• Railroads In The Movies, Part II

  • 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

  by Aa3rt
The "Railroads In The Movies" thread has been quite popular.

However, after 21 months and 112 posts covering 8 pages, this topic seems to have become rather "unwieldly" and a chore to wade through.

I have decided to close the original thread, in hopes to continue it here.

In order to give a synopsis of the movies that have already been discussed, I divided them into three categories:

1. Movies Based On Railroads or Railroading
2. Movies Where Railroads Play A Major Role
3. Movies With Notable Railroad Scenes.

I realize that my judgement may come into question and am open to suggestion.

Please feel free to contribute any additional discussion or add more movies in this thread.

Thanks to all who contributed to the original "Railroads In The Movies" thread.

Movies Based On Railroads or Railroading

Atomic Train

Breakheart Pass

Closely Watched Trains

Danger Lights
Denver & Rio Grande
Disaster On The Coastliner

Emperor Of The North
End Of The Line

Human Desire

Kansas Pacific (?)*

Narrow Margin (Versions 1 & 2)
Night Passage

Rail Kings
Runaway Train

Silver Streak (1935 original w/Burlington Pioneer Zephyr)
Silver Streak (Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedy)
Strangers On A Train

Terror Train
The Cassandra Crossing
The General (Buster Keaton original)
The Great Locomotive Chase (Disney movie)
The Railway Children
The Station Agent
The Taking Of Pelham 123
The Titfield Thunderbolt
The Train

Movies Where Railroads Play A Major Role

Back To The Future III

Flame Over India

Look Back In Anger

North By Northwest

The Fugitive
The Lady Killers
The Lady Vanishes
The Long Summer Of George Adams
The Molly Macguires
The Train Of Life
Tough Guys

Under Seige 2

Von Ryans Express

Where The Hell Is That Gold?

Movies With Notable Railroad Scenes (A LONG list.)

All The Right Moves
Around The World In 80 Days

Bad Day At Black Rock
Best Friends
Bite The Bullet
Breakfast At Tiffany's
Brewsters Millions

Carlitos Way
Chasing Liberty
Cheaper By The Dozen
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Dennis The Menace
Dirty Harry
Doctor Zhivago

Enemy Of The State

Falling In Love
Fools Parade
Fried Green Tomatoes
From Russia With Love
Funny Face

Go West
Groundhog Day

Hello Dolly
How The West Was Won

In The Line Of Fire
It Happened To Jane
It's A Hard Day's Night


Lethal Weapon 4

Magnum Force
Me, Myself & Irene
Midnight Run
My Cousin Vinny

October Sky

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Queens Logic

Rocky 2

Shadow Of A Doubt
Some Like It Hot
Striking Distance

That Was Then, This Is Now
The Carpetbaggers
The Clock
The Day The Earth Stood Still
The French Connection
The Harvey Girls
The Italian Job
The Ice Storm
The Long Gray Line
The Manchurian Candidate (remake)
The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit
The Natural
The Outsiders
The Seven Ups
The Seven Year Itch
The Swarm
The Toy
The Transporter
The Wrong Box
This Land Is Mine
Three Days Of The Condor
Trading Places


War Of The Worlds
Warm Springs
Weird Science
Whispering Smith

* I'm not familiar with "Kansas Pacific" and wonder if the original poster meant to reference that Cecil B. DeMille classic "Union Pacific" which curiously was not mentioned in the original thread.

Please feel free to continue any movie/railroad discussion here.
Last edited by Aa3rt on Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by 2nd trick op
"Ring of Fire" (1961) -- David Janssen, Joyce Taylor??, Frank Gorshin

Janssen plays a state trooper from the Pacific Northwest, kidnapped by a gang of bandits. A forest fire eventually traps the group in a train on a wooden trestle.

"Trains" ran a short photo feature on the filming of the fire and collapse of the trestle, which was shot on location on an abandoned Georgia-Pacific logging line, and at least one critique of the film points out that the bulldozer-pulled cables used to ensure the bridge's collapse couldn't be completely editied out.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Came up with a link to the filming:


On a related note, I'd appreciate any help in identifying a 1950's boxing film which features an SP cab-forward, currently listed on a separate thread in this forum.

2nd trick op
  by twolfe
July 2003 had Tom Seleck, George Eads, and a couple of the Carridine brothers up north of Edmonton Alberta shooting the remake of Monte Walsh.
Used for a number of shots was an ex CNR 10-wheeler and rolling stock.
Locomotive was an intrigal piece of the plot as the cowboys decided to stall the train by lasoo'ing the stack.
Lots of "wheel spin and close-up shots of the cab and a coulpe of run-bys.
  by Aa3rt
Aa3rt wrote: Kansas Pacific (?)*

* I'm not familiar with "Kansas Pacific" and wonder if the original poster meant to reference that Cecil B. DeMille classic "Union Pacific" which curiously was not mentioned in the original thread.
I stand corrected-"Kansas Pacific" was indeed a movie, filmed in 1953, with the plot involving the builders of a railroad running into resistance from Confederate guerrillas.

With Sterling Hayden, Eve Miller and Clayton Moore, who many of us baby boomers know as "The Lone Ranger".

http://www.smartcart.com/lifeisamovie/c ... =100667-01

Information on the 1939 Cecil B. De Mille classic "Union Pacific":


I guess I may as well mention the James Bond movie "Octopussy" which found it's way onto American Movie Classics again tonight. This includes a segment with the circus train being pulled by a German 2-8-2T and having to cross the frontier between the former East and West Germanys.
Last edited by Aa3rt on Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by D&HRailnut
The 1980's movie "Ironwood" stars; Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Fred Gwynn. The movie is set in the 1930's. Some of Jack Nicholson's scenes were shot in the Mohawk Yard and some are in the Colonie Yard. Meryl Streep and Fred Gwynn scenes were filmed in Albany. Fred Gwynn played the bartender.

The steam engine that is shown is the steamer from the Altamount Fairgrounds. But during the movie the steamer was never actually running. The producers set up the train up as follows; The Steam Locomotive and a few old D&H cars (one was an old D&H tank car). The third "car" in the line is actually one of the RS-11's numbered in the 5000's. The movie producers built a wooden side and placed it on the side of the diesel engine, as to make it appear to be a box car. The entire movement of this train was by the RS-11.

The shots in the Colonie Yard are of them burning "The Hobo jungle". If you look closely during that scene shot you can see an old D&H caboose in the background.

It is really an awesome movie.

Joe O'Mara
Cortland, NY (Formerly Otego, NY)
  by 2nd trick op
The correct name of both the film and the book upon which it's based is Ironweed by William J. Kennedy, part of the three-volume "Albany Trilogy", all revolving around Nicholson's character of Francis Phelan.

The book also makes (historically accurate) reference to the rub-out of gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond in an unnamed flophouse on Albany's Dove Street in the early 1930's.
  by D&HRailnut
I apologize. I meant to write Ironweed. But as I was typing I took a 9-1-1 call from a residence on Redwood Ave.

I apologize for messing up the title of an excellent movie.

Joe O'Mara

P.s. 2nd trick op... Are you a former employee of the D&H? Inquiring because of the name?

  by NKP_SD9
Saw a bit of the movie "Fair Game" on TNT late last night/early this morning, there was a scene where the 2 main characters are on a CSX freight train and are inside an auto rack. Looked like a pair of GP40-2s and was all CSX rolling stock (advertising CSX?), and the horn on it sounded like a K5H. Had an older caboose at the end but I didn't see what RR it was.

  by DutchRailnut
How bout Pearl Harbour, steam scenes with 1949 stainless steel cars. and on departure you see bottom half of Amtrak Genesis ;-)

  by NHRDC121
Just happened to catch "Strange Invaders" today. Paul Le Mat and Nancy Allen take the Lake Shore Limited from NYC to CHI, but exterior scenes of the train are all Turboliners. Oh, well, at least you know they had the right route. :wink:

  by CNJGeep
In the Thomas the Tank Engine movie...you have a N&W 4-8-0 leaving UNDER THE WIRE from HARRISBURG! (Pittsburg?) With Genisises and AEM-7s all around. Now THAT'S CLASSIC!

  by justinking
I just remember being 4 or 5 and rewinding the scene in Homealone one where Kevin had just taken the tooth brush and the Metra F40 roles under the bridge, it pans out and the whole train goes by. I would watch that scene 3 or 4 times before i'd move on.

  by Gilbert B Norman
A 1981 John Travolta thriller "Blow Out' is presently available at Comcast on-Demand. While the plot is quite forgetable (IMDB recalls it better than can I), it nevertheless was shot on location in Philadelphia when the Market St rail line between Reading Terminal and Suburban Station was under construction (well, at least that is where a body appeared to have been dumped) and contained live footage at both Reading Terminal and at 30th Street Station.

However, in some scenes, the producers seem to have thought that Amtrak served Reading Terminal; also that both RDG's "Crusader' and "Wall Street' were around during Amtrak. They did however film some over @ 30th St including SEPTA PCC streetcars.

I'm sure the "car chase' scenes down Market St while a parade was in progress were all done against a studio's "blue screen".

All told; movie absurd but the footage around Phila made it "sort of worth it". And it's a 'freebie'.

  by emd_SD_60
was watching Grumpy Old Men, and during the opening credits a train led by CNW SD40-2's #6807 and 6844 pass by a station... sweet. :wink:

  by mountie17
The movie, Red Rock West has a scene where Nicolas Cage is racing a car towards a crossing against an SP GP40-2? The movie is not so good, but the scene with the SP unit is somewhat cool. BTW, this used to be on all of the time on USA, IIRC.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 12