The Architecture The Railways Built - Series 2 Episode 8
Bristol Temple Meads station
Known by many of us as passengers at platform level, here the programme goes further behind the scenes, examining the splendid Gothic masterpiece and then gets us all a guided tour of the places the public can’t go. The original station buildings designed by Brunel are examined – then they head up on the roof and into the cellars beneath the platforms. Organisations inside Brunel’s old station include the Engine Shed business hub. The show takes us on a journey with a Network Rail expert to look inside some of these wonderful rooms, normally shut to the wider public.
Southend Pier in Essex
Here the team explores the longest pier in the world. And for its 1.3mile length runs a railway – with a station at both the “dry end” and the “wet end”. The programme explores why the pier needed to be so long, and why they put a railway on it. Also – there’s special access to see the historic Pier Museum too. The nearest station, if you’re visiting, is Southend Central. The local council, which runs the pier and train, were clearly very helpful in arranging this episode - there's a level of access including a cab ride with the train driver most people never get to see!
Haapsalu station in Estonia
Haapsalu was a seaside spa town popular with the Russian aristocracy. This wooden station was backed by the Tsar of Russia (who never ever got there) and said to have the longest covered station platform in the Empire at the time. It’s very beautiful – and there’s a superb railway museum established alongside it now.