In Great Continental Railway Journeys Michael Portillo embarks on a brand new railway adventure which takes him across the heart of Europe. In a series of 5-hour long episodes, steered by his 1913 "Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide", Michael journeys through a prosperous pre-war Europe. It was a time of emperors and kings, pomp and elegance and was a continent whose industrialists had created wealth, whose scientists and engineers were discovering and constructing the marvellous and whose artists were challenging old ways whilst intellectuals plotted revolution. This early 20th century handbook opened up an exotic world to the Edwardian tourist; from glittering cosmopolitan cities, dramatic Alpine landscapes, to warm sparkling seas and picturesque villages. Following in their footsteps, Michael visits the towns, cities and villages listed by his Bradshaw's guide. Travelling from station to station he stays in the recommended hotels, explores the magnificent sights, samples local traditions, takes in many of the continent's most spectacular rail routes and visits some of the central locations in the unfolding Great War story. This series creates a stunning vision of Europe as it was in 1913 and discovers how a way of life and a landscape were changed forever when Europe went to war.