Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys – Channel 5

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways takes train nut Chris to Turkey, where he sees afresh a country he realises he barely knew

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys continues and this week Chris is in Turkey (Monday, 9pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

His adventure begins at the grand Istanbul Railway Station, which used to be the last stop for the Orient Express.

It’s now the beginning of the Marmaray Rail Tunnel, a triumph of engineering that runs beneath the Bosphorus and is built to withstand earthquakes.

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His next stop is Ankara where he discovers more about the man credited with creating modern Turkey – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Chris in a tunnel being cleared of ice

Chris and the team clearing ice from a tunnel near Sarikamis

After fighting in World War One, Ataturk was the first president of the newly formed Turkish Republic and oversaw a rigorous program of political, economic and cultural reform.

Chris then heads into the mountains to marvel at the hard work and ingenuity of building and keeping the trains running in this tricky terrain.

He ends his journey in the remote border town of Kars where he reflects on discovering a Turkey he never knew existed.

TV Times rating: ***