Railroad stars in a BBC doc

The Belt was the subject of a BBC documentary series recently.

Great American Railroad Journeys sees host Michael Portillo travel around the U.S. by train.

Portillo visited the Belt’s 786-acre facility and talked to Joe Szabo, former Federal Railroad Administrator. Szabo called the Belt’s operations “the economy in motion.” He then stated that the development of railroading in Chicago was critical to national economic development.

“There was no national economy before the Transcontinental Railroad,” Szabo said.

Portillo then visited with Yardmaster Nick Pehlke, who outlined the process of humping cars. Portillo noted that the technique has “barely changed” over the years. He called watching cars being humped “one of the most compelling sights I’ve seen.” 

For more information on the series, visit www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06zzdn3