Tracks Ahead

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Tracks Ahead is a television series about railroading, produced by Milwaukee Public Television for public television stations starting in 1990.

In general, the series examines all aspects of railroading, both in the United States and in the rest of the world. Content covers a wide range of railroad-related materials. This includes scenic rail journeys, short-line railroads, layouts (in various gauges of model, tinplate, scale, garden), artists, photographers, and other railroad related material.

The first season (released 1990) was hosted by Charles E. "Chuck" Zehner and the second season (released 1992) by Ward Kimball. Both were repackaged and re-released with Spencer Christian as the host. All subsequent series have featured Christian.

The primary audience for the series is women (ages 25–63) and children (ages 3–18) by 63.4%. The remaining audience is railroad interest groups.

Season 5 was the first in 1080i high definition; season 6 was the first to incorporate 5.1 enhanced (surround sound) audio.

Tracks Ahead 7 started airing in January 2009. As with the previous two seasons, it is in high definition, with digital 5.1 surround sound. The 14-part season includes segments from Japan, the Caribbean, Patagonia, and all around the United States.

All programs are free offerings to public television stations and carried on around 200 TV markets in the US. As of 2008, the series can also be found in Japan, Romania, Germany and other European countries. Season 5 was licensed to HDNet in 2001, but that arrangement has expired.

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