Channel 4 is to hop onto the ‘Biggest Little Railway in the World’.
In what the broadcaster describes as an ‘ambitious series’, Dick Strawbridge will follow a team of model railway enthusiasts, engineers, and builders and an army of skilled and unskilled volunteers as they attempt to build the longest model railway track ever constructed, stretching 74 miles along the stunning Great Glen Way in Scotland.
The coast to coast route – from Fort William to Inverness – is the last great unfulfilled dream of the Victorian engineers who criss-crossed the rest of the country with track during the railway’s golden age. The competing rail companies of the day refused to co-operate and it was never realised. But now, over 100 years later, the British public is going to complete the job, helping us all to appreciate – in miniature – the challenges our forebears had to overcome, their ingenuity and resourcefulness, and the sheer scale of their achievement.
The route will be divided into sections and a few miles will be allocated to each of the teams to work on. As well as laying the O gauge track in three metre lengths, the teams will need to work out how to overcome the inevitable problems they face by building bridges, helixes and pulley systems. Like the navvies of old, participants will live and work alongside the track as they go.
Dick Strawbridge is best known for his ITV daytime series, The Hungry Sailors, which he co-hosted with son James.