• "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

  • 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.
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.

Moderator: Aa3rt

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  by umtrr-author
Just as a heads up which I think is legal (mods feel free to delete or move or whatever)...

DeepDiscount.com is having a sale through July 9, 2009* on all A&E/History Channel DVDs. There is an "Extreme Trains" DVD marked down to $13.98. "Every episode from the first season" on a three disc set. UPC is 733961153941; search on "History Channel Presents: Extreme Trains" to find it on the site.

No affiliation with the site, though I've bought from them numerous times before with no worries. Media rate shipping is free.

*Year included in case someone digs out this thread in 2010, 2011, 2012...
  by Steve F45
i really hoped there was going to be a second season. A friend who belongs to a NJ HO model railroad club had extreme trains film at his club last year. At that time they said it would air in season 2. You never know. This past season aired in the fall and from most of the episodes it looked as if it was filmed the previous fall and winter. So who knows.
  by Gadfly
I've met a lot of railfans in my life, and none of them have been as overly excited at every second as Matt Brown was, and he was an actual railroad employee, so it was obvious that the show's producers were trying to make him act far more excited than he should've been. If someone spends the majority of their day every day inside a locomotive cab, I doubt they'd be as giddy as a schoolgirl to get a chance to do something they already do for a living. (quote)

His overexcited presentation went WAY over the top. But then, it may be that it would have to be because you are trying sell the subject at hand to the public who probably only has a casual interest in railroads. So the presentation has to be designed to catch Mr Average Guy's attention for that ONE hour, make him say, "hmmm, so THAT'S how they do that".

If he WORKED for a an actual railroad, I wonder how he got to mark off long enough to do the show? :-D (I know what NS would say if I had tried it! ) Hey, I shoulda tried out for it: I'm retired. LOL! That woulda been a good 'part time' gig! I just ain't sure I could've kept up the high-energy thing for so long about such a boring subject!

  by SilverLakeRailroad
How was that publicity for pan am, The RR name was never said (which is probably good for Matt Bown's sake). Matt added a spark (a bit off at times....) to a subject that is otherwise quite dull to most adults.. I think it is the show-time was what killed it.. If it wasn't for DVR, I probably would have never seen it either... It was a decent show, but meant for a different audience than who watched, or better put didn't watch... I think if History gave Extreme Trains to a more child oriented channel, there would have been a lot more views.. No idea what channel or time best suits it though. And not only that, but how many episodes can you make before you admit the same repetitive things over and over again... I liked ExT. and was hoping for another season, but i guess thats not coming. -will
  by RedLantern
Here's an idea that I can't see happening all that easily, but I think would do well if it happened. The general public sees railraods (especially freight) as just mundane features of life, so to make a show that tries to glamorize them without really showing anything that most people aren't expecting to see won't gain attention, as we saw in this case. I wonder about making a show more along the lines of Deadliest Catch or Axe Men, where the show chronicles railroad employees in their daily duties. It could take place on a small shortline where there wouldn't be as much corporate red tape to pass through and could give the public a better understanding of how much hard work it actually takes to run a railroad, even a small one. It could cover various aspects of the railroad, from operating crews to maintenance.

Another idea along the same lines could be a show that takes railfans or experienced railroaders and chronicles their efforts working on a historic steam railroad. You could have a modern MOW worker laying track without any kind of machinery, or an engineer running a steam engine and show how different it is and thus how far technology has improved even in things that the general public finds mundane.

I think that railroads could have their place in modern TV, but Extreme Trains has given us all a lesson on what happens when a show focuses too much on pleasing the audience and not nearly enough on subject matter.
  by 2nd trick op
It's an interesting thought; a friend of mine teaches Economics at a couple of local commmunity colleges, and I do a guest spot as a speaker on the Economics of Transportation from time to time. I usually close the talk by pointing out that operating railroaders make excellent wages, but that the front-line conditions and the need for safety make for a strong test of personal fortitude for someone just starting out. I'm waiting for somebody to take me up on this, and hope I'll be able to stay in contact with them when that opportunity arises. A TV series would be a plus, but I have my doubts as to whether the major carriers, who tend to see themselves as potential political or legal targets, would be as willing to co-operate as a small logging or fishing operation.
  by Red Arrow Fan
I saw an episode yesterday where they were running a 1944 UP steam engine from Cheyenne to Denver and back, taking railfans to a rodeo. Apparently, it's the last Class 1 steam train still running.
  by backroadrails
I got talking to a Pan Am employee while at lunch one day, and I got onto the subject of Matt Bown. He told me that he had some sort of medical issue last November and he hasn't seen him at work since. I am not sure what happened, and haven't heard anymore on him since.
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