Todd's Guide to


In General

Trains on the silver screen are all around, some more notable than others, some seem to go by without hardly a notice.  How many of these have you seen?

Obviously, there are tons of scenes from movies and off the TV that can be included on this page.  Since I don't watch all that much TV, so if you have anything you'd like to let others see, please contact me and submit it.

Some of the movies that should stick out are the Train (1964), Unstoppable (2010), Tough Guys (with 4449)(1986), Silver Streak (1976), Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), Money Train (1995), the Great Train Robbery (1979), Emperor of the North (with 2102 as 302)(1973), the Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (1974 & 2009), Back to the Future 3 (1984), and oodles more.

More movies with trains can be found at:

Mad Max - Movie - 1979

No trains in the shot, but at least it has signals :-)  The movie was filmed in and around Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  The picture on top is from the movie. 

From John Engleman of Baltimore who has railfanned a great deal in Australia, comes the following: The photo was taken from the Geelong Freeway overpass on the old V/Line (Victorian Railways) Geelong line. At that time there was no wire on it, there is now. Just out of view to the right is the Weribee line deviation to Altona, and it was always electrified. The signals are the westbound home signals to that intertlocking. The place is called Laverton Junction. It looks much different now. Not only is the Geelong line electrified (although only express suburban trains that don't deviate through Altona use the wire), there is a third track that is standard gauge, but it's not electrified. Most freight, plus long distance passenger trains use the single standard gauge track. Victorian freights, plus suburban and interurban diesel hauled trains and railcars use the double track line shown. There is probably some sort of movement through the interlocking every minute or two. There is a large freight forwarder's terminal (SCT) where the open field is on the left, along with numerous sidings and engine tracks. The refinery in the background is still there but greatly reduced in size. Melbourne's skyline is also now much more pronounced. The location is about 10 miles out of the CBD.

This second photo is courtesy John Engleman.  The picture was taken about 10 miles west of the Mad Max shot as John was riding a passenger train out of Melbourne.

Below is a photo courtesy Ian Green (via John Engleman), one of Australia's best known railroad photographers.  The picture is taken from the same spot as the Mad Max shot was filmed.  You can see that much development has taken place over the past 30+ years.  The lead engine, C501, is a class C diesel, the Australian version of an SD-40.  The train is operated by a company called El Zorro :-)  The engine is owned by a preservation group and leased out to whomever wants to lease it.  In Australia, the tracks are owned by one entity, and are leased to anyone with a train and a crew.  It's similar to when someone over here wants to run a steam or "E" excursion on NS or BNSF tracks, and they charge something like 25 bucks a mile (that's what it reportedly cost to run 261 over the BNSF tracks out of Minneapolis back in 2001).  You can find the picture on Railpictures.net.  Notice the American style colorlight signals in the foreground, and what may be searchlight type signals on the line heading off to the right to Altona.

No Way Out - Movie - 1987

Kevin Costner stars in a movie where he assigned to work for the Secretary of Defense and winds up having an affair with the Secretary's mistress.  She winds up being murdered and Costner is framed for it.  The Metro scene is supposed to take place on the Washington Metro, at the Georgetown station, BUT, there is no Georgetown station, and the Metro shots were filmed on the Baltimore Metro system.


The Night of the Hunter - Movie - 1955

Robert Mitchum plays a psycho who spent 30 days in jail, and finds out his roommate stole 10 grand and hid it somewhere where he lived after killing two bank guards to get it.  When he gets out of prison, he heads to the town looking for the family, and taking the train was part of his trip.  Even tho the movie was filmed in 55, the action takes place during the depression, so $10K was a huge amount of money.


Unstoppable - Movie, 2011

Well, if you love trains, or not, this is a very cool movie, loosely based on the CSX incident in 2009 where an engine got loose and ran off by itself from Walbridge Yard in suburban Toledo.


Sniper 2 - Movie - 2003

Tom Berenger plays a "retired" Marine Sniper sucked back into service to kill off a foreign leader, unknowing to him, it's a cover to sneak a political prisoner out of the country.  Even tho the action takes place in Croatia, it was actually filmed in Budapest, but in searching the internet for pictures, I came across one picture (that I could buy) that showed a tram very similar to the one featured in the film, from Zagreb.  I started there because one of the busses they were on had Krizevci as its destination.


Source Code - Movie - 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal plays an injured soldier, who is put to work on a top top secret project, where they are able to send his consciousness back into the past for 8 minutes.  At the beginning of the movie he is not aware that he was blown up by an roadside IED, and about half of him is missing.  The station used in the movie was "made for TV", as it is not a real METRA station.


Stag Night - Movie - 2010

A bunch of kids in their 20's wind up leaving a #7 subway train near the Hunters Point station and wind up being sliced and diced by cannibals living in the dark corners of the forgotten subway areas.  The movie was filmed in Sophia, Bulgaria, but I'm guessing some of the scenes were shot in NYC.  They did a pretty good job of duplicating the action of the yellow T-bar trip-stop actuators alongside the rails!

Note in the right picture of the top line, the green reflection of a signal on the side of the cars.  Anyone who is a signal fan should know the signals are not IRT signals.  In the right picture on the second row, the detail is good enough to see that the lenses are all aimed so that they may be viewed from below the signal, off to the right side, probably for the maintenance guys, cause the track is to the left.




Blade 3: Trinity - Movie - 2004

An quick aerial shot of a trolley bus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada floats through one of the scenes in the third installment of the Blade series.
Thanks again to John Engleman for indentifying the bus.


Back To The Future - Movie, 1984

The movie was mostly filmed at the Sierra Railroad in Jamestown CA.  In looking at their website, they have had mucho films filmed here.  I don't think railroads were yet using knuckle couplers in 1865, but that's a small detail.



Underworld - Movie, 2003

Kate Beckinsale plays the part of Selene, a vampire who is embroiled in a fight wit the Lycans, very cool movie, and they may do an Underworld 5!

The Metro scenes were filmed in the Metro system of Budapest, Hungary.


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NEW 05/01/2012
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