINE FIRST PASSES THROUGH
PASTURELAND, BUT ON REACHING
GEILO, IT CLIMBS 1,000 METRES
IN JUST 100 KILOMETRES, AS THIS
RAILWAY ENTERS HARDANGERVIDDA
MOUNTAIN RANGE.

Inge says COMPARED TO OTHER RAILWAYS,
I THINK IT'S EXTREMELY
CHALLENGING, WHEN THEY DID THAT
MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

The Narrator says THE FORMER RAILWAY ENGINEER,
INGE HJERTAAS, IS UNDER NO
ILLUSION.
KEEPING THE RAILROAD OPEN IS AN
EVEN BIGGER UNDERTAKING.

Inge Hjertaas is in his fifties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears glasses and a yellow and gray safety zip jacket.

Standing in a snowy mountain, Inge says IN A BAD WINTER, WE CAN
EXPECT FOUR-AND-A-HALF METRES OF
SNOW.
YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD PREPARED TO
STAY-- STAY ALIVE HERE IN THE
WINTER.

(violin music plays)

The Narrator says AT 1,250 METRES, SANDER, A
SNOW-SWEPT PLATEAU, WAS ONCE
THE MOST NOTORIOUS SECTION OF
THIS WILDERNESS RAILROAD.

Inge says THIS SECTION OF THE
LINE WAS THE WORST WHEN IT COMES
TO SNOW PROBLEMS.
WE HAD TO CLEAR THE SNOW 24-7.

The Narrator says NOW THIS SECTION OF THE
RAILWAY HAS BEEN BEATEN INTO
SUBMISSION BY RELENTLESS MOTHER
NATURE.

As he walks along a track, Inge says SO WE HAD NO CHOICE, WE HAD
TO ABANDON THIS TRACK.

The Narrator says JUST OVER TEN KILOMETRES
AWAY, KARL AND HIS TEAM ARE
MUST SOMEHOW PROTECT THE
OPERATIONAL LINE, OVER A 30
KILOMETRE WEATHER-BEATEN
STRETCH.

A Working Man says ON THE REST OVER HERE, WE ARE
GOING TO BUILD, AROUND 60 TO 70
METRES, THIS WAY.

Karl says OKAY.

The Working Man says TO CATCH SOME OF THE WATER
COMING DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

Karl says THE SNOW, TOGETHER WITH THE WIND
WILL FILL UP THIS RAILROAD,
IN JUST 20, 30 MINUTES ON A
ROUGH WINTER DAY.

The Narrator says ENSURING THE IMPOSSIBLE
RAILWAY REMAINS OPEN CALLS FOR
AN INSPIRED SOLUTION.

A snow blower clears the track.

Karl says THAT'S NOT ENOUGH TIME
TO US, TO KEEP THE LINE OPEN
WITH THE SNOW BLOWER, SO WE NEED
TO ALSO HAVE THE SNOW SHED FOR
PROTECTION.

The Narrator says AROUND 12 KILOMETRES OF SNOW
SHEDS COVER THE TRACK, KEEPING
UP TO 7 METRE SNOW DRIFTS AT
BAY.
BUT MANY HAVE BEEN IN PLACE FOR
OVER 50 YEARS.

Karl says YOU KNOW WALKING INTO THE OLD
SNOW SHEDS, BUILT UP IN WOODEN
STRUCTURE WITH ALUMINIUM SPLINTS
OUTSIDE-- AND SOME OF THEM ARE
ACTUALLY NOW IN REALLY BAD
SHAPE.
IN THE SUMMERTIME, WE HAVE WATER
PROBLEM HERE, IN THE WINTERTIME,
ICING.
AND OF COURSE, THAT IS NOT VERY
GOOD FOR THE WOODEN PART HERE.
AS WE CAN SEE, IT'S ROTTEN.

The Narrator says TO KEEP THE RAILWAY RUNNING,
KARL AND HIS TEAM ARE CURRENTLY
MODERNIZING THESE AGING WEATHER
DEFENSES.

Karl says NOW WE ARE BUILDING UP A NEW
ONE WITH STEEL, AND STEEL PLATES
ALSO OUTSIDE.
STEEL WILL COME UP ON THIS
CONCRETE WALL HERE.
IN THE WINTERTIME, TONNES OF
SNOW WILL PUT PRESSURE ON THIS
WALL, AND WE NEED TO SECURE IT
SAFELY.
WITHOUT SNOW SHED PROTECTION IN
THIS AREA, IT WILL BE A VERY BIG
CHALLENGE FOR US TO KEEP THE
RAILWAY OPEN.

The Narrator says BUT EVEN SNOW SHEDS COULDN'T
SAVE THE SECTION OF THE
NOW-DESOLATE SANDER PLATEAU.
AVOIDING THE WEATHER HERE CALLS
FOR A MONUMENTAL CONSTRUCTION
PROJECT.
AN AUDACIOUS 46 MILLION POUND,
TEN KILOMETRE TUNNEL, CUT
DIRECTLY THROUGH A SOLID
GRANITE MOUNTAIN.

The caption changes to "Inge Hjertaas. Former Railway Engineer. Bane NOR."

Inge says IT WAS OPEN IN 1993, AFTER
THREE YEARS OF WORK.
AND IT HAS MADE THE LINE MUCH
MORE RELIABLE, AND IT HAS
REDUCED SNOW-CLEARING COSTS WITH
ABOUT 50 percent, SO IN AROUND 13
YEARS, THIS TUNNEL PAID ITSELF.

The Narrator says THIS ENGINEERING SUCCESS
STORY IS JUST ANOTHER CHAPTER
IN THE EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY OF
A TRULY PIONEERING
CROSS-COUNTRY RAILWAY.

Inge says THE OSLO-BERGEN LINE
WAS REALLY A REVOLUTION.
THE LINE HAS BEEN VERY IMPORTANT
FOR MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS.

Karl says THIS LINE IS A
LIFELINE, FOR SUPPORT FOR THE
WESTERN PART OF NORWAY.
I'LL SAY THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
INCREDIBLE RAILWAYS IN THE
WORLD, THE BERGEN LINE.

The Narrator says SINCE THE 1800S, WILDERNESS
RAILWAYS HAVE FORGED SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE PATHS THROUGH THE
WORLD'S MOST UNFORGIVING
LANDSCAPES.
THROUGH STUNNING ACHIEVEMENTS...

Dan says ALMOST FROM THE VERY START OF
THIS PROJECT, PEOPLE WERE
CALLING IT THE "IMPOSSIBLE
RAILROAD."

Doug says THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE
WILDERNESS RAILWAY.
I TAKE MY CAP OFF TO THE
ENGINEERS WHO BUILT IT.

The Narrator says AND GROUND-BREAKING
INNOVATIONS.

Christopher says THEY'RE NOT ORDINARY TRAINS
AT ALL.
BASICALLY, THESE TRAINS WERE
BUILT FOR THAT TERRAIN, A 25 percent
GRADIENT.

The Narrator says ENGINEERS CONTINUE TO DEFY
THE ODDS, CREATING IMPOSSIBLE
RAILWAYS.

Standing in a snow, Christopher says IT DOESN'T MATTER ABOUT THE
WEATHER WHEN YOU GET HERE.
THE TRAIN JOURNEY UP IS JUST THE
MOST AMAZING, ONE OF THE TOP TEN
IN THE WHOLE WORLD, FOR SURE.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrated by Matthew Skilton

Producer/Directors, Matt Litchfield, Tony Mckee, Tom Weller

Executive producer, Neil Edwards.

Series producer, Gill Hennessey.

Distributed by two Four Rights.

Produced in association with Yesterday.

Copyright 2017, Twofour.

Watch: Ep. 2 - Into the Wild