"Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by umtrr-author » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:52 am

I was on the road for work and had cable at the hotel, so I was able to watch a little bit of the episode with the UP 844.

I guess I'll just say that it's clearly aimed at a general audience and likes to lean toward the sensational--

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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by Stephen B. Carey » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:33 pm

Overall I like the show, but I have to agree that the host does make some mundane things seem far too extraordinary. A one track mainline is not really that "extreme" considering meets are made hundreds of times a day. Being a railroader himself I wonder if the host ever realizes how over the top he is acting.

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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by umtrr-author » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:56 am

I'm wondering whether there is specific direction to the host to be that "Extreme" (if you'll pardon the expression). The History Channel... oops, I mean "History"... has seemed to take a hard turn into the sensational since I used to watch it (I pulled the plug on cable in 2005).

I would like to have enjoyed the show more than I did; now I'm not sure I'll ever watch that free episode I downloaded from iTunes. Well, I guess any publicity is better than no publicity.
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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by Mountcastle » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:45 pm

Personally, I'm always grateful when the 'Hitler Channel' broadcasts shows that aren't about, well, Hitler, for a change.

As an 'extreme' (sorry) history enthusiast, I was expecting alot more from the History Channel when the channel was first launched but it wound up becoming a whole lot of WWII-themed shows and a bunch of other junk that had often had little to do with history (e.g: Modern Marvels).

And while Extreme Trains will likely cause history buffs who aren't also railroad buffs to, again, scratch their heads and say, 'what on earth does this show have to do with history?' (it's far more technologically and operationally-oriented than it is historically-oriented), still, it's a nice relief from the umpteen bajillion shows about Hitler's secret bunker.

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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by JLJ061 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:52 pm

Overall I enjoy the show myself. I do admit the host's storytelling is some of the corniest I have ever heard, but I do happen to learn something new in every episode. :-)
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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by nessman » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:48 am

They should have a disclaimer at the beginning of each show that warns rivet counters and foamers that what they're about to see may not be 100% accurate.

It's general entertainment - not a subsitute for on-the-job training. There's only so much they can cram into 40 minutes.

I found the show OK... it does wander a bit off the main point (i.e., the silver mines during the UP 844 episode). But the host keeps it entertaining and injects energy into it and gives the job an element of excitement. However, he does need to break things down into layman's terms so the non-railfans out there can grasp the concept and enjoy it.

I once ran a locomotive at a museum in Florida, had my share of cab rides and excursions. Once the initial excitement wears off - railroading can be a mundane job. I'm sure the guys on the BNSF, UP and even BCRail have some incredible scenery to operate on which probably never gets old or boring, but otherwise...

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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by ewh » Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:25 pm

All in all, I would rather watch Matt with his arms flying than most of what passes for entertainment in prime time. Maybe he could end the season on POED; might have to be a two-parter to show all the action. :wink: I thought the episode on "The Empire Builder" to be first rate.

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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by ProRail » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:15 pm

"Maybe he could end the season on POED; might have to be a two-parter to show all the action."

Actually its a weekly series....to show POED, BAED, WAED or whatever they decide to call it these days travelling between Maine and East Deerfield, would require an Epic 8 part miniseries like "Winds of War" or "The Blue and the Gray" ;-)
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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by hrfcarl » Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:31 am

Last nights show, 12/23/2008 "Circus Train", was not that bad, thanks mostly to a toned down host - maybe do more shows with night moves when host is tired. Found it interesting that the stock (animal) cars were in front (up wind) of the passenger cars - thought it would be the opposite. :wink:

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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by Don_ » Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:22 am

Jtgshu wrote:
GSC wrote:I was visiting with some family today and a very distant relative, who was a trucker (since retired) said "I saw a TV show last night on trains on the History Channel and it was really interesting - it showed "the bullet train into NY" and it looked like some of your trains too (NJ Transit). It was a really cool show, did you catch it?" Of course I did I said - hhahaha

But we have to realize here that most of the country has NO idea about the current railroad industry, nor do they really care, which is a shame. This is just one example of a "normal" person catching the show and being drawn into it, and learning a little bit about the industry. Id be curious if the Acela and Amtrak start to get a few more riders as a direct result of the show.
This is one great show and could be one great venue to expose more Americans to railroading in general, and perhaps as the poster said help increase rail travel and visits to tourist trains and museums.

I heard Bown in a recent ep. talk about "how green" trains are, when talking about the Acela's resending electricity into the overead wires through braking.

The RRs up until recently have kept a low profile. Yeah, people see their trains at the crossings but the RR co's have seemed to want to operate in their own little world and of course only wanting to deal with the public as little as possible.

This reticence is seen by the utter disdain many in railroading have had toward railfans. Many chase fans away and call them "foamers." Some of that of course may be deserved, but to ostracize anyone liking trains, and actively campaign against them working on their RR? That sounds nutty.

Thankfully, some of this hiding out is starting to change as some railroads actively advertise on mass media - CSX and UP - and show the benefits that rail offers to the public.

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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by guilford88panam » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:36 am

ProRail wrote:"Maybe he could end the season on POED; might have to be a two-parter to show all the action."

Actually its a weekly series....to show POED, BAED, WAED or whatever they decide to call it these days travelling between Maine and East Deerfield, would require an Epic 8 part miniseries like "Winds of War" or "The Blue and the Gray" ;-)

yeah talk about it enough BNSFand UP and NS and stuff!

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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by atsf sp » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:00 pm

PAR is referred to a railroad in Maine. Couldn't he just say Pan Am or the better name Guilford?
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Re: "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

Post by atsf sp » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:25 pm

hrfcarl wrote:Last nights show, 12/23/2008 "Circus Train", was not that bad, thanks mostly to a toned down host - maybe do more shows with night moves when host is tired. Found it interesting that the stock (animal) cars were in front (up wind) of the passenger cars - thought it would be the opposite. :wink:
It was good except for some parts. Coming into Washington DC on CSX tracks pulled by a GP and a ES44AH does not mean you show UP in what i believe was Portland. I also don't like the speeding up of the trains. To much high speed films. But it was very informative for the Barnum and Bailey Circus train especially to me becuase I make a pilgrimage to see it every year when it comes to Boston.
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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by MEC407 » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:27 pm

If he said Pan Am, everybody at home would be thinking "umm... this guy works for a defunct airline?" and if he said Guilford, they'd have no idea what he was talking about.
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Re: "Extreme Trains" featuring PAR conductor Matt Bown

Post by DogBert » Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:10 am

I gotta say the only thing i don't like about this show is the name. I guess they needed to throw 'extreme' in there for marketing reasons.

I think Matt does a good job in this show. He might be animated but he does a pretty good job explaining what's happening.

For a 'reality show' I'd say it's extremely well done. There's a large focus on facts and what is happening & why - unlike some of the other shows where they've tried to focus on personal dramas between co-workers and that sort of rubbish. I'll put it this way, even my gf will watch the this show, and she hates 'reality tv'. It's the facts they present and explaining everything that's going on that keep our attention. I'm glad they didn't focus on some other inter-personal type nonsense with this show, as I'd never bother to watch it and certainly wouldn't even bother to post about it.

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