VINTAGE RAILROAD FILMS - 2

An assortment of vintage railroad videos.

See also Vintage Railroad Films - 1, Vintage Railroad Films - 3

Days of Our Years (1955) Union Pacific Railroad

Disturbing and sometimes maudlin trilogy of accidents and their effects on Union Pacific Railroad workers and their families, shot with virtuosity in working-class Los Angeles.

Men and Mail in Transit (1956) U.S. Postal Service

An orientation/training film for RPOs (Railroad Post Offices) is a documentary of an entire operation from the details of gear each man carried, setting up the mail car for handling the run.

Magic Rails to Yesterday (1958)

A vintage promotional film featuring a fantastic ride on the Western Pacific/Denver and Rio Grande Western/Chicago, Burlington and Quincy's beautiful California Zephyr, plus the fantastic scenery offered by the Durango and Silverton, a narrow gauge heritage railway.

Pacific Northwest Holiday on the Super Dome Olympian Hiawatha (1952) Milwaukee Road

Promotional film made by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("The Milwaukee Road"). The Olympian Hiawatha was its flagship streamliner service between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest, commencing in 1947.

Once Upon the Wabash (1957)

An educational and promotional film all about the Wabash Railroad, which served a large area including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and the province of Ontario.

Better Way for the Santa Fe (1952) Morrison-Knudsen

A documentary film by Morrison Knudsen and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway about the construction of a new main line between Williams and Crookton in Arizona.

Clear Iron (1952) The Budd Company

The Budd Company shows its patented method of producing fluted stainless steel and the then new Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC). The Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC), also known as the Budd car or Buddliner, is a self-propelled diesel multiple unit.

Rolling the Freight (1947) Chicago & North Western Rwy.

An educational film showing how the Chicago and North Western Railway handles freight around the Chicago area and over its vast network.

The Wonderful World of Trains (1960) Lionel Corp.

Christmastime film made by the Lionel Corporation to promote the hobby of model trains using bizarre puppets. "Trains so finely detailed you'll have to look twice to tell them from the real ones!"

3rd Avenue El (1955) Carson Davidson

Excellent film about the Third Avenue Elevated Railway in Manhattan, New York City, before it was demolished. Directed by Carson Davidson and nominated for an Oscar.

Look, Listen and Live (1948) Union Pacific

Level crossing safety film made by the Union Pacific Railroad and released in November 1948. When released, a 12-page booklet accompanied the film.

Desert Empire (1948) Denver and Rio Grande Western Railr

Travelogue documentary film through the state of Utah. Sponsored by the DRGW. Nearly a third of the film covers the operations of the Bingham Canyon Mine.

This is My Railroad (1952) Southern Pacific

Operations of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This is a 1952 update of an earlier film of the same name made around 1940. The earlier version featured mainly steam locomotives with this version featuring SP's early diesels.

Troop Train (1943) U.S. Office of War Information

1943 film from the US Office of War Information on the operation of a troop train under wartime conditions and it's affect on the GI's being transported. An excellent look at military railroading during World War II.

Wheels A-Rolling: 100 Years of Railroad Progress (1948)

The Chicago Railroad Fair was an event held in Chicago in 1948 and 1949 along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is often referred to as "the last great railroad fair" with 39 railroad companies participating.

Model Railroad (1947) Westchester Model Club, Inc.

Short film about the Westchester Model Club, Inc. It was originally distributed on 16mm film. Not entirely certain about the year this was made, but 1947 is when director Brodbeck was with Celluloid College.

Safe Roads (1935) Jam Handy Organization

A 1935 safety film comparing railroads to car driving and depicts all of the great passenger trains of the day. Made by the Jam Handy Organization and sponsored by the Chevrolet Motor Company.

Louisville & Nashville: Old Reliable / The General's Ribbon

A travelogue depicting the passenger and freight trains of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. A second film, the General's Ribbon (1962) highlights the railroads Civil War steam history, etc. 

Mariners in Hard Hats (1959) Morrison-Knudsen / SP

An excellent documentary/promotional film produced by Morrison-Knudsen, documenting their construction of a causeway across the Great Salt Lake for Southern Pacific Railroad. This causeway replaced the wooden trestle which was part of the original Lucin Cutoff.

Getting Off on the Right Foot (1972) Union Pacific

Definitely the best railroad safety film ever produced. There's a wrong way - and a right way - and we are treated to both, often in wild fashion. Note: Some of what was considered a safe to work when this film was made is now totally verboten. Thank you Union Pacific.

The B&O's 8,000 Mile Birthday Party (1977)

The B&O's 8,000 Mile Birthday Party is a 1977 promotional film documenting the 1977 season of the Chessie Steam Special.

Escape from Limbo (1953) Pennsylvania Railroad

Escape from Limbo depicts nearly all types of accidents, from switch weights dropped on feet to maiming and — death.

Beef Rings the Bell (1963) Union Pacific Railroad

Beef's importance to American society and economy, and the Union Pacific Railroads's importance to the beef industry.

Hog Sense (1953) Union Pacific Railroad

The importance of proper sanitation, housing, and feeding for the successful and profitable raising of hogs in the western U.S.

George Washington - Chesapeake and Ohio Railway

The George Washington was a named passenger train of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway running on a route between Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, D.C. that began in 1932.

The Steam Locomotive - Santa Fe Railway

This documentary from the Santa Fe Railroad depicts the inner workings and also discusses what it takes to keep a steam locomotive running. 

Dangerous Playground (1950s) Southern Pacific

This is an educational safety film released by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1950's showing the dangers that face unsuspecting children when using railway property as a playground.

Call Us Penn Central (1968) Penn Central Railroad

A color promo film about the Penn Central, a railroad created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads that operated from 1968 until 1976. In 1970, the company filed for bankruptcy, largest in US history.

General Motors Diesel-Powered Trains (1938)

A vintage railroad film from GM, produced around 1938, with the history of early diesel engines and switching locomotives and the diesels advantages over steam via their usefulness and efficiency.

Opening a New Frontier (1955) Pennsylvania Railroad

This vintage railroad film, produced by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1955, highlights the early intermodal services which were being introduced at the time. The railroad's excess capacity is highlighted.

America's Changing Scene (1950s) The End of the "El"

Part of a system of elevated railroads constructed in the late 19th century, the 3rd Avenue El outlived its counterparts, the 6th and 9th street El's, and operated into the 1950's until it was dismantled in 1955.

Last of the Giants (1959) Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific pays tribute and says goodbye to its 4-8-8-4 Big Boys (which were ending regular steam operations on the UP) in this publicity film produced in 1959. 

Some Trouble at Troublesome (1956) Denver & Rio Grande

The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad produced this safety film that depicts a major accident that happened on their Moffat Tunnel Route where two trains were involved in a head-on collision. The location was the Troublesome siding. 

The Rocky Mountain Rocket 1950s) Rock Island Lines

This film explores various tourist destinations along the famous "Rocky Mountain Rocket" line. The streamlined “Rocket” trains (numbers 7 and 8) ran from Chicago, Illinois to Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1939 to 1966.

Wheels-A-Rolling: (1948) 100 Years of Railroad Progress

The Chicago Railroad Fair exhibited many steam locomotives and other trains and railcars, and re-enacted railroad history in the U.S. Walt Disney was in attendance.

The TurboTrain (1968) Sikorsky Aircraft (UAC)

Released originally by the Surface Transportation Systems of Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft in 1968. Includes excellent footage of the TurboTrain demonstration runs.

TURBO (1970) The UAC CN Turbotrain Complete Movie

The film is a look at Canada's fastest train. On April 22nd, 1976 the Turbotrain set the Canadian Railway Speed Record travelling 140mph/225km/hr. Built by United Aircraft Corporation by MLW for CN Railway and ran in Canada from 1968 and 1982.

Mr. Dodds Goes to Colorado (1950-56) CB&Q

Mr. Dodds goes to Colorado aboard the beautiful Denver Zephyr, and once he's there he proceeds to visit every wonderful tourist destination the state has to offer. A fun travelogue that everyone will enjoy.

Rhapsody of the Rails (1933)

Historic footage of American steam hauled passenger trains during the 1930's. Everywhere, any time, day or night, the modern monarchs of steel speed along. The humming rails and screaming whistles urge you to "go somewhere".... Trains of the New York Central Railroad are shown.

The Railroad Story (1951) Illinois Assn. of Railroads

A documentary by the 31 members of the Illinois Association of Railroads. Examines the problems facing railroads in the 1950's such as competition from cars, trucks and planes, as well as the unfair tax burden faced by railroads at the time. Many scenes of railroads in action are depicted.

Railroad Man (1967) United Transportation Union

The United Transportation Union presents Railroad Man, a candid look at the life of train drivers, engineers, and other American railroad workers in the 1960s. A moving portrait of the often lonely lives of the men who keep the nation's trains running.

Riding High with the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies 

This 1959 film follows the trail riders, a group founded in 1923 by John Murray Gibbon, through the Canadian Rockies with footage of the mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. A journey across Canada through the Rockies aboard the Canadian Pacific.

End of an Era (1962) Rayonier, Inc.

A Rayonier film from 1962 dedicating the new Diesel locomotives and retiring the old steam locomotives used in their logging operations at the time.

The Song of the Pioneer (1948) Chicago & North Western

Educational documentary by the Chicago & North Western Railway produced in 1948 to celebrate the railroad's 100th anniversary.

CN Rail Promo Films (1970's)

Four films produced by Canadian National in the 1970's: Power Movers, Steel Wheels on Steel Rails, A Concrete Decision, Dual Rail Laying. These deal with diesel locomotives, track, use of concrete ties and other railway technologies.

Northwest Empire (1952) Union Pacific Railroad

The Union Pacific Railroad sponsored this 1952 travelogue, Northwest Empire, to promote travel to and around the states of Oregon and Washington. The film highlights the places to visit as well as some of the region’s industries.