Nick Knowles’ Amazing Railway Adventure

Nick Knowles’ Amazing Railway Adventure (Channel 5, 8pm)
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If Nick Knowles was thinking of making a new year’s resolution to travel more, then he’s already got a head start.

It was recently announced the DIY SOS presenter has signed up for two new travelogues for Channel 5. One of the shows is Nick Knowles’ Big Adventure – The American Southwest, which will see him venturing into the Grand Canyon and kayaking along the Colorado River.

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Before that though, he’s letting the train take the strain with the other new series, Nick Knowles’ Amazing Railway Adventure.

It seems both programmes are passion projects for Knowles. He explains: “My love of trains developed when I was a child and my father would take me to stand on a bridge in Southall, London, to watch old steam locomotives run by underneath.

“I have also been fascinated by, have visited and have even lived with indigenous cultures in Australia and the Navajo in the US. A chance to combine the two with some of the best camera men and film makers to showcase the wonders of the world is a lifetime’s ambition made real.”

However, if boarding a train initially sounds a little less exciting than learning how to withstand the temperatures of Death Valley, you need to look at a list of Knowles’ destinations.

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The series will take him to Mexico, Alaska, Malaysia and the Arctic Circle, but he begins with a trip across the extraordinary landscapes of Peru to magical Machu Picchu.

Knowles hops on board at Puno on Lake Titicaca, and then alights at La Reya, the fourth-highest train station in the world. It’s a chance to explore the local street market and put his haggling skills to the test when he spots a woven alpaca throw.

Back on the rails, he gets to sample the Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail, before swapping the train for a boat as he visits the floating islands of the Uros, a pre-Inca tribe who still live in southern Peru.

He later arrives at the Inca capital of Cusco, where Nick ventures out of town to visit the ancient ruins at Moray, as well as the celebrated restaurant Mil Centro, which is conveniently located next door.

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Hopefully, he gives his dinner time to settle before the next leg of the journey, which takes him through ‘El Zig Zag’, a series of five sharp turns in the track via points changes, which enables the train to climb out of the city.

Nick KnowlesNick Knowles
Nick Knowles

His penultimate stop is Ollantaytambo, where Knowles visits an architectural dig. As regular viewers of DIY SOS will know, he’s nothing if not hands on, so he’s keen to get involved, and even manages to unearth an ancient artefact.

Then it’s finally time for his last destination, Machu Picchu. The train is the only form of transport available as there is no road, and the presenter is moved by the very stunning views of the ancient citadel, which he gets to share with the viewers.

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