Festival Express

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NRGeep
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Festival Express

Post by NRGeep » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:42 pm

New rock & roll movie out with lots of vintage 1970 CN footage. Besides the great jams of Janis Joplin, The Band etc there is great film of CN F-?'s pulling the festival train and beautiful trackside countryside. Any "oldtimers" recall this 'special' train? http://www.festivalexpress.com/
and for the trailer: http://www.apple.com/trailers/independe ... press.html

Montreal Ltd

Post by Montreal Ltd » Sun Oct 31, 2004 1:51 am

I've been meaning to see this film but haven't so far. I remember it was heavily advertised on the radio in Montreal, and then the show there was cancelled. So finally I get a chance to see what I missed 34 years ago (seeing both the show and the train!)

Ron Newman
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Post by Ron Newman » Sun May 14, 2006 7:35 am

I just finished watching the DVD of this, which has a lot of extra footage, inteviews, and other special features. Someone mentions that the tour was originally supposed to cover five cities, but then Montreal and Vancouver were dropped. So the tour consisted of Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary.

harryguy082589

Post by harryguy082589 » Sat May 19, 2007 5:51 pm

What happend to the train itself?

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Ken V
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Post by Ken V » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:13 pm

on Oct 1, 2007 at 3:36 p.m. EDT rrsupplier wrote:
  • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I saw the movie Festival Express last night on the tube. The Greatful Dead, Janice Joplin and others were on a CN passenger train the summer of 1970 crossing Canada from concert to concert. When I caught up to the movie they were at a concert in Winnipeg and the next was in Calgary. The train ran out of liquor and they restocked the bar car in Saskatoon.

    I may have missed this in an earlier thread, but does anyone have additional information on the train and the concerts?

    Everyone back then was skinny but the CN train looked great.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moderator's note: copied from another thread (KV)

4266
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Re: Festival Express

Post by 4266 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:47 pm

I've seen this movie so many times and I was so busy watching the likes of Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, the Band, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Buddy Guy and friends that I never really paid any attention to the great supporting roles played by the likes of CN FP9As #6503 and #6525!! There's also some footage of SD40#5070 pulling either the Festival Train or a scheduled passenger run at night. It definitely appears that they used at least two locomotives (#6503 and #6525) from the footage between the concerts. There's some great footage at the very end of a CN worker closing the doors on a roundhouse with what looks like the back of an F-Unit next to it (I couldn't read the number). There are also plenty of Alco switchers scattered throughout the train scenes. A lot of people didnt like the split-screen effect but I loved it because it let me check out the trains and the performances at the same time! How could you go wrong with a scene that has Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Rick Danko, Marmaduke Dawson, Bob Weir, a couple of baffled CN conductors and a classic FP9A all on screen at the same time!!!

Does anybody know what ever happened to #6503 and #6525? So many of the great talents from that movie are gone now, I'd hate to think that the FP9As met the same fate! Its really sad that out of everybody from that scene I just described, only Bob Weir is still alive!!! (unless one of the CN conductors makes themselves known on this forum)
I did just see former CN #6505 (now Pan Am Railways PAR 2 after a stint with the Conway Scenic Railroad) and she told me that #6503 had a pretty nasty drug habit back in the 1970s but hopefully she pulled herself together... Tasteless, I know...

4266
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Re: Festival Express

Post by 4266 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:14 pm

OK. After an obsessive search, I was able to trace CN #6525 to the Pioneer Railcorp as #1754! Like many of her Festival Express costars its been "a long strange trip" for her as well. Along with many of her sisters she was acquired by VIA in 1978 and became the #1754 when sold to the Algoma Central in 1995 before finally ending up with Pioneer Railcorp in 2003. It still may take some digging to find her exact location since Pioneer leases equipment and she could be anywhere.

Unfortunately, her co-star CN#6503 appears to have taken the lyrics to the Grateful Dead's "Casey Jones" a little too literally and wrecked in a head on collision with SD40 5151 and 5080 on 28 September 1974 while leading 6609 and 6600 near McMurphy BC (mile 34.5 of the Clearwater Subdivision)... I guess I shouldn't have made that joke about #6505!

So of all the major characters in the movie the survivors are Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Buddy Guy, #1754 and a few back-up musicians... and it really wasn't THAT long ago when you think about it!

Anyway... If anybody has any information on the whereabouts of #1754 please speak up!

4266
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Re: Festival Express

Post by 4266 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 pm

okay I finally found her! A friendly Midwestern rail fan from the Peoria thread posted this sighting of the #1754 (CN 6525) in front of the Keokuk Junction Railway engine house in LaHarpe, Illinois

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2150944

now if we can only find a rich ex-hippy from Silicon Valley or Marin County, maybe we can make a case for preserving an important part of Rock n Roll history!
Or the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, or the Seattle Experience Music Project or the Smithsonian?

tarab2
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Re: Festival Express

Post by tarab2 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:36 pm

I know this thread is somewhat older so I hope you all don't mind my bringing it back into action again.

I have never seen this movie (nor had I ever even heard of it, that I recall) until I seen it mentioned here. However, I am considering giving it a watch but, as odd as this may sound, I am a little uncomfortable/hesitant in doing so.
I never really paid any attention to the great supporting roles played by the likes of CN FP9As #6503 and #6525!!
It definitely appears that they used at least two locomotives (#6503 and #6525) from the footage between the concerts. There's some great footage at the very end of a CN worker closing the doors on a roundhouse with what looks like the back of an F-Unit next to it (I couldn't read the number).
Is this to say that CN #6503 actually appears in the movie and that a CN worker (an actual CN worker, not an actor) does, too?

Sorry if my questions sound weird, but there is a [personal] reason I ask of them.

My reasoning;
Unfortunately, her co-star CN#6503 appears to have taken the lyrics to the Grateful Dead's "Casey Jones" a little too literally and wrecked in a head on collision with SD40 5151 and 5080 on 28 September 1974 while leading 6609 and 6600 near McMurphy BC (mile 34.5 of the Clearwater Subdivision)...I guess I shouldn't have made that joke about #6505!
Of the two engineers (CN#6503) killed in this particular wreck...one just happens to be my Father!

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Ken V
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Re: Festival Express

Post by Ken V » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:11 pm

tarab2 wrote:Is this to say that CN #6503 actually appears in the movie and that a CN worker (an actual CN worker, not an actor) does, too?
Festival Express is a documentary film so, yes, not actors.
Ken V. Moderator: Most things Canadian.
Any time could be train time!

reddcapp
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Festivial Express, Rock Tour by train in 1970? anyone remebe

Post by reddcapp » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:26 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_Express this? and if you did how stoned were you?

FatNoah
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Re: Festivial Express, Rock Tour by train in 1970? anyone re

Post by FatNoah » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:46 pm

The movie is worth watching for a glimpse of a time when big musicians loved their art....plus it has trains. Unfortunately there is no Amtrak in this.

domefoamer
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Re: Festivial Express, Rock Tour by train in 1970? anyone re

Post by domefoamer » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:51 pm

No, it's a Canadian train chartered by rock bands on a national tour. Included are Janis Joplin, the New Riders of The Purple Sage and The Band. It's a revealing backstage look at candid, slack moments -- sometimes very slack-- among the musicians. All drug use is edited out, but the effects are clear. It was filmed on 16mm, so the visual quality is poor, but the general concept of hiring a train to haul a rock tour has its appeal. This little lost film shows that someone actually did just that.

mtuandrew
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Re: Festivial Express, Rock Tour by train in 1970? anyone re

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:47 am

See this thread in the CN/IC/GTW/WC forum: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... =50&t=6855

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Re: Festival Express

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:00 am

Merged into previous thread linked above (thanks!) and cross-posted to Railroad Film forum.
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