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Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic to ride the railroads of America with a new travelling companion. Armed with Appleton's General Guide to the United States, published in 1879, Michael begins his Americanodyssey in New York City.Starting at Grand Central Terminal, the 'gateway to the nation', he boards the Manhattan subway system, the busiest rail transit system in the US. His first stop is the Rockefeller Centre, where he gets a bird's eye view of Manhattan Island and learns how about the technology which enabled the city to build up.Portillo heads to the Financial District, where, over a Lobster Newberg, he finds out how the dodgy political dealings of the era's famous industrialists earned them the nickname 'Robber Barons'. He observes their better side at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as he learns that philanthropy helped the city's burgeoning art scene, before finishing his journey midtown, among the bright lights of Broadway.

Episode Title: Manhattan: Grand Central to Broadway
Airs: 2016-02-01 at 18:30