Large Scale Central

Docuseries on transcon

Just rewatching the fantastic docuseries on the building of the transcontinental RR. Hell On Wheels I have no doubt is 100% historically accurate. :rofl:

Until you realize the scene where they fire up a loco from frozen solid to blazing away in one hour… Yah like that won’t explode on you…

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Great series. We were addicted to it for three or for seasons when it came out. Historically accurate, not even close, but good entertainment.

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Is it filmed on a real railway or is it CGI?

They built some track for the sets. The locomotive is made of wood!

I think paper mache… at least for the tunnels. :wink:

The original RR is long gone, the CP only walkable by hiking, at least over the Sierras, in most places. The summit area was the most difficult, with the hard rock tunnels, massive retaining walls, and miles-long snow sheds, with tunnels and walls mostly built by “imported” Chinese laborers… who really knew their sh!t and saved the CP’s a$$e$.

The China Wall remains a national monument… ok, don’t get me started… this is Devon’s thread…

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Too much to do….

Few minutes later… hmmm seems to be streaming on Australian Prime TV too… & Devon says it’s hysterically accurate.

Herself: what are you doing?

Me: Shhhh! The Bretheren of the Devine Sinsley have told me I can learn all I need to know about the history of the Railroad Transcontinental by subscribing to Prime Video.

Herself: it’s getting late.

Me: I’ll be there in a second. I’ve just got to see the miracle of the fast firing loco. Maybe I should ask Dave if that’s season 1…. Wait Jon just said the loco is made of wood…

…too late now. I’m sucked in. Dammit Reverend Sinsley, you should be on Tick-tock. :rofl:


8 episodes in and now that I’ve seen the close-ups all I can see is wood. I can’t look away.

It’s ironic that Petticoat Junction had a real locomotive but today it’s cost effective for CGI and prop builders to start from scratch.

Still sucked in though.

Once again I can’t say I am all that sorry. I want to say the fast firing loco is in Season 2. It really is a pretty decent story line, well I think so anyway. Typical low budget drama series but revolves around a subject and time period that is of interest to me. And it does use “real” characters and “loosely” bases events on history. But it is extremely low budget. If I am not mistaken I think it was filmed in Canada but I could be wrong.

If it is “Low Budget production”, made in Canada would be a good possibility, but not much better. or worse than “Made in The US of A”.
If you want a good, possibly a bit accurate, well researched, and well produced documentary, you usually need to look to the “Brits” for satisfaction.
But then, few in North America truly appreciate the looks and feels of British Railroading today, or in the past. Just getting past the differences in railroad/railway terminology, irritates a lot of North American readers, and viewers.


any reference I make to it being any sort of documentary is purely in jest. It is NOT in anyway a documentary nor do they profess it to be even historically accurate. It is very much a drama series if not an out right soap opera. When I referred to it being low budget it was in the quality of production as a TV series.

Sorry to do this to you Bill…

Yes for the long shots and the intros Petticoat Junction" used a real loco.

BUT… and there is always a but… For any of the Cab and closer scenes they used a wooden mock up… Actually it was the “EMMA SWEENEY” That was originally built by the “20th Century” studios for the movie “Ticket To Tomahawk”. That engine had bit parts in a number of movies and TV shows it sat on the back lot for many years. EMMA, is currently owned by the “Durango Railroad Historical Society”, and we have her sitting in the park on display in Durango. We have restored her back to her movie star days, and I have personally built some of the mechanics and pieces on her…

She is built mostly out of wood, some sheet metal, some fiberglass, some “Pressboard” and plastic pieces with a steel frame holding her all together… She is officially celebrating her 75 birthday this year… built to last only long enough for the filming… she has survived to a good age…

Thank god I was sitting down. My childhood was in shatters. So I had to check if my whole childhood had been smoke and mirrors as opposed to smoke and locomotives.

I came across the Wild Wild Wild West locomotives and a :point_right:LINK :point_left:



Great read on the restoration Dave.

…and here is Ticket to Tomahawk :point_right:

FYI: The real engine in the scenes was the RGS 20, it was finally restored to operation 2 years ago, and runs at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

And the blond show girl (Yellow Dress), was the first real movie role for Marilyn Monroe. She was originally uncredited until she became famous.

The City of Epitath was in actually the town of Silverton, and the station is still there and used, and a lot of the scenes were shot on Blair Street and a number of the building in the movie are still there. The Indian raid scenes were shot above the city of Durango at their airport, which is now the location of Ft. Lewis College. The Cab fight scene was filmed at Rockwood and a number of the scenes were filmed in the canyon of what is now the D&S line. The timber trestle was an abandoned one just outside of Durango on the RGS line, and yes they did blow it up…BOOM!!.

a good oldfashioned western!

but the tragic!

the real tragic is…

that this nice young actress now is over ninty years old, if she still lives.

The real tragic is…

for the group that doesn’t get Dave on their team for TRIVIA NIGHT :grimacing:

I made it through A Ticket to Tomahawk and was amazed at how robust a realistic model was produced to pull through the streets. Then of course I got back on to HELL on WHEELS… but first came across this…

I followed the link just to see if Devon’s name was mentioned as a H.O.W. Influencer, so I could keep to the thread. (BTW Devon, you’re off the hook; you were not mentioned, yet) :grimacing:

It’s a link to a Facebook page devoted to Hollywood Locomotives :point_left:

They appear to be a e-commerce site showcasing trains used in movies and TV shows with books and models to promote. For example There was a link for modellers who want the SHADY REST HOTEL on their layout.

@Cliff_Jennings there is a book devoted to the V&T

…and now “back to my regularly scheduled program, Hell on Wheels currently in progress…”

Lol sorry to lead you down a rabbit hole

You bet, I got that book when it first came out! Thanks to it being promoted through the V&T Historical Society… Good to know there were other volumes. :+1:

Probably been mentioned earlier, but here’s the story on making the first loco for HOW.

I find it amazing that it was made in three weeks!! Wow, I’d still be making up the Excel spreadsheet on what the components were, with multiple-choice drop-downs on how the committee would like to make each one… :grin: