BBC presenter Michael Portillo journeys from Hatfield for 170th anniversary of trains to London

Michael Portillo. Picture: Submitted.

Michael Portillo. Picture: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

The 170th anniversary of the Peterborough to London line has been celebrated by BBC presenter Michael Portillo with a journey from Hatfield.

In the video from Great Northern, the Great British Railway Journeys’ star explains how Hatfield Railway Station – located outside the “majestic” Hatfield House – was built in 1850 as part of the East Coast Main Line.

Mr Portillo said the development allowed the town to become “a major railway hub for the region”.

He added: “The town flourished with the expansion of new industry and homes, with the railway at its heart. And now, more than two million people a year use the station.”

The Great British Railway Journey’s star – who filmed the video before lockdown – has already covered the route from London King’s Cross to Peterborough, which will turn 170 on Friday, in the series.

But unfortunately, the video from Great Northern does not show the former Conservative MP and ex-cabinet minister brandishing his trusty Bradshaw’s Guide, a Victorian travel book.