Overall, I find the show interesting, but as mentioned in many of the posts above, there are some goofy parts that I think might give the general, non-railfanning public some inaccurate information. One thing that sticks in my head is the segment on the UP Produce Express where Matt took us to the UP repair shop (which was cool), but one of the traction motors went down and they had to repair the engine before they could proceed. Now, you railroaders out there tell me please, if this is a priority train, would they wait until this unit was repaired, or would they just cut it out of the train and replace it with an operable locomotive and get back on the line? Seems like uncoupling the damaged unit and replacing it with one ready to go would take much less time. I can see changing a wheelset on a freight car right on the mainline, that's one thing, but not waiting for a loco to be repaired. The other thing I noticed is that at times, they show a different locomotive than the one he has been riding. I'm not a rivet counter by any means, but when he has been riding in a nice new wide cab GE and then they show an old GP40 "ready to go", I think even non-railfan folks will notice this and wonder where the nice engine he had been riding in went to. I also agree about the produce train from Washington to Schenectady - Where was Chicago, Buffalo, etc.? I live in NY and would have liked to see some of that footage. How about a shot of Lake Erie in the background, or running parallel to the NS line here? How about the locks on the old barge canal along the Mohawk? He could have talked about how this was the main mode of freight transportation before the railroads came along.
That being said, though, alot of the side visits that he takes us on are very interesting, although I think they might want to stick with locations that have more to do with the main topic being discussed that episode. I did like the NS coal train episode, with info on coal mining and how the train is loaded and unloaded. I've never seen a rotary car dumper work before. I liked seeing loading of the containers on the intermodal BNSF train and harvesting cherries and the produce warehouse in Washington. This shows where the products come from, how they are loaded and unloaded, which I think gives the public a general idea of how things get from one place to another. I also thought the circus train was fascinating, as I have never seen how they move the animals and all that equipment from the train to the circus location. I don't think the circus will ever come to my town of 500 people, so this show is probably the only place I will ever see anything like that. I thought the parade of animals down through town was neat, as I'm sure the locals that get to see it feel as well.
I think that Matt does seem to get a little carried away with excitement too, especially someone who does this for a living. I can see keeping things exciting, but he gets a little goofy at times. Oh well, as others have said, at least this puts the railroad industry in a positive light and helps the general public see how important railroads are in delivering goods, and that running a train isn't always a bowl of cherries. Let's hope there are some more interesting episodes coming up this year.