Two sides of Christmas shown in final episode of TV documentary

Over a million people pass through King’s Cross station on their way home for Christmas. This frantic period will be beamed onto TV screens tonight (Monday 27 March) in the fourth and final episode of Inside King’s Cross: The Railway.

Whether they’re keeping passengers safe in stations – as high footfall meets bulky luggage – or building and upgrading the railway as part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan, railway workers’ Christmas is a busy time.

The episode follows teams working on projects as part of the most ambitious programme of Christmas engineering. They battle against the clock and the elements to lay new track near Leeds and replace beams on King Edward Bridge in Newcastle.

There are moving moments when the programme handles the difficult subject of suicide. After an incident on the East Coast Mainline in the week up to Christmas stops services, information controller Simon and his Virgin Trains colleagues find routes home for growing numbers of passengers.

Mobile operations manager Stewart (pictured), who has worked for the railway for 27 years, talks about treating the deceased with respect and the interventions he has been part of to prevent incidents.

In my time working for Network Rail, I’ve sadly seen incidents where people have lost their lives.


We undertake training to be able to spot vulnerable people as well as the actions that we can take to help them. We work closely with the Samaritans to provide us with the tools we need to help those who are in distress.


This training is really useful and I have been able to prevent people from taking their own lives. I once received a thank you note from a man’s sister who I had chatted to when he was considering committing suicide. It’s nice to know that I can help people who need it.

Stewart McGrath, mobile operations manager

The rail industry partners with Samaritans in a suicide prevention programme that supports a wider community-based approach to the challenge of suicide in society.

Freight also features in the final episode – which airs Monday 27 March on Channel 5 at 21:00 – as GB Railfreight driver Graeme delivers biomass from the Port of Tyne to Drax power station, which generates seven per cent of the UK’s electricity.

Behind the scenes

Over four episodes, Inside King’s Cross has followed railway workers on the East Coast Mainline as they deal with major incidents causing disruption on the railway, carry out engineering works and help passengers.

The East Coast Mainline is one of the most widely used rail routes in the country as it is used to make 80m journeys a year.


The documentary has provided a fantastic opportunity to show the general public all the hard work behind the scenes to keep the railway running. We are working closer than ever with our industry partners to deliver the best possible service for passengers at all times, as well as keeping them safe.


Sometimes things do go wrong and the series has highlighted what fantastic people we have working on the railway and how their quick thinking in high pressure situations can positively impact on the service which passengers receive. I believe the documentary is a brilliant example of industry partners working together to deliver the best service we can for all rail users.

Rob McIntosh, LNE & EM route managing director for Network Rail

Catch up with the first episodes

If you need to talk to someone please visit Samaritans’ website or call them free on 116 123.