Railroads in the movies

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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Gilbert B Norman
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Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:44 pm

The 1964 sleazo, "TheCarpetbaggers" recently aired on Turner Classic Movies.

One saving grace from this 150 minutes of "wasteland', was an ATSF steam locomotive and heavyweight passenger cars arriving at the "honest to goodness" Pasadena, CA station.

Identify where the train clip is in the "film' (if you care to call such that) and forget the rest!


Post by CoastStarlight99 » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:58 pm

My favorite railroad movie is Disaster on the Coastliner (obviously the Coast Starlight) Also, atomic train and "Workin' on the Coast Starlight" by Pentrex.

My favorite movie with a brief train scene is THE ITALIAN JOB they show (inside and out) Pacific Parlour Car 39974, and this is the same car number that was on my last trip and trip before on the Coast Starlight. I hope I will be in this same car again soon..

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Post by emd_SD_60 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:52 pm

Dennis the Menace ('93)- an EJE SD38-2 (#661) makes an appearance in the film twice, when Switcblade Sam first shows up, a POV shot of him in a boxcar looks down to the lead loco, and at the end during the scene under the railroad viaduct. That scene gives a really good view of the whole front of the locomotive. Also another EJE train appears, during the opening credits, two SD38's are pulling a train over the same viaduct seen towards the end. This movie sure gives a good look at a Chicago regional at work.

BTW which part of the EJE ROW was this filmed on?
Check out my [url=http://emd_sd_60.rrpicturearchives.net]train pix[/url]!

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neat thread, my .02

Post by atlpete » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:25 pm

A most informative and entertaining string, the only contributions I have are where the rail scenes are incidental, involve chases and occur on public transit. (there's a bunch but here's my faves based on plausibility)
William Freidkin's "The French Connection" - Gene Hackman demolishes a commandeered Pontiac chasing an elevated train (MTA in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx?) to catch a fleeing killer who'se hijacked the train at gunpoint. A+, brilliant filmaking, heart poundingly tense.
Dirty Harry- The delivery of a ransom involving a trip on a San Franciso PCC through the subway and then surface. Fascinating, atmospheric and detailed, and again no implausibilities, just "there" Awesome.
Most train sequeneces are typically mangled examples Leaving for Florida from GCT, de-railments exploding like a direct hit from an 88mm, totally fake rail dialog-ad nauseum. Even my wife can spot fakey train stuff in a film, and she couldn't tell you why it's implausible, just that it is.
Lastly, the greatest Train film imo bar none, I go with Tony T. for Burt Lancaster in The Train.


Post by rhallock » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:58 pm

I think my favorite railroad movie is "Whispering Smith" about a railroad detective in the old west. What I especially liked was that it wasn't overdone. In most of these movies, it's like "Oh! Look everyone! Here's the train that we spent a bundle on to make this scene!" Instead in Whispering Smith, you get a feel for what it might have been like to live in a time when the railroad dominated life for many, but was taken for granted. Cars being coupled and banged around in the background for example. It really worked for me. Another which worked for me was Dr. Zhivago. The trains were obvious but seemed completely in the right place at the right time.


Post by rhallock » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:29 am

Follow-up notes from a movie review of Dr. Zhivago: "The city railroad scenes were filmed in Spain, where most of the railroad track is broad gauge (the rails are 5'6" apart). The countryside railroad scenes were largely shot in Canada, where the rails are "standard gauge": 4'8 1/2" apart. You can see the rails jump between far apart and closer together more than once as the movie progresses." "The film was shot in Spain during the regime of Gen. Francisco Franco. While the scene with the crowd chanting the Marxist theme was being filmed (at 3:00 in the morning), police showed up at the set thinking that a real revolution was taking place and insisted on staying until the scene was finished. Apparently, people who lived near where filming was taking place had awoken to the sound of revolutionary singing and had mistakenly believed that Franco had been overthrown."


Post by U-Haul » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:06 am

What about Atomic Train, Weird Science, The Swarm, (new) War of the Worlds, and Breakfast At Tiffany's.

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Post by Aa3rt » Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:03 pm

Due to the length of this thread it has been closed. Please feel free to continue any further railroad/movie discussion in "Railroads In The Movies, Part II". Thanks to all who have participated thus far.
Art Audley, AA3RT
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