Amazing Railway Adventures With Nick Knowles | Series 2 Preview (Channel 5)
Nick’s latest Railway Adventure is a tale of three capital cities, taking in Prague in the Czech Republic, Bratislava in Slovakia and Budapest in Hungary.
His journey begins in Prague, where he learns about the city’s remarkable and complex 600-year-old astronomical clock from its keeper. He’s even allowed to activate its extraordinary striking mechanism.
Departing Prague for Bratislava, he talks to an expert on Dvorak, who reveals the Czech composer was a huge fan of trains, dropping into the railway station in Prague almost every day.
Nick’s visit to Bratislava gets off to a terrifying start with a precipitous clamber around the perimeter of an observation tower. For a man with an extreme fear of heights, balancing on a narrow ledge with a near-300-foot drop is the ultimate challenge, and it takes a toll.
Nick soon recovers, and wanders through the city where he encounters nearly 100 vintage and classic cars arriving in Bratislava at the end of a 500km race.
Nick’s second train takes him across the border into Hungary, where he discovers Swabian culture is being preserved. The Danube Swabians are the descendants of immigrants from south-west Germany, and they teach Nick a dance from the land of their forefathers.
The next stop is the Hungarian Railway Museum, a paradise for train enthusiasts. The undoubted highlight for Nick is when he single-handedly rotates a 147 ton steam engine, thanks to one of the world’s largest functioning turntables.
In Budapest, Nick embarks on a river cruise with two reality TV stars to hear how young Hungarians view their country, past, present and future, then takes a journey on a steam railway.
At just over seven miles long it’s the world’s longest railway run by children, although there is adult supervision. Discovering these impressive young ticket sellers, guards and their colleagues makes for an enchanting finale to a fascinating adventure.
Returns Friday 22nd September on Channel 5.