Railroads on Television

Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.

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Tyco (Mantua) Petticoat Junction sets

Postby nhrrfan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:28 pm

Over the years, there were actually three versions of the Tyco (Mantua) Petticoat Junction train set.

The first version is the "pizza box" set depicted in the link given in a previous post, with the black locomotive cab/tender and painted dark green roofs and lettering on the cars.

The second version is similar to the first, but included a power pack ("standard" Tyco small gold box type). It was in an identical box to the first, but with smaller "Floyd and Charley quote" inserts to accommodate the power pack.

The third version of the set was in the standard late 1960s/early 1970's Tyco "modernized" box. The locomotive was changed to have an all red cab and tender, and the car roofs and lettering were changed to a lighter green - but still painted.

In addition, Mantua re-ran the C&FW scheme when they offered an updated version of their 1890s passenger car kits in the early to mid 1980s. However, the roofs in these kits were molded green plastic instead of painted. They never re-issued the locomotive in C&FW colors though.
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Aa3rt » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:48 pm

I have the third version-the train only, no box-that I inherited from a late uncle a number of years ago.
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Aa3rt » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:48 am

While channel surfing between innings of last night's Washington Nationals game, I stumbled across a "Little House on the Prairie" episode titled "The Runaway Caboose" being broadcast on The Hallmark Channel. Normally I wouldn't have given this a second glance but of course the railway equipment immediately caught my attention.

As you might imagine from the title, two of the Ingalls daughters and a young boy are in a caboose set loose on the main line and heading in the path of a special train with some railroad dignitaries aboard. Charles Ingalls comandeers (Horsejacks?) a steed and rides to the rescue.

The episode was filmed on the Sierra Railroad with old standby, Sierra Railroad #3 lettered "Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba", used as the motive power.

There were some great shots of vintage railroad equipment and the use of the telegraph added to the historical accuracy. The hills and trees viewed during the chase scene were unmistakably from northern California however, not Minnesota where the episode supposedly took place.

http://littlehouse.wikia.com/wiki/Episode_216:_The_Runaway_Caboose
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:56 am

The History Channel's 2006 documentary, The Mexican Revolution, is presently available at Comcast On-Demand. There is quite an amount of apparently authentic railroad footage within as Pancho Villa made extensive use of the rails for the movement of his army. So for that matter, did the opposing "Constitutionalists" led by Venustiano Carranza.

All told, it seems as if not much is known about the Mexican Revolution beyond that Pancho Villa made an armed attack on US soil. This was likely because it was overshadowed by events of WWI.
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:56 pm

I caught one of my old-time favorite shows today on RTV, "Route 66", a show that I grew up with and always have enjoyed. The episode tonight from the third season, Episode #70 entitled "Welcome to the Wedding", showed what a powerhouse that this series can be. I think that it is the very best dramatic series to ever be on TV. In this episode, it involves Tod being held captive by a lifer being transported via the railroad from one prison to another. More than half of the one-hour show takes place inside a large Cleveland, Ohio railroad station of the 60's. (Were there more than one ?) The Station Master's Office is where the action takes place and there are numerous scenes inside. All locales on this show were always shot on location, so you can be assured that this was the real mccoy and not a studio. (During their run, they came to most major cities and many small towns.) As I would expect, this show is the only show or movie that I have ever seen that got the "psycopath/sociopath" down 100 %. He was played by Rod Steiger. Well worth viewing if you get the chance.
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Desertdweller » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:04 am

I remember an episode on "The Happy Days" from the mid-70's. The main characters were taking a trip from Milwaukee to Los Angeles by train. The train shown was pulled by a GG-1!

In the late 80's, I was working for the DM&E in South Dakota. One of my conductors was telling me about the TV movie she had a bit part in. It was called "The Orphan Train" and was filmed in the Black Hills. Soon after she told me about it, the movie was shown on very late night TV. I sat up most of the night watching it, hoping to see her, when I found her scene had been cut!

"Little House on the Prairie" had a special meaning for me. All of the Minnesota and South Dakota towns represented in the show are real towns on the DM&E. They were even represented accurately in relation to each other. The series was based on a series of true stories written by a girl who actually lived in Walnut Grove, MN. The producers of the show took some effort to be realistic. I suspect the TV series was filmed in California. The scenery looked a lot to me like that in "Lassie" and "The Dukes of Hazzard".

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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Aa3rt » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:55 am

Desertdweller wrote:In the late 80's, I was working for the DM&E in South Dakota. One of my conductors was telling me about the TV movie she had a bit part in. It was called "The Orphan Train" and was filmed in the Black Hills. Soon after she told me about it, the movie was shown on very late night TV. I sat up most of the night watching it, hoping to see her, when I found her scene had been cut!

Les


Les, You can find more on the movie here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079676/

A Google search on "The Orphan Train" yielded numerous links for the historical precedence that the movie was based on.
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Hell On Wheels

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:32 am

The upcoming series "Hell on Wheels" definitely has a railroad theme. It relates to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad; the term "Hell on Wheels" refers to the comunities that provided food and lodging (and "entertainment" as well) to the construction workers and as soon as construction had moved past their location, these communities were moved along with the construction crews. Since we all know that construction workers went to bed at Sundown and to church socials with the ladies drinking sarsaparilla, how could such a name be associated with them?

The series starts November 6 on AMC.
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Desertdweller » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:13 am

Gilbert,

I'm looking forward to this series. I live in Ogallala, NE on the UP main line. This was a pretty rowdy place back then. We have a Boot Hill Cemetery, where tracklayers killed by Indians are buried, and so are cowboys killed in shootouts with each other and the law on Front Street.

We were the railhead at the end of the Texas Trail, pre-dating Dodge City and other rowdy western places.

Now, we are pretty quiet here. We lost our passenger train (The City of Denver) with AMTRAK, and travelers blast right on by on I-80.

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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Aa3rt » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:16 am

I mentioned this show in my initial post when starting this thread a couple of years ago-the "Casey Jones" TV show that only ran for 1 season (1958-1959) starring Alan Hale (The Skipper from "Gilligan's Island") as Casey Jones. I barely remember this as I was a pre-schooler when it first aired but do have some vague memories that were rekindled when I stumbled across the opening on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGMnDOsGVQ
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed May 02, 2012 8:37 am

I'm sure I'm the only one here watching SMASH, but in this week's episode, the cast heads out of NYC to open on the road in Boston.

So we get to see the cast in Penn Station getting on Amtrak? Well, not quite. Some nice scenes in Grand Central (admittedly, much more picturesque) and getting on a Metro North train.

Now *maybe* they transferred to Amtrak in New Haven, but I doubt it.

And they also showed them driving on the Central Artery after (theoretically) getting off the train at South Station, but that wouldn't get them to the fictional places they were going, either.
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Railroad Inaccuracies - Mad Men

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri May 11, 2012 6:22 am

Various reviews of the TV series "Mad Men' have praised it for its accuracy depicting the 1960's in which it is set. Since the '60's are a "been there done that' with me (I was in college and Service through the decade), I can vouch for the production's accuracy and I commend Creator Michael Weiner and the production company, Lionsgate Entertainment, for such.

Except for when we get to railroads.

Now that Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie) have moved to Cos Cob, where the producers even got the origin of the name correct (I lived there 1946-51), the same railroad Coach has been used throughout the series first when Dick/Don's body is brought home to a rural location and Don/Dick/Don is recognized. Then that same Coach was used by Don (Jon Hamm) to travel to Ossining on the NYC and now by Pete on the New Haven to Cos Cob. Anyone care to inform the producers that there is a fully restored New Haven #4400 MU that was in service through that era at the Danbury Museum?

Now that Don has married Meghan (Jessica Pare') and "moved on up to the East Side" or 72nd & Park, NYC accuracy is a moot point.

Also, during the on-train scenes there is a very Amtrak sounding horn quite noticeable; that same horn is sounding as Pete rides to Cos Cob over the grade X-ing free New Haven Division.

Michael Weiner, or even some intern Production Assistant, are you reading????

Finally, it should be of interest to note that Vincent Kartheiser (the actor who portrays Pete) lives a very mass transit off screen lifestyle:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/fashi ... .html?_r=1
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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 11, 2012 11:11 am

If, by some chance, the producers of Mad Men or any other Hollywood types are looking for equipment portrayals, I'm sure the museums and scenic railways would lend themselves (for a contribution):

Danbury Railway Museum Thread where I just was back in April.

Naugatuck Thread where I hope to go next trip to NY.

Berkshire Thread where I also hope to go, and who are unfortunately in a dispute with their host railroad right now.

Valley Thread which also has a great rep.
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Re: Railroad Inaccuracies - Mad Men

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun May 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Anyone care to inform the producers that there is a fully restored New Haven #4400 MU that was in service through that era at the Danbury Museum?


Oh gosh, I wish that was indeed the case. Unfortunately, the two 4400's they have at DRM are basket cases. They came off the wire train. They are in rather sorry shape inside.

However, there are two NYC-era ACMU's at DRM which would be GREAT for the Ossining scenes! The first episode of Mad Men has Don getting off at "Ossining" amidst a bunch of cobbled together signage that seems to represent Metro-North with a circle-M logo. Shame, shame, shame. Oh, and if you ever see Don reading an NYC Hudson Division timetable, please let me know... I am curious to see if the production company ever used the sample they requested from me.

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Re: Railroads on Television

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed May 23, 2012 11:27 am

I'm told by a "friend" that on Glee last night, the character Rachel moved from Lima, Ohio to NYC.

They showed her getting dropped off (again, I'm told) at a very cute suburban type station, where a 1950's looking train that said OTA on it picked her up and then you saw her departing Grand Central Station in NYC.

Could one take a train from Lima, Ohio to NYC? Would it leave you at Grand Central? I need to report back to my "friend"
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