Michael Portillo's rail journey across the vast open spaces of Canada reaches a dramatic scenic conclusion in the Rocky Mountains. Deep in the Columbia Icefield in a massive all-terrain Ice Explorer, Michael is awed by the scale, not least of the vehicle, but of the vast Athabasca Glacier. A thousand feet deep and covering two and a half square miles, it is breathtaking and beautiful.\n\nTravelling via Hinton to Jasper Michael learns of the race to lay transcontinental rails through the Rocky Mountains on two different routes and how steel tracks were ripped up during WWI to support the war effort. The chance to observe one of Canada's national emblems in its natural habitat presents itself in Hinton. Michael discovers how the enchanting beaver, once slaughtered for its fur, is now pampered. In the woodland around Hinton Michael marvels at the scale of Canada's forestry industry. He meets one of the area's logging chiefs. With a million hectares to manage he has his work cut out.
Source: BBC 2