BBC Great Continental Railway Journeys


gordonwis
 

I presume some of the UK based members of this group saw the Swiss journey in British former member of parliament Michael Portillo's Great Continental Railway Journeys series.

In my opinion it was much better than the French journey. In general the sequence felt OK, with most of the `theme' film covering roughly the correct scene to match the narrative, although there was some random archive film inserted in odd places in the narrative (like a wonderful 1930s view of a RhB croc hauling a train across the Landwasser) when Mr Portillo's journey was still in the north of Switzerland.

He did seem to be filmed on the correct trains for each portion of the journey he was undertaking, for example although the narrative `jumped' from boarding the Glacier Express to starting the next day at Goeschenen, there was film of the Naetschen – Andermatt area in roughly the correct sequence. Also the filming of the Wassen spirals was nicely done in reasonably real time, with Portillo swapping sides of the coach to see the view!

There were a few real errors:
Showing a picture of an RhB croc whilst the narrative talked about the SBB Crocs (in a piece about the significance of MFO (Oerlikon) in railway engineering) . This was not forgivable as there are plenty of SBB crocs to take stills of. However, I do know why they did it because it was a works picture of the RhB croco with Oerlikon overwritten on the picture next to the drive mechanism.

On his Zurich – Chur portion, at one point his narrative was still talking about Zurichsee, whilst the filming had reached the Walensee!
…and it was jolly fun to see 605 at Chur on the GEX…

I was pleased the for once the programme didn't labour too much on the Glacier Express, but I have my usual gripe on the `necessity' of ending a programme about Swiss railways at Jungfraujoch, when Zermatt – Gornergrat IMO is a much more scenic spectacle with so much more out in the open, continuous Matterhorn vista and the views of the famous surrounding 4000+ metre high mountains including the highest in Switzerland and several glaciers.


glenn allen
 

________________________________
From: Gordon


 
I presume some of the UK based members of this group saw the Swiss journey in British former member of parliament Michael Portillo's Great Continental Railway Journeys series.

There were a few more mistakes, one clip of the G.E. featured the train running along the Swiss Grand Canyon in the direction of the water flow, so heading towards Chur.

There were two archive RhB clips, both the ones you mentioned, and another of  brown electric loco near Wiesen, neither in context with what he was talking about.

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Simon
 

I've really enjoyed the two series of UK trips and enjoyed watching the
European ones too.

It does make me smile though, only railway people could pick faults with a
programme to that degree.

Here we have our hobby on national TV, being presented with huge enthusiasm
and not being ridiculed and laughed at, yet we find it necessary to dissect
it's accuracy to the n'th degree.

I didn't see any mistakes as I was too busy shielding my eyes from Mr
Portillo's green trouser/pink shirt combination !!

Anyway, must rush. Somewhere, there's some rivets that need counting J

Cheers

Simon


stephenhorobin
 

I liked the first thirty minutes of this programme with the arrival on the French side of Basel SBB and the explanation of the history of the railway in this border city.
The visit to Baden and the Spanish Broetli was very amusing and the scenes around Zurich and the visit to the signalling centre was impressive.
Overall a good informative and entertaining programme which will have Bert and Ada reaching for the brochures.

Steve.


Brian Stephenson
 

For those who missed the programme it is being repeated on BBC 2 at 10 past midnight (GMT) to-morrow night Wednesday or more correctly at 00.10 on Thursday morning 6th December 2012)

Brian Stephenson


Don
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon" <gordonwis@...> wrote:

..........but I have my usual gripe on the `necessity' of ending
a programme about Swiss railways at Jungfraujoch, when Zermatt –
Gornergrat IMO is a much more scenic spectacle..................
Totally agree with your summary of the prog., Gordon and especially the comments about the Jungfrau-Gornergrat comparison, the latter is far better value for your CHF with the open views. The Jungfrau was a 'tourist circus' when I went there and it was not in the main season. For a media production on railways this was 'above the bar' compared with many a production seen over the years. Don


gordonwis
 

I disagree with the notion that some of us are nit picking/rivet counting.
1: I mentioned a few errors but overall complemented the programme.
2: Factual television programmes are surely supposed to be accurate. If there was a programme about hospital care an error of fact would be jumped upon by everyone.
 
I am pleased to hear someone agrees with my Gornergrat notion. The diversion via Chur had no real point as he didn’t visit Chur as such – just changed trains. As such the journey could just as easily have been routed Zürich – Luzern – Flüelen – Wassen – Göschenen – Andermatt – Brig – Zermatt – Gornergrat. This would still have covered all the items that were covered – ie Zurichsee, Luzern, Vierwaldstadtersee, Wassen spirals, the Gotthard and the Glacier Express. The advantages would have been terminating the programme at the terminus of the GEX, doing the Wassen spirals the more imposing way ie riding uphill. Brief mention could have been made of the Simplon Tunnel at Brig.  
Ending the program eat Zermatt/Gornergrat would have had the following advantages:
the opportunity to do the British alpine sports connection piece (Whymper/Matterhorn etc and skiing pioneers).
Matterhorn views
Electric carts/horse buses
 
On the Vierwaldstadtersee I was very surprised that they didn’t time it for a paddle steamer,  also that no mention – however brief – was made of the fact that his boat was passing the Ruetli meadow.     

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Bill Bolton
 

On Wed, 5 Dec 2012 10:07:18 +0000 (GMT), Gordon Wiseman wrote:

2: Factual television programmes are surely supposed to be accurate.
A TV program primarily made to be (in some way) 'informational' is
supposed to be reasonably accurate, however, a program made to be
primarily 'entertaining' does not need to accurate to anywhere near
the level you seem to expect in your comments.

It is not difficult to determine which side of that particular fence a
program like 'Great Continental Railway Journeys' is likely to fall!

Cheers,

Bill


Duncan Cotterill
 

A TV program primarily made to be (in some way) 'informational' is
supposed to be reasonably accurate, however, a program made to be
primarily 'entertaining' does not need to accurate to anywhere near
the level you seem to expect in your comments.
The BBC classify it as "Factual" on the iPlayer so that would seem to oblige them to ensure its accuracy. However, we are talking about the esteemed British media, who rarely let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Duncan


Bill Bolton
 

On Thu, 6 Dec 2012 08:46:24 +0000, Duncan wrote:

The BBC classify it as "Factual" on the iPlayer so that would
seem to oblige them to ensure its accuracy.
<sigh>

Being "factual" does not automatically imply strict "accuracy".

"Factual" means:

concerned with what is actually the case; actually
occurring (ED)

"Fictional" means:

relating to or occurring in fiction; invented for the
purposes of fiction (OED)

The use of "factual" by the BBC, and broadcasters globally for that
matter, is to clearly indicate the antithesis of "fictional".


"Accuracy" means:

the quality or state of being correct or precise (OED)

Very little visual imagery *of any sort*, except perhaps material
specifically produced for forensic (or similar) purposes, is strictly
"correct or precise", and in that sense it is really no different from
written or spoken material.


Dave Edmondston <davee@...>
 

Without the need for dictionary definitions, I think we all know what Duncan is saying. I would agree that a factual programme should try and ensure accuracy, especially for the tax funded BBC.


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Bill Bolton
 

On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 04:38:55 +0100, Dave Edmondston wrote:

I think we all know what Duncan is saying.
There is simply no way that can be "accurate" statement......

<rolling eyes>

Cheers,

Bill


Andrew Moglestue
 

I've only just managed to watch this program, which is why I am only now entering the discussion.

Actually, i don't see what all the fuss is about. I thought it was a strikingly good programme, well above most of what the BBC does these days and no doubt a great advertisement for bringing railfans to Switzerland.

Of course not everything was strictly speaking correct and some rather "normal" things got praised above their value, and not all the footage was filmed where it was claimed to have been filmd. But one the whole these mistakes were more for pedants to point out and nothing was seriously misrepresented. On the contrary, the program accurately portrays Switzerland and was very well put together.

Andrew


ryanlove222
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Moglestue <amogles@...> wrote:

I've only just managed to watch this program, which is why I am
only now entering the discussion.

Actually, i don't see what all the fuss is about. I thought it was
a strikingly good programme, well above most of what the BBC does
these days and no doubt a great advertisement for bringing railfans
to Switzerland.

Of course not everything was strictly speaking correct and some
rather "normal" things got praised above their value, and not all
the footage was filmed where it was claimed to have been filmd. But
one the whole these mistakes were more for pedants to point out and
nothing was seriously misrepresented. On the contrary, the program
accurately portrays Switzerland and was very well put together.
Thanks for letting me know it was on. I to have only just managed to watch all 5. Have to agree with the comments regarding the coverage of the RHB and the mix up of the Crocs. Still, the swiss eposode was by far the best. Would have been nice to see some of the line up to StMoritz as well as some of the Lotchburg as well. Maybe next time.

Ryan
(Melbourne Australia)


glenn allen
 

<snip>
________________________________
. Have to agree with the comments regarding the coverage of the RHB
and the mix up of the Crocs. Ryan
(Melbourne Australia)

 Rivet counter says : RHB? Don't remember them going to Rorschach?
;-)


OL.Guerbetal
 

Am 23.12.2012 18:42, schrieb glenn allen:
Rivet counter says : RHB? Don't remember them going to Rorschach?
;-)
Glenn, very many thanks to have taken that burden from my shoulders.
:-)

In fact there is no RHB in Switzerland any more. The old abbreviation of the Rorschach�Heiden-Bergbahn has vanished from the repainted vehicles.
<http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AB_BDeh_25.JPG>

However, to prevent from any confusions in the future, any way of writing of RhB is now reserved for Rh�tische Bahn within Europe. Thus, no other railway can apply for RHB or rhb or Rhb as her VKM (Vehicle Keeper Marking).

Markus, G�rbetal