Calling all travel enthusiasts and history buffs: a series of brand-new railway adventures is steaming across the North American continent. Equipped with an 1899 copy of Appleton’s Guide to Canada, host Michael Portillo returns for a fourth season of Great American Railroad Journeys. Focusing primarily on the Canadian territories, these new episodes are punctuated with scenic vistas and historical vignettes – perfect for a quick escape into the northern countryside.
"Canada: Halifax to Prince Edward Island" –July 2 at noon
Beginning en route to Quebec City, this episode travels from the ports of Halifax to the playhouses of Prince Edward Island. Along the way, Michael visits an 18th-century British citadel, the picturesque harbor town of Pictou, the Northumberland Fisheries Museum, and the quaint shores of Caribou before hopping on the ferry to Charlottetown.
"Canada: Springhill Junction to Quebec" – July 9 at noon
Traveling along the Ocean train from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, Michael investigates the rock formations and caves of Hopewell Rocks, the Acadian fishing village of Neguac, and the Old World roots of Quebec City.
"Canada: Saint-Anne De Beaupre to Winnipeg" – July 16 at noon
Following the St. Lawrence River to La Malbaie, Michael visits the magnificent basilica at Sainte Anne de Beaupré, the breathtaking waterfall of Montmorency, the sweeping Central Plains region, and the bustling railway hub in the Manitoban capital of Winnipeg.
"Canada: Portage La Prairie to Saskatoon" – July 23 at noon
Deep in the province of Saskatchewan, Michael learns more about the local farming industry and the railway’s historical role in commerce. He then searches for the Dead Sea of Canada, a lake three times saltier than the ocean, before journeying along the South Saskatchewan River. There, he finds a battlefield where the Métis people and their indigenous allies made their final stand against Canadian control.
"Canada: Edmonton to Jasper" – July 30 at noon
In the season finale, Michael continues his thousand-mile rail journey to Jasper, Alberta. His travels reach a dramatic conclusion in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where he explores the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia icefields. Before reaching his final stop, Michael visits the woodlands of Hinton to marvel at the scale of the Canadian forestry industry. There, he learns more about the wildlife that calls this part of the country home.
New episodes of Great American Railroad Journeys air throughout July on Thursdays at noon, with encores to follow on Mondays at 9 p.m.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air in high definition on digital 36.1; Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, and Full Channel 08; Comcast 819HD and Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD in MA; DirecTV 36, Dish Network 36.