Watch Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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If you've got a need for speed, pack your bags and race through the evolution of transportation.

HISTORY Vault
1 Season, 19 Episodes
October 13, 1997
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Planes, Trains & Automobiles Full Episode Guide

  • The innovative, fearless and larger-than-life renegades who devoted their lives to pursuing the world's most perilous speed records--and breaking them. Featuring

  • Emergency service frst responders tell three remarkable stories of survival--and modern-day trucks that came to the rescue.

  • From strange failures of design and marketing, to triumphs of performance and sales, we'll reveal how world events, pop culture, and crazy experimentation shaped the vehicles of every decade.

  • Completed in 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was considered the greatest building achievement in U.S. history. But an even greater challenge lay ahead: harnessing the awesome potential of the rails to tame the West.

  • Rides the busiest freight line anywhere, Union Pacific's Omaha to Sacramento, on a route that crosses over the world's longest rail causeway, through the world's largest rail yard, and over the fearsome Donner Pass.

  • Trace the evolution of jet-powered aircraft from the beginning, with a special look at test pilots who stake their lives on each new engine and the legendary institutions at the heart of U.S. jet development.

  • Airships flew years before the Wright Brothers and remain the only airborne aircraft carriers ever built, yet they have been largely forgotten. Discover the shining future of air travel that never came to be.

  • They're fast, they're powerful, and for the last hundred years they've been tantalizing riders with their promise of unparalleled speed and endless adventure.

  • Discover the unusual after-life of millions of autos sent to the boneyard every year due to old age, obsolescence, or lack of parts.

  • Imaginative entrepreneurs have found new and innovative uses for every single component of the railroads, from tracks and ties to the trains themselves.

  • Dismantling large aircraft is a complex and challenging process, and for awe-inspiring aircraft whose flying days are over, there's a fine line between destruction and restoration.

  • Fly with the deadliest helicopter in world, watch the Coast Guard train for water rescues in the Gulf, learn how million-dollar Bell 'copters are customized, and discover how to build your own - affordably.

  • It's the longest, most expensive, and most complicated railroad ever built. Ordered by the Czar in an effort to unify his country at the twilight of the 19th century, the Trans-Siberian Railroad nearly tore Russia apart.

  • Mix together 100 vintage automobiles, 300 die-hard enthusiasts, 14 summer days, and 3,900 miles of the most beautiful U.S. back-roads and you've got a roadside seat for a truly great automotive adventure.

  • Inside GM's 1 million square-foot facility, the C6 Corvette travels 7.2 miles along the assembly line. Join host Ron Hazelton as he test-drives one of the first finished cars.

  • Examine tools and techniques used to build tracks, bridges, and tunnels through mountains of solid granite, and explore technology developed to make trains less vulnerable to bandits and train wrecks.

  • Examine rides from Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the U.S. to see how in a little over a hundred years, sports car design has evolved from crude to sublime.

  • Unpack the particular engineering problems of the world's most extreme airports, from unsafe layouts caused by centuries-old territorial battles to natural obstacles that make these places unfit for travel.

  • At the birth of railways, trains moved about as fast as a horse; but as speeds increased, so did man's pursuit of even faster trains. Examine the train's evolution from steam to diesel and up through the electrical age.

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