Tag Archives: Mighty Ships

Discovery’s Mighty Trains celebrates riding the rails

Teddy Wilson loves to travel. He also loves trains. So it makes total sense that the InnerSpace and sometime Daily Planet co-host would—when he’s not talking all things sci-fi or science—ride the rails for Discovery’s newest series.

Mighty Trains, debuting the first of six episodes Sunday on the specialty channel, is the latest in the “Mighty” franchise that has previously celebrated ships, planes and cruise ships. But where those three had narration and one-sided conversations to describe what it’s like living and working on the machinery in the sea and sky, Mighty Trains has Wilson climbing aboard, talking directly to viewers and folks riding and working on the trains.

“I think the producers wanted to add a host to this one because the nature of trains is about the journey and a bit more of a focus on the passengers and the travel element,” Wilson says. “And I think having a host is representative of the viewer and drawing them into the journey.” He’s right. When I think of riding a train, it’s about looking out the window, experiencing the scenery, drinking in the adventure and chatting with my seatmates.

teddy_trains

But Mighty Trains, like its counterparts, does go under the hood to explore what’s so special about these trains. Sunday’s first instalment follows Wilson on the Glacier Express, an eight-hour ride from Zermatt, Switzerland, at the base of the Matterhorn, to the ski town St. Moritz. With parts of the line in operation for more than 125 years, it takes old technology to get these sleek, modern train cars through its climb of almost 5 km along inclines of up to 12 per cent, way over the three to four traditional trains can handle.

“This rack and pinion technology is an ancient technology, but it’s used on these ascents and descents,” Wilson says. “Seeing this technology in action and getting to visit the place where they actually build the train cars … I was absolutely blown away by it and that fascination really extended to every episode.” Future Sundays spotlight The Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka; Norway’s North Rail Express, a state-of-the-art freight service between the Arctic Circle and Oslo; the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad and its relationship to the Klondike Gold Rush; and The Ghan in Australia, which travels between Adelaide in the south and Darwin in the north, bisecting the country in its three-day journey.

A Canada-based production wouldn’t be complete without celebrating a train in this country; that happens Oct. 30 when Mighty Trains hops on The Canadian—star of the $10 bill—for the four-day journey from Toronto to Vancouver.

“I’m a proud Canadian and have been all over the country, but I had never crossed the country by train,” Wilson says. “That was a real life highlight for me, waking up every morning and seeing this completely different landscape from the window of a train.”

Mighty Trains airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Discovery’s Original Canadian Production MIGHTY SHIPS Shoves Off for Ninth Season, May 1

From a media release:

Discovery’s original Canadian series MIGHTY SHIPS returns for a dramatic ninth season, airing Sundays at 7 p.m. ET beginning May 1. Produced by Discovery’s in-house production unit, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), and seen in more than 150 countries around the world, the long-running Canadian series sets sail on a new high-stakes voyage, taking viewers on the journey and below the surface to explore places and technologies that are usually off-limits to land lovers.

From the largest hospital ship on the planet to a longline fishing vessel to an expedition cruise ship, the six-episode season gives unprecedented see-all, hear-all access to everything above and below deck, following the captains, engineers, and able seamen into the heart of the most sophisticated ships ever built.

Discovery also announced today that MIGHTY SHIPS’ sister series, MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS, has embarked on the production of its second season, taking viewers to exotic ports in the Mediterranean, old world cities like Rome, Athens, Istanbul, and Barcelona; cruising the rugged coastlines of Norway and Scotland; and visiting the Caribbean. Featuring the largest cruise ships at sea, MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS will debut in Spring 2017.

Episode highlights from MIGHTY SHIPS – Season 9 include:

“North Sea Giant”
Sunday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
With a specialized crane system and five propellers to counter heavy seas, North Sea Giant can perform powerful and precise lifts in seas as high as 4.5 metres – four times the capability of other such vessels. On this voyage, she’s out to lift and install the final massive module of the world’s first subsea gas compression station nearly 300 metres underwater. But when strong winds and currents threaten the delicate operation, her team of underwater robots must come to the rescue before the module crashes the entire project!

“Tonsberg”
Sunday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Tonsberg carries anything that can be rolled up her ramp: not just automobiles and bulldozers, but also heavy, awkward-sized cargo such as cranes, subway trains, or yachts. In some of the busiest ro-ro ports in Europe, Tonsberg’s crew rushes to overcome the obstacles that could delay her. Sailing across the Atlantic, two storms threaten to cross her path as the crew keeps a sharp eye on the lashings that hold the cargo in place.

“USNS Comfort”
Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Almost three football fields long, the USNS Comfort is second in size only to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. She is the largest hospital ship on the planet, with up to 1,200 crew, 12 operating rooms, 1,000 beds, and an impressive array of medical equipment. MIGHTY SHIPS joins the USNS Comfort midway through “Operation Continuing Promise” – a six-month mission to provide humanitarian aid to 11 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. Sailing to the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica, Comfort’s crew sets out to aid 10,000 patients in just nine days.

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