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Trains Operating Agencies In Movies TV Shows And Entertainment

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Trains Operating Agencies In Movies TV Shows And Entertainment
Posted by alloboard on Monday, November 18, 2013 10:58 PM

     NJ transit made an appearance in the movie Raising Helen (2004). Amtrak was shown in Major Payne (1995) These movies are the two that i can think of for now. Does anyone have names of other movies that they would like to mention?

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Posted by cacole on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 4:31 PM

In the movie, "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, and Danny Kaye, they are supposedly entertainers traveling from a location in Florida enroute to Vermont.

In Florida they board a Santa Fe train and in Vermont they disembark from the Southern Pacific.  Neither railroad ever got any closer to Florida or Vermont than New Orleans and Chicago.

Many movies just had stock footage that was used whether it was the correct railroad or not.  The producers obviously knew nothing about railroads, and realized that the viewing public didn't, either.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:04 PM

I remember, oh about 20 or so years ago, the TV revival of "Dark Shadows"  opening with Amtracks Coast Daylight zipping along the coast of Maine.  I thought the Daylight was a California ride.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:11 PM

The Coast Daylight apparently threw a very long shadow.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:37 PM

A farce that I think was entitled "Chattanooga Choo Choo," or something like that, had similar identity problems.  One shot supposedly showed Penn Station by hanging a sign next to the tracks somewhere...

Gene Wilder's "Silver Streak" at least disguised the Canadian equipment a little bit, as the action was supposedly occuring in the US.  Railfans will almost instantly recognize the ruse.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6:46 PM

It's not just railroads. I've seen movies where people depart an airport in a Boeing 707 and after a non-stop flight land in an old, prop driven, DC-6. Some film makers either don't have a clue or think their patrons are stupid.

Norm

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6:50 PM

There was a "Gunsmoke" multi-part episode, oh, about 40 or so years ago that took place on a train.  The equipment was recognizable as the Sierra Rairoad's, but for some reason 'ol Number 3 had "Burlington Northern" painted on the tender. 

Burlington Northern?  In Kansas?  In the 1880's?  Interesting to say the least.

Maybe they were a sponsor?

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Posted by Ishmael on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:02 PM

Some years ago, there was a movie called "The Sting." Overall it was a very good movie, but in one scene, two of the characters are playing cards in a club car on the Twentieth Century Limited, enroute from New York to Chicago. As often happens in the movies, an outside shot showed the train rushing through the night, and on the side of the locomotive tender were the words "Louisville and Nashville." Some detour.

In Coal Miner's daughter, Loretta Lynn was catching a train in Kentucky. Steaming up the track came a Canadian Pacific locomotive. Another detour.

Movie people use whatever is available. 

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:56 PM

Norm48327
It's not just railroads.

I had the opportunity to hear Randolph Mantooth (Johnny) of the show "Emergency" speak a few years ago.  Among the things he told us about the show was the reason that Roy always drove - seems he drove the day they were doing "stock shots," so after that he always had to drive to maintain continuity.

The sounds of the sirens were, of course, dubbed in during post-production.  Occasionally the wrong siren would get used (the squad had an electronic siren, the engine had a "wind-up" (motor driven) siren.

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Posted by SALfan on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:19 PM
On an episode of the "Andy Griffeth Show", Andy and crew get on a train in Mayberry, NC. Only problem is, it's a Southern Pacific train. Heck of a detour.
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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 9:27 PM

Borrowed equipment because of an equipment shortage?

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 9:35 PM

At least on Silver Streak - they kept one train set through out the movie.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 2:50 PM

Firelock76

There was a "Gunsmoke" multi-part episode, oh, about 40 or so years ago that took place on a train.  The equipment was recognizable as the Sierra Rairoad's, but for some reason 'ol Number 3 had "Burlington Northern" painted on the tender. 

Burlington Northern?  In Kansas?  In the 1880's?  Interesting to say the least.

Maybe they were a sponsor?

The two episode "Snow Train" was made in South Dakota on the 1880 Train/Black Hills Central.  At the time, the tracks the tourist line used was still part of an active BN branch line.

Jeff

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:49 PM

I remember "Snow Train".  Good episode!

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Posted by BroadwayPhil on Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:27 AM

Both "The Trouble With Angels" and "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" (Rosalind Russell, mid-60s) have train scenes, both shot along the Santa Fe, presumably near Los Angeles.  In the second one, the school bus is stuck at a crossing and nearly hit by a streamliner.  Despite the fact that this scene is set in Pennsylvania, there is no attempt to disguise the warbonnet scheme or the "Santa Fe" on the letterboards.  Ditto the train station in the first movie, which is obviously AT&SF, as is the train, though the school is in New York or Pennsylvania.

Much better is the opening scene from "Pal Joey" (Frank Sinatra, 1950?), in which the opening scene is shot on the Southern Pacific, and yields a beautiful view of a GS-class 4-8-4 as Joey gets off the train in Oakland (apparently that is the real Oakland station, just as that is a real SP engine and train).

In the obscure TV series Karen (1964-65) in one episode Karen (Debbie Watson) and a friend (played by Bonnie Franklin) take a train to a ski trip in Idaho.  There is a scene in a club car which does look like the inside of a round-end observation.  The scenes with the conductor are played for laughs (the tickets were changed and Karen's friend is trying to pass her off as 12 years old to get a reduced fare), but it's accurate enough to forgive using the same stock footage of a moving train three times.  This can be found on YouTube.

Also in the early 1960s was a one-season television show, Iron Horse (Cliff Robertson and Gary Collins) about a new railroad somewhere in the West.  Petticoat Junction occasionally did a story about the train that served Hooterville, which was periodically in danger of being cancelled; once the entire railroad was scheduled to be closed down, if I remember aright.  The opening credits of That Girl (Marlo Thomas) show train tracks as might be viewed from the front window of a moving M.U. car.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:56 AM

How about all those 'spaghetti westerns,' filmed in Spain with wide-gauge trains unlike anything ever seen off the Iberian Peninsula?  (4-wheel wagons in the American West?)

Never mind that the extras (or the wardrobe weenies) didn't have a clue about how to shape a Stetson...

Chuck

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:30 AM

Larry, about "Chattanooga Choo Choo." I am sure you (and everybody else who has been in Penn Station) noticed that the train was out in the open, and not underground.

Another thing that got me was showing the train as it crossed into Tennessee--out in the country. Of course, had it gone through Asheville, it would have crossed thus. Had it gone the shorter way, it would have crossed in downtown Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee (a spot quite familiar to me).

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Posted by carnej1 on Thursday, November 21, 2013 11:12 AM

tree68

Norm48327
It's not just railroads.

I had the opportunity to hear Randolph Mantooth (Johnny) of the show "Emergency" speak a few years ago.  Among the things he told us about the show was the reason that Roy always drove - seems he drove the day they were doing "stock shots," so after that he always had to drive to maintain continuity.

The sounds of the sirens were, of course, dubbed in during post-production.  Occasionally the wrong siren would get used (the squad had an electronic siren, the engine had a "wind-up" (motor driven) siren.

My personal favorite "Emergency!" continuity gaffe was a sequence where there was a fire (or rescue, I don't recall which) in a rail yard and the audio featured the clearly audible sounds of a Steam locomotive (the show was filmed in the early to mid 1970's and had a comtemporary setting)...

 Although I didn't catch this faux pas watching the show first run (when I was under 10 years old) It did strike me when I saw it in re-runs in the 1990's.

 At first I assumed that the production and sound effects staff where just not paying attention but now I choose to believe that the technician in charge of dubbing effects into the soundtrack was a railfan and chose to put his own homage to steam in the episode, a more romatic explanation...

"I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:54 PM

I remember that series "Iron Horse"  with Dale Robertson.  Didn't like it, too much "cowboy and indian" stuff and WAY too little railroad action.  Must have been low-budget.

I even remember (barely) the "Tales of Wells Fargo" series.  I've still got the train from the Marx playset.  Still runs too!

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Posted by friend611 on Thursday, November 21, 2013 5:59 PM
A few items of interest:
1. In the book "Steam's Camelot" there is mention of N&W 611 being used for a Lee Jeans of England commercial. There is also mention of Southern 4501 doing a jeans commercial, as well as 4501's several movie and TV appearances, beginning with "Fools' Parade". Also noted was Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson 2839 having to subsitute for 4501 in "Coal Miner's Daughter."
2. 4501 also appeared in "October Sky" with a cameo appearance by O. Winston Link. 611 of course starred in the NS film "Going Home" with both her and 1218 appearing in the NS film "Steam People" which mostly focused on 1218. I have read that 611 made another film appearance, but that is yet to be confirmed.
3. As a final note, the whistle on a steam engine used in a episode of "F Troop" sounds a lot like a N&W hooter.
lois
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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, November 21, 2013 8:54 PM

friend611
As a final note, the whistle on a steam engine used in a episode of "F Troop" sounds a lot like a N&W hooter.

Can't forget that the locomotive sounds in the movie "Polar Express" were recorded from Pere Marquette 1225.  Per a magazine article (Trains, I think), even the process of changing the bulb in the headlight is based on reality - SRI videoed a bulb being changed after the recording crew had left.  How it was pulled off in the movie - by the engine crew while in motion -  was hardly accurate, but the changing of the bulb it self is correct.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, November 22, 2013 4:55 PM

A unique ad, from 1962 (per http://www.vintageadsandstuff.com/adsmaidenform.html ):

http://www.vintageadsandstuff.com/viewmaidenform9.jpeg 

The New York Central's 3rd-rail electrified suburban trains and I believe the wye at Spuyten Duyvil were background to the 1967 TV-movie "The Borgia Stick", starring Inger Stevens and Don Murray, among others:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061419/ 

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Borgia_Stick : "Shot in New York City, the film was one of the highest-rated events of the 1966–1967 season.[1] The film was the first-ever "made-for-TV" movie.[2]"  The surprise twist ending occurs along the tracks . . . Mischief

- Paul North. 

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Posted by CJtrainguy on Saturday, November 23, 2013 7:49 AM

BroadwayPhil

The opening credits of That Girl (Marlo Thomas) show train tracks as might be viewed from the front window of a moving M.U. car.

That Girl's opening footage was shot from the back of a train on the tracks that parallel I-95 at the present location of Secaucus Junction, NJ. If the train was actually going forward, it would be on the wrong track, but more problematic is that if you look closely, all the vehicles on the nearby I-95 are all backing up very quickly. They simply ran the film backwards to get the illusion of going forward on the track. 

Now this is the opening for That Girl, who moved from Brewster, NY, to Manhattan. I am still trying to figure out why that would involve a train in New Jersey moving away from Manhattan. The purist would have wanted to see footage of going down the tracks of MTA's Harlem line, towards the Big Apple.

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Posted by ACY on Saturday, November 23, 2013 10:37 AM

Baltimore & Ohio's 4-4-0 no. 25 "William Mason" was used in The Great Locomotive Chase and Raintree County, among other films.  I'm pretty sure that's also the engine they used in Gods and Generals.  In Gods and Generals, she was supposed to represent an RF&P loco; but in the film, her tender lettering is V&T.  Considering the fact that the V&T was in Nevada and hadn't been built in 1863, that's not very plausible.  Yes, there was also a Virginia & Tennessee, but it was a couple hundred miles away and (I think) used a different gauge, so it's not likely that the RF&P had borrowed the engine.  Incidentally, the fake stock cars in the film also carried V&T lettering.  Wouldn't it have been easier to just slap some impermanent paint on the tender and add four characters: R F & P?

Of course, that's not the worst problem with that film.

Tom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, November 23, 2013 11:56 AM

Yeah, I was wondering about that "V&T" marking on the locomotive in "Gods and Generals"  myself.  You're right, not the worst problem with that film.  Too short for a mini-series, WAY too long for a feature film, too much redundancy, (OK we know Stonewall's a devout Christian, you don't have to tell us over and over and over) , too much talk, not enough action, I could go on and on.  It was all downhill from that wonderful opening with Mary Pfahl singing "Going Home"  and those beautiful flags.

Still, it had its moments.  Someone should have gotten more agressive with the editing.

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Posted by ACY on Saturday, November 23, 2013 2:03 PM

You're being kind.  The editor (who was the same guy who did a pretty good job with the companion film, Gettysburg)  should have used a meat cleaver.  I think somebody else got involved and gave him bad advice.  Interesting that the closed captioning for the hearing impaired was very good on G&G, but it was laughably HORRIBLE on Gettysburg.  But I digress.

Tom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, November 23, 2013 3:53 PM

ACY, I agree with you on "Gettysburg", I enjoyed that one tremendously.  Well, I thought Martin Sheen was miscast as General Lee, but he was OK when you got used to him.  I just didn't think he was awesome enough in bearing to pull off the Lee character.  I didn't think his forced southern accent was all that good either.  I live in Virginia and know what Virginians should sound like, although it's debateable what they sounded like in the 1860's. 

Now, Charlton Heston, who was still alive and in good health at the time, HE would have made an awesome Lee!

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Posted by ACY on Saturday, November 23, 2013 6:08 PM

Not so sure about Heston.  Robert Duvall just about nailed it in G&G.  Too bad that movie had too many other flaws.  Agree Sheen (a fine actor in the right role, by the way) wasn't the best choice.  The accent was wrong, as  you say, but I also had a hard time looking at him and believing he was Lee.  Maybe he needed to stand on a box when he berated Jeb Stuart.  And maybe he should have sat on a telephone book when he was in the saddle.  Lower camera angles (looking up at him) would have helped.  Too bad G&G's poor showing at the box office ensured that the third film would not be made. 

Back to other films:  A film made in France, The Red Shoes (late '40's or early '50's), featured quite a few American-built SNCF 141-R Mikados in context, plus the charms of Norma Shearer.  Hard to beat that.

Tom 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, November 23, 2013 7:16 PM

Hi ACL (Tom)!

Oh yes, "The Red Shoes."  Fine, fine movie.  Oh, that was MOIRA Shearer, not Norma Shearer.  Norma was retired from films by that time, and actually Moira wasn't to far away from retiring from dance herself, which led to the rise of Margot Fonteyn, a great ballerina herself.

The BEST movie involving French railroads is obviously "The Train"  with Burt Lancaster.  Super film with a very powerful ending.  "Was all this worth the cost?"

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, November 23, 2013 7:21 PM

Firelock76
The BEST movie involving French railroads is obviously "The Train"  with Burt Lancaster.  Super film with a very powerful ending.  "Was all this worth the cost?"

The realism and effort put into that movie makes it one of my favorite movies of all time. Considering the technology, they did a fabulous job. And a great view of European railroads under steam. A somber film, spectacularly done.

Edit: Looking around Railpics, I found these. Pretty powerful.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=285148&nseq=0

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=352626&nseq=2

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=285149&nseq=1 

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