Channel 4 commissions Peter’s Great Rail Restoration

The story of the great British railways retold through the painstaking restoration of iconic railway carriages.

Life-long train enthusiast Peter Snow will celebrate the great history of Britain and its railways, through the restoration of four of the most iconic railway carriages ever built. Each carriage comes from a different era of train travel, and each will be restored to its former glory with complete historical accuracy.

Peter is joined by Henry Cole, who will explore the passenger experience of the era with historical items from the past to fully appreciate the provenance of each railway carriage.

Each of the episodes will see a carriage restored by a team of world-class railway restoration specialists. Starting in each case with a derelict and neglected shell, the programmes will follow the journey to bring these historical treasues back to life, in an intricate make-over of four forgotten pieces of our national heritage. The carriages cover 100 years of railway history starting in 1860, and include a Royal Saloon used by Queen Victoria.

At the end of each episode, the full glory of the carriage make-over will be revealed. The carriage will then be put back on the rails, pulled by a locomotive from the era. In the final episode, all four carriages will be brought together creating an entirely bespoke ‘train through time’ pulled by a steam locomotive – driven by Peter Snow himself, fulfilling a boyhood dream to drive a steam engine.

The series was commissioned by Lizi Wootton for Channel 4. It will be executive produced by Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions.

Lizi Wootton said: “These four carriages carried our predecessors through some extraordinary periods in recent history. Bringing them back to life from ruin is a wonderful way to both celebrate and explore our past”.

Jacqueline Hewer, Creative Director of Brown Bob Productions comments: “It usually takes years to restore a railway carriage. For this series, they’ve got just six months. This is an incredibly ambitious project, but one which will ultimately leave a lasting legacy for our heritage railways as our splendidly-restored carriages are returned to the rails for 21st century passengers.”