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Series 1: 17. Helensburgh to Connel



From the 250-year-old 'new town' of Helensburgh on the north bank of the Clyde, Michael Portillo takes his favourite West Highland Line across epic landscapes to Garelochhead and Ben Cruachan and thence to Connel Bridge and the waters of Loch Etive.\n\nAlong the way, Michael investigates the Highland Boundary Fault, which separates the Highlands from the Lowlands, and learns how Scotland’s geology has influenced its history.\n\nBetween Loch Lomond and Loch Long, Michael explores the deep waters of Garelochhead at Faslane, where Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines are based.\n\nAlighting next at the pretty Falls of Cruachan station, Michael ventures inside the hollow mountain of Ben Cruachan to visit a power station with a reservoir on top of it. Electricity is generated here using an ingenious method known as pumped storage. Michael meets one of the 'tunnel tigers' who dug out the mountain in the early 1960s.\n\nAt Connel Bridge, Michael joins a marine biologist on an RIB to collect phytoplankton from Loch Etive as part of a long-term project to monitor the health of the waters.

Source: BBC 2

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