The Ruhr is Europe's largest industrial conurbation, it's also called the "50km stadt". We explore railways, light rail, and tramways from Duisburg in the west to Altenbeken in the east. You see ICE, IC, EC AND IR trains in this industrial environment, but also the Metropolitan - the business train that links the Niederrhein and the Ruhr with Hamburg -at speed and with style. In Duisburg we visit Europe's, perhaps the world's, largest inland port, spend time with some major players in European logistics and see how they are developing their rail business. Steel is unloaded from rail and onto north sea vessels for the trip to Boston -UK not US!- steel wire bound for deep-sea markets and containers destined for markets deep into Europe. At Essen we ride on a Dockland light rail vehicle! Dortmund is the Ruhr's major InterCity hub, see the ICs perform their intricate ritual of connections every day every hour whatever the weather! Hamm is a great railway junction, the point where the Ruhr-Rhine orbital freight route starts. This double track electrified line carries huge volumes of freight clear of the dense network of passenger trains: "Beetles from VW, tanks on their way to exercise at Lüneburg and coal trains from Poland-freight paradise! South of Altenbeken we visit the Bahn's least known Ausbaustrecke on the line to Kessel, in operation and nearly complete. We return via the Ruhr valley and suddenly you could be in the English Lake District! Finally, we couldn't help ourselves, we visit Wuppertal and have a ride on the 13km long Schwebebahn. Filmed with the assistance of some of Europe's most professional transport and logistics companies including: Haeger und Schmidt, DeCeTe, Duisport Rail and naturally "Die Bahn". Narrated RT 75 mins ©FHP 2002
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