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Trains in old movies but not necessarily train movies

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Posted by M636C on Monday, January 17, 2022 5:33 PM

blue streak 1

PBS has a remake of "around the world in 80 days".  2nd episode has fogg taking an Italian loco over a  damaged bridge on rails hanging loose for about 30 feet. No cross ties for that length.  Cannot believe rail would not have spread when loco went over it.

 

I think we have discussed North West Frontier in the thread previously. This was set in what is now Pakistan in the early years of the 20th Century. The filming was carried out in Spain using broad gauge trains representing metre gauge trains in then India, although a few train shots were taken in India or Pakistan.

There was a similar scene to that described above on a very tall girder bridge. The plot was that terrorists had tried to blow up the bridge but had only succeeded in damaging the deck for about twenty feet with the rails continuing across the gap.

When the small 0-6-0 tank locomotive tried to cross, the rail on one side deflected downward causing the locomotive to lean dangerously but it made it across the gap.

It appears that this scene was filmed in a studio with a full size mock up of the locomotive with operating wheels, which slipped as the rail subsided.

A well done piece of movie but hardly following the laws of physics.

To my amazement, the whole film is available free on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6KL5s-79w4

The scene starts at about 1.09.00

Peter

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 11:14 PM

I just watched "Cat Ballou" and I haven't seen it since I saw it at the drive-in when I was ten. A very entertaining Western satire. Dwane Hickman is mentioned in another thread and he has a major role in this one. Quite a few railroad scenes and Lee Marvin without a doubt, deserved his Oscar. His scene where he describes killing his brother is remarkable. 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, January 23, 2022 6:09 PM

There is very little of interest on TV at this time of the year. I have found that many old movies are available on Youtube, and decided to watch Alfred Hitchcock's 1930s The 39 Steps based on the novel by John Buchan.The hero gets mixed up in the activities of a spy ring and goes to Scotland to try to solve the mystery.

He travels north by the "Flying Scotsman" and there are very good departure shots of the train leaving Kings Cross and later in Edinburgh, along with scenes in the train itself. The train continues north and the hero avoids police by stopping the train on the Forth Bridge and climbing down the bridge structure.

The train departing King's Cross had a Gresley Pacific, possibly 2596 Manna complete with Flying Scotsman headboard. A poster with the wording "to Scotland" is seen near the train. Another unidentified Gresley Pacific is seen restarting the train on the Forth Bridge.

The rail scenes are about 1/3 of the way into the movie.

A remake of the movie in the 1950s in colour duplicated many of the scenes from Hitchcock's version, but the train was hauled by streamlined A4 60027 Merlin from Edinburgh, although 60013 Dominion of New Zealand appears in another shot. Again, the words "to Scotland" appear in a view of King Cross station just before the train departs.

The plot is virtually the same in both versions, with quite a lot of humour as seen in many Hitchcock movies, along with the expected suspense.

Peter

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, January 23, 2022 9:40 PM

I've seen the original Hitchcock movie many times and have read the book. There are other books by John Buchan involving the character Richard Hannay but I've never been able to find them. John Buchan was later Lord Tweedsmuir and was the governor general of Canada in the late 1930s.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, January 24, 2022 5:33 AM

54light15

I've seen the original Hitchcock movie many times and have read the book. There are other books by John Buchan involving the character Richard Hannay but I've never been able to find them. John Buchan was later Lord Tweedsmuir and was the governor general of Canada in the late 1930s.

 

I have a book called The best of John Buchan, published by Allen and Unwin in Australia in 2010. ISBN 978 174237 310 2. It contains three Hannay novels, The 39 Steps, Greenmantle and Mr Steadfast. The book Introduction indicates that there are two other Hannay novels, The Three Hostages and The Island of Sheep.

Greenmantle was published in 1917, Mr Steadfast soon after, and the other two in 1924 and 1936.

I hope that helps you find the other books...

To return to North West Frontier, a small scale model of the locomotive was used in the bridge scene, in conjunction with a full scale model of the locomotive cab with careful cutting between the two.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 24, 2022 10:44 AM

M636C
There is very little of interest on TV at this time of the year.

Man, there's very little of interest ANY time of year anymore!  

I've spent more time on YouTube, quality time I might add, lately than I have infront of the other tube.  

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Posted by Sunnyland on Monday, January 24, 2022 3:13 PM

I have been watching that PBS "around the world in 80 days" blue  streak and it  was nice to see a train in a movie for a change.  I doubt that would have worked to get the engine across the gap in rails on bridge.  Just like a friend who saw Unstoppable train  going around that hard turn on bridge and not tumbling off. He took physics in college so he knows about forces.  I did not care, just a great flick to watch, one of my favs, just like The Train and Von Ryan's Express  were my Dad's but Mom & I loved them too.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 24, 2022 5:30 PM

Sunnyland
one of my favs, just like The Train and Von Ryan's Express 

I LOVE "The Train," one of the best train/war movies ever!

"Von Ryan's Express?"  Eh, not so much.  The book was a LOT better than the film, but the train action's good.  

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 9:36 PM

I dunno if I should include this one as it goes against this threads guidelines. It's a train movie for sure and it's called "Denver and Rio Grande." It's about the building of a railroad and no fair guessing which one. There are some early shots of 1952 vintage D & RG freight and passenger trains and I sure did not know that the D & RG ran Alco PAs, my favourite diesel of all time. 

With Edmond O'Brien and Sterling Hayden, It's a decent story and well worth a look and the scenery is spectacular! 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, January 27, 2022 6:50 PM

There is one of the classic Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies from the 1940s, Terror by Night which is based on a train journey from London to Scotland. The train scenes are mostly based on mock ups of train exteriors and interiors, with some model (No 1 gauge?) scenes.

The train is supposedly an LMS train departing from Euston station (reasonably convenient to 221B Baker Street) however both the models and carriage external mock ups are very closely based on Great Western Railway trains, the model using a "Castle" class locomotive. Despite this the carriages mock ups are lettered "LMS" in reasonably correct style.

The plot involves an attempt to steal a huge diamond belonging to an elderly lady, with Holmes trying to prevent the theft, with a number of unlikely reversals of fortune.

Some train footage appears to be from stock as used in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, including shots of the valve gear of a large scale model (12 inch gauge) of a French PLM Pacific locomotive. There is on station stop where the train is headed by A German Pacific locomotive, 01 083....

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 28, 2022 6:59 AM

54light15
I sure did not know that the D & RG ran Alco PAs, my favourite diesel of all time.

You do know that the surviving PB carbody is ex-D&RGW, right?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, January 28, 2022 7:55 AM

M636C
There is one of the classic Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies from the 1940s

All  the Basil Rathbone "Sherlock Holmes" films are classic.  A number of other actors have done a good job with the role but Basil WAS Sherlock!  Perfect casting!  

Rathbone once said he was jealous of Sherlock because:

"I WISH I was as intelligent as Sherlock Holmes!"  

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, January 28, 2022 3:32 PM

duplicate post deleted 

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, January 28, 2022 3:32 PM

Overmod- No, I didn't know that. Another good Western with some, not many train scenes is "The Cheyenne Social Club" and is well worth watching just to see Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda ham it up.  

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, January 30, 2022 1:04 AM

Another railroad titled movie from the 1950s was Kansas Pacific which concerned a plot by Southern sympathisers to delay construction of the railroad prior to the outbreak of the civil war. Again this doesn't really qualify and the chronology seems a bit suspect from the brief references on Wikipedia.

The railroad scenes mostly used a familiar 4-6-0, Sierra No 3 as used in Petticoat Junction and other TV programs, along with a couple of short passenger cars and small freight cars. There was one scene that showed a somwhat more modern 4-4-0 and another that showed a (possibly narrow gauge) 2-8-0.

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, January 30, 2022 1:17 AM

Overmod

 

 
54light15
I sure did not know that the D & RG ran Alco PAs, my favourite diesel of all time.

 

You do know that the surviving PB carbody is ex-D&RGW, right?

 

 

I saw the unit in Los Angeles at LAUPT in 1996. It was still painted in D&RGW yellow and silver and was serving as a power car for the former Ski Train coaches in the same colours, which had formed a train hauled by ex SP Pacific 2472. It was fitted with EMD Blomberg B trucks.

Are there any more trucks suitable to return it to service as a locomotive?

Where is it now?

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 31, 2022 12:04 PM

As far as I know, the unit is still in Ontario with Alvin's Crntral as AC78.

There are no domestic trucks; as I recall, one extra truck from the ex-PRR Erie-built grinding train was saved, but subsequently scrapped for 'lack of demand' -- and of course these trucks are visibly wrong for Alco PA/PB even if they would blend in with Doyle's NKP 190...

If I recall the RyPN discussions (in some of which I took part) there are other A-1-A trucks in other parts of the world that could be adapted and used; Pakistan as I recall had some that were not the World Locomotive trucks as in SA, and I believe some PAs were exported (to Brazil?) where, even though broad-gauged, many of the truck components including the distinctive visual ones could be utilized... with enough cubic dollars.

I continue to regret that I missed the switch with the last Shark B-unit, which could have been mine for $3000 had I thought to ask.  Interestingly at about the same time, SP took the OTHER heater car, #252 as I recall, which still supposedly had the A-1-A trucks still installed, and had it cut up...

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 5:34 AM

Overmod

If I recall the RyPN discussions (in some of which I took part) there are other A-1-A trucks in other parts of the world that could be adapted and used; Pakistan as I recall had some that were not the World Locomotive trucks as in SA, and I believe some PAs were exported (to Brazil?) where, even though broad-gauged, many of the truck components including the distinctive visual ones could be utilized... with enough cubic dollars.

The Pakistani units were FA-2s fitted with trucks from an RSC-3 (so FAC-2 if you like). These are very short wheelbase to fit more or less into the space of the standard GSC B trucks. They were 1676mm gauge.

The Brazilian units had genuine PA trucks at 1600mm gauge. These could be fitted with standard gauge axles if required, although some adjustments of the brake gear would be required. All the "World" bogies in Auistralia were 1600 mm castings, fitted with standard or broad gauge wheelsets as required (although they came with fittings for brake gear on both gauges.)

I'm not sure that you could find a Brazilian PA, since there were only three to start with and I think they want to preserve one, (unsurprisingly).

It would be relatively easy to fabricate a frame that looked like a PA truck these days, and possibly cheaper than trying to use parts of a Brazilian truck.

Peter

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 3:17 PM

Has "Bad Day at Black Rock" been mentioned?  A "Neo-Western" with Spencer Tracy, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Anne Francis, Walter Brennan, and a streamliner crossing the desert on Southern Pacific's now-gone "Jawbone Branch".

 - Ed Kyle

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 5:23 PM

Ed Kyle
Has "Bad Day at Black Rock" been mentioned?

I believe it has.  This is one BIG successful topic!

Just a question returning to things "PA."  Anyone know the status of Doyle McCormack's Alco PA restoration?  There hasn't been much said about it lately, at least not that I've heard.

Mind you, I'm not critisizing Doyle in any way.  It's downright miraculous what he's accomplished so far!

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 2:59 AM

I found the 1930s movie serial of the "Green Hornet" on youtube. One episode was missing, but those left ran for around three hours...

The serials   used "location" shots multiple times. There was one scene parking the Green Hornet's car under some trees that appeared at least once in every episode.

There were two train scenes (or one train scene used twice). This used an SP Harriman Pacific No 2423 hauling a short freight train. In the first use, some criminals board the locomotive to escape the Green Hornet, and in the second use, the criminals board the caboose. I suspect it was all filmed at once, although probably not in a single "take" (although it is quite possible).

One consistent feature of all episodes was the "cliff hanger" ending where the ending of an episode appeared to show the hero being killed, and the beginning of the next showed the same scenes with additional scenes cut in to show the hero escaping...

I think one of these included a model scene with freight cars running away on a steep grade.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 7:43 AM

I started watching a Gene Hackman movie called "March or Die" (one of those Sir Lew Grade productions) which begins with a scene of WWi veterans teturning behind a locomotive with smoke deflectors, and then some scenes of travel on ostensibly Indian railroads -- I don't know if these were shot on location in Spain, but if you have an interest, you can watch it free on YouTube and take note of the details.  Be advised that the plot and some of the ham acting is frequently excruciating.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 11:10 AM

I started watching "March or Die" on the tube about 30 or so years ago.  Turned it off after about 20 minutes.  

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 10:42 PM

My wif bought a DVD collection of te Green Hornet serials. Notes with the DVD stated that filming took maybe three weeks, and economics of serials dictated re-using a lot of the shots. Reminds me of the 12 O'Clock High TV series, where the Messerschmidt with the big "3" on the side would show up in just about every episode.

 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, February 17, 2022 6:35 PM

Overmod

I started watching a Gene Hackman movie called "March or Die" (one of those Sir Lew Grade productions) which begins with a scene of WWi veterans teturning behind a locomotive with smoke deflectors, and then some scenes of travel on ostensibly Indian railroads -- I don't know if these were shot on location in Spain, but if you have an interest, you can watch it free on YouTube and take note of the details.  Be advised that the plot and some of the ham acting is frequently excruciating.

 

The only copy of "March or Die" I could find on youtube was dubbed in Spanish, which seemed appropriate and saved me from the dialogue...

The first scene is definitely in Spain and the locomotive is one of the 141-2101 type, a 2-8-2 built from 1954 until 1960, so there were plenty still around for movie makers. The later (desert?) scene appears to show another Spanish locomotive, a 140-2001 type, a 2-8-0 built by Baldwin in 1920, for some reason fitted with a fake oil burning headlight.

These two types were also used in the movie "Doctor Zhivago", with the 2-8-2 powering the special train for "Strelnikov"...

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Friday, March 11, 2022 12:48 AM

I watched a "Bulldog Drummond" movie "Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police".

These are set in England but were filmed in Hollywood with English actors in the lead roles.

The opening scene shows Drummond in a right hand drive open car passing a train travelling in the same direction. This is a Southern Pacific train, hauled by a Pacific and made up of arch roof Harriman cars. The scene was all filmed with back projection of the train scenes on a studio set, but included Drummond just beating the train across a grade crossing. That scene looked like the train might have been filmed in Cajon Pass on the old Route 66.

Drummond was supposedly heading for his home "Rockingham Towers" in England. The scene now changes to Rockingham station where a train (possibly the one Drummond overtook) pulls in.

This appears to be stock footage at a major station on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, possibly on the Southern Railway after 1923. The film clip shows an LBSCR 4-4-2 tank locomotive hauling a British Pullman car (in brown and cream) and and a number of slightly different cars in a single dark colour.

The movie was released in 1939, but this train footage was much older, since the 4-4-2 tanks would not have been seen on Pullman trains after the late 1920s.

The dark coloured cars appear to have been from the "Folkestone Car Train". These cars were built in England in 1897 and were used in competiton with Pullman cars on "boat trains" meeting the ferries from Dover to Calais and return. These were built for the South Eastern Railway, later merged with the London Chatham and Dover as the South Eastern and Chatham.

The SECR were not as anti-Pullman as the SER, and sold these eight cars (and seven similar but older American built cars) to Pullman in 1919.

So the scene was probably post 1919 to see these cars behind an LBSC locomotive. The locomotive didn't appear to have the large numbers on the tank sides used by the Southern post 1923, so the scene may date to the early 1920s.

Peter

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 12, 2022 9:36 PM

Just saw the movie "The Boys next dor"  About challenged adults.  End of movie they all boarded a Budd car train to Vancouver Anchorage, and Russia.   Wife completely broke up.

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 11:06 PM

We've all seen Buster Keaton in "The General" but have a look at this: "The Blacksmith" with train, car and horse gags. Funny as hell!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmbfP1KwIB8&t=16s 

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, March 27, 2022 8:14 PM

Here's Laurel and Hardy on a train- any idea where it was filmed? Note the catenary near the end. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrkBVxuBBrE 

I think I may have posted part of this before, I've never seen the entire film. 

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Sunday, March 27, 2022 11:30 PM

L.A. area. Suspect that the scene with the trolley wires supported by span wires was somewhere on the Pacific Electric as steam wa often operated on some of the PE lines.

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